Going Green? First Ask “Why?” Then Say Yes!

Posted on: May 29th, 2009

There’s no denying the rise in green, or sustainable, products – from household cleaners and organic food, to energy-efficient automobiles and eco-friendly appliances. The trend has been so widespread, that it seems any company not jumping on the big green bandwagon, will be left by the wayside, or, worse, deemed environmentally irresponsible.

Let us examine a few common motives for “going green” and see where your intentions lie:

We feel a personal responsibility to the greater good.
Kudos to you! A February 2009 Wells Fargo/Gallup survey found that this is the motivation cited most by small business owners who actively communicate their green credentials. Our advice is to ensure your good intentions are backed up with operational effectiveness. Consider this: according to the “Eco-Calculator” found online, buying 10,000 sheets of 100% recycled office paper saves 489 gallons of waste water, 816 BTUs of energy and one tree. But, while every little bit counts, it’s important to realize that the environmental “savings” of choosing recycled paper pales in comparison to other things you can do to reduce your consumption. Bottom line: be aware of – and committed to – reducing your own footprint in more than one way, through the most efficient and effective means possible. For ideas, visit the Alliance for Energy Consumption at http://www.ase.org.

Our competitors have gone green, which could give them an advantage.
Allowing your competition to set your agenda is not smart business. There’s no telling for sure if the “green” factor is what’s contributing to your competitor’s success. And, making that kind of assumption could cause you to waste precious budget dollars or follow a course of action that isn’t in line with your business objectives. If you strongly suspect corporate greening is giving your competitor an edge, do your own research and talk to your own customers. You may be surprised at what you learn.

In conclusion, green is good, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
Much more than a passing trend, the green movement represents the first step of a long-term, sustainable shift in consumer awareness and behavior that will eventually impact the way we all live and do business.

So, before making any course-altering decisions, we counsel our clients to first understand their motivations, ensuring that their intentions support big picture goals and that the costs are justified by the benefits, as well as true consumer behavior.

When your intent aligns with objectives and can be backed up by the numbers…you’re good to go full speed to green!

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