When I hear the term “going green,” these days, it seems a bit campy. And that’s a good thing. Green has moved past the realm of recycling and into the C-Suite’s psyche. Smart companies realize there’s no magical point where all the check boxes are filled and a company suddenly becomes “green.” It’s a roadmap that needs to be developed, nurtured, and sustained for the long haul. So what are some of the compelling reasons to for pushing a green agenda this Earth Day?
Efficiency Equals Cost Savings
One of the best ways to upsell green benefits is to frame the discussion around efficiency. From processes and supply chain tweaks, to resource utilization and facilities management, there’s plenty of areas to find the low hanging fruit that can be optimized or eliminated to create savings. Watch for this area to explode in 2014 as more businesses become aware of energy costs and buildings and office environments become better equipped to monitor and report usage. An added bonus for efficiency evangelists is the consumerization of smarter infrastructure. Companies like Tesla and Nest have brought clean energy and smart technologies into the American household. It’s just a matter of time before that infiltrates offices everywhere.
Push The Paperless Mentality
If there’s a no-brainer initiative, it’s going paperless. With today’s technology, you’ve run out of excuses for not doing it. Paperless projects usually end up being much larger than companies anticipate. That’s because once things are digitized, there’s an organizational epiphany that occurs. One department is suddenly efficient, better organized, and less dependent on paper. Why aren’t we all doing this? Exactly. If you’ve ever needed a reason to reduce paper, use this Earth Day to build the business case. Get with a vendor that can help you analyze which processes are best suited for a digital upgrade. Less paper is so
Recruitment and Retention
The lifeblood of your company is your people. Use your green commitments as a recruiting tool. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that has a conscience? The key is to market your sustainability roadmap as well as you market your products and services. A business needs to show how green practices are baked into its service and delivery model. It’s not so much the why, but the how. Get good at explaining the how.
New Business Opportunities
Lucky businesses or entrepreneurs probably weren’t lucky at all. They made their own breaks. In other words, they saw opportunities that were out of sight to competitors. Companies that adopt green practices have the same opportunity. Every industry is being reshaped by the need to mitigate risk. Whether it’s climate change, resource scarcity, or energy costs, organizations that understand what it means to be resilient will be the ones to uncover new business opportunities. When a company becomes so good at managing a resource, (i.e. waste) there’s probably others willing to pay for that expertise. This Earth Day, make it a point to scrutinize your company’s sustainability plan. There’s a good chance you might uncover opportunities to expand a business line of service offering.