Go Green. Get Green.

Wed, Mar 4, 2009

7. Featured, a. Get Started

Welcome to Padosa.com, your Sustainability Portal. The volume of chatter on sustainability is huge, and like most things in life, that is sometimes good and sometimes bad. The effort to develop work practices that recognize the impact we have on our planet is a good thing. Yet there is so much information out there that it is confusing, and difficult for people to figure out where to begin implementing sustainability into their business.

This portal is written for business leaders and entrepreneurs like you, to help you take action and increase profit through sustainable initiatives. Our job is to make this process simple – to provide clear and objective advice on things you can implement today to save money, make money, and promote sustainable businesses and a sustainable planet. We have content to guide you, and a forum with experts to answer your questions.

We believe that people want to practice sustainability, but first and foremost they are concerned about the viability of their business. We believe that sustainability drives viability. How can a focus on sustainability improve your business?

  • Reduce your operating costs
  • Create opportunities to earn more revenue
  • Improve the work environment
  • Help you stay competitive

Save Money with a Focus on Removing Waste

Sustainable practices help to lower costs through a focus on reducing waste. You should start by reducing your energy costs. This is critical, as energy costs are rising rapidly and are projected to continue doing so. It is reasonable to target a decrease in energy savings of 15%. Start by calculating your energy costs for the past year, and determine what you need to do to lower those costs by 15%.

Some companies have opportunities to save even more money by reducing the cost of the items that go into making their product. This process – known as supply chain management – presents some significant opportunity depending on company size. This would involve reducing the amount of packaging used, transitioning from petroleum based supplies to recycled supplies, managing logistics (tucking, warehousing, order fulfillment), and reducing shipping costs. (Note that all these elements are somehow effected by the price of fuel.)

Earn More Money with new Opportunity

Companies start with sustainability to save money. They stay with it to make money. If you use sustainability as a strategy for driving your business you will find new opportunities and new markets.

You can find new markets by taking your existing product or service, and making it greener. This means looking for legitimate ways to lower the carbon footprint of your services. Recognize that lots of companies talk about doing this but very few do it in a meaningful way. If you find a meaningful way to sell a product that is truly green – meaning it has a lower carbon footprint then a competitive product – you can open yourself to a market of people who are willing to pay up to 20% more for a green product.

There are many opportunities to come up with product ideas that leverage green processes. Method Home and Terracycle provide excellent examples of what this means.

Another option is to continue selling the same products and services, but do so with a green business. This will allow you to differentiate your business and tell a good story about what you do. For example, if you are a retailer, you could promote sustainability by retailing in a way that demonstrates your commitment to energy efficiency, recycling, green purchasing, etc.

Make For A Better Work Environment

Plenty of data suggests that companies that support sustainability have higher morale, and are able to use this as a tool for recruiting talent. We are sometimes skeptical about this type of survey data, but the premise is sound – working for a company with positive value feels good. If a company can pursue a common goal that employees buy into – the process of achieving that goal will improve teamwork. According to SHRM Green Workplace Survey, companies that implement environmental responsibility programs cited 44% improvement in employee morale and 16% increase in employee loyalty.

Interested in learning more about this topic? Email us and let us know what more you’d like to learn. Or, post a question in our forum.

Thank you for joining Padosa.com. We look forward to ‘chatting’ with you!

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