"While most observers concur that businesses have social responsibilities, considerably fewer
are in agreement as to the nature of these responsibilities."
~ Sandra L. Holmes

Balancing Business With the Environment

This may come as a shock to you but a lot of people in the environmental community don't like you!

It's true, as a business leader, they're convinced you're what's wrong with this country. I have heard environmentalists say all businesses need to be eliminated. a friend with a PhD in Environmental Studies told me "All businesses need to go into the red to be green even if it destroys them!" (no, I'm not making this up)

Now, rational or irrational as this may be. These same people are your customers. They buy from you then go complain to their friends because they did so.

It's an odd time to be in business. The community demands more of us in the way of productivity and jobs then wish us out of business on a large scale. The nuances of environmental awareness at the business level are complex at best.

That's why I am certified in "Sustainable Resource Management" it's why members of the UNTeam are actual creators of current business environmental programs. These are the people who designed the Zero Waste Standards (more on that in a minute)

The reality is that becoming an eco-friendly business has a lot of advantages. The first step is to reduce waste. If you can cut your paper budget in half, you not only get bragging rights to being more environmentally conscious, you also get to save on that annual paper budget.


But Wait, there's More...

The key to being an eco-friendly business lies in the "Three Ps" - People, Profit, Planet

People - There was a time when labor was easily replaced. Now more than ever, retaining talented people is a critical part of your business and engaging your employees in your environmental conservation strategy not only gets the job done better but makes them feel more involved and more committed to supporting you and your business.

Profits - When it comes to environmental concerns, so many don't understand that a business can't succeed if they don't make money but we do. After all, we're in business to make money first. Jobs happen to exist because there is work to be done and customers to care for. Still, there are two parts to creating profit.

  • Sales - sales generate income to the business. Most of the sales dollar goes to provide the service and/or product to the customer. What is left over is 'profit'
  • Expenses - The more we cut expenses, the better the profit. If you're on a 40% profit margin and you make a $1000 sale, you made $400. If you cut costs by $1000 per month, you will profit by $1000 every month for as long as you're in business.
Note: Statistically, paper represents 90% of business waste. You want to make more money, look at your paper consumption. The funny thing is the more you do to reduce waste, the more money you make and the more eco-friendly your business becomes. The reality is you should NEVER go into the red to be green!

Planet - If your business doesn't protect natural resources, the time may come when you have no market. the 3P's of an Eco-Friendly business are designed to keep your business profitable for many years to come. It's more than that. By thinking in the long term at the environmental level, you happen to be thinking about the long term growth of your company and that's always a good thing.

Did you know Nintendo was a 100 year old playing card company when they took a risk and started selling a video game machine?

Being Eco-Friendly - Taking a look at your organization, you may be surprised at things you're already doing that make you a "Green" company! You may also be surprised at some of the small changes you can make that can make a deeper impact on saving natural resources.

We are committed enough to helping businesses make the change, we designed and built the program. An inexpensive resource designed to give businesses an opportunity to do a self evaluation and place a seal on their site indicating they are making the change to a more eco-friendly company.

Zero Waste - This is the golden ticket, the ultimate goal of the eco-friendly business but while Zero is the goal, Zero Waste companies are those who are diverting at least 90% of their waste away from the landfill. Businesses like Subaru, Ricoh, Xerox and Pillsbury are all Zero Waste. Interesting note, Ricoh requires their contractors to be eco-friendly too.

While Zero Waste is the ultimate goal, it's better to walk before you run but it's good to know that Zero or darn close to it is a possibility.

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