Going Green Builds Business Value

A question beginning to come up early and often in my conversations with company CEO’s is “will going green build value in my company.”  Let me answer that with an emphatic YES.

A great place to begin your journey when considering green initiatives for your company is a visit with Ray Anderson of Interface, Inc.  Ray is the CEO of the modular floor tile manufacturing company Interface, Inc and the author of “Confessions of a Radical Industrialist.”  Now every marketplace behaves differently, but according to Anderson, his customer base started asking him “what his company was doing for the environment” in about 1994.  His answer then was ‘nothing’ but his answer now is much more compelling and get this, much more profitable.

Interface defines waste as “costs incurred that don’t add value to the customer.”  Anderson began moving Interface toward a “sustainability” business model that has among its benefits, the elimination of waste and a dividend of lower production costs.  Anderson and his team at Interface have defined “Eight Faces of the Mountain” and they are all geared toward sustainability and building enterprise value.  My favorite is the “6th face” which is the cultural shift or the new way of thinking which leads to furthering their sustainability objectives.

So if you are wondering if Going Green is worth the effort, remember it is just a matter of economics.  Watch this video on Ray Anderson, consider adding his book to your Christmas list, and review this list of ten suggestions to get you started.

  1. Make sure your workplace air quality is terrific – poor air quality contributes to absenteeism and that costs you money
  2. Buy re-manufactured or used stuff – everything from plant and equipment items to toner and paper
  3. Investigate your suppliers and validate that their manufacturing practices are aligned with your company values
  4. Consider a telecommuting program for you workforce – shrink you real estate footprint in any way you can
  5. Reduce your energy needs by turning off technology when not in use
  6. Explore energy saving programs provided by your utility provider
  7. Waste nothing – Recycle and Reuse
  8. Commit to going paperless throughout the company
  9. If you must make copies – use both sides
  10. Change the culture – get everyone in your company involved to generate innovative ideas

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