The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 22, 2011 • Issue 11:08:02
The green advantage
Words like "sustainability" and "eco-consciousness" are gaining acceptance in the business world. Today, many professionals refrain from printing out emails or throwing old paperwork into garbage cans. On the corporate level, recycling program s and green awareness campaigns are being implemented. But did you know this concern for the limits of our natural resources can be translated into successful marketing campaigns?
A company that institutes a green policy gains instant likeability, without having to promote itself as friendly and approachable. It can issue a press release heralding an internal recycling program or create a page on its website describing the steps the company has taken to green its business practices.
Having credibility is even better than having likeability; going green also serves that purpose. Many folks believe green businesses are forward thinking. By inference, such companies are where people want to work and where innovators and thought leaders gravitate to - the type of organizations other businesses want to be associated with.
Green enterprises gain other perceived attributes as well; they are often seen as sophisticated, culturally sensitive, technically and media savvy, globally focused, and socially conscious. Of course, beyond perception lies reality. Many financial advantages accrue from going green, from tax breaks to lower overhead costs. It also improves employee working conditions, which leads to healthier, more productive workers.
Economic studies have shown the bottom-line benefits to companies that employ green technologies and sell green products. For example, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. commissioned an environmental impact study in 2009 to determine the annual savings from a prepaid payroll card program to the company and the environment.
By not issuing paper checks to employees, the program saved 3,116 trees from being cut down, reduced the amount of paper Wal-Mart processed by 257,572 pounds and cut the company's gasoline usage by 277,523 gallons - facts that do not go unnoticed by consumers. So institute your own green policies and then tell the world about it. The result may be that ultimate win-win: saving the planet and growing your business at the same time.
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