I strongly encourage your organization to adopt a direction towards sustainability. This is not a political statement but one that reflects the reality of the times. Of course, there needs to be authenticity. Just saying you are sustainable by your attempts to recycle is not sufficient. If there is not sincerity in the actions your company takes, customers will see this for what it is: an attempt to take advantage of the latest fad. By the same token, you do not need to be perfect. This is a new direction for mainstream businesses, and there will be mistakes and false starts. The payoff for attempting to create a net zero environmental impact is worth it.
For example, a client of ours recently installed solar panels on its roof. The electricity generated will not be much—maybe enough to power their offices. They are in the Midwest, after all, which is known for long overcast winters. These solar panels, however, look impressive and have great buzz value. Supporting the solar industry also creates a feel-good value for the company. Five years ago, solar panels were not recommended for Chicago, but now, after dramatic improvements in price and function, they make sense. The panels will pay themselves off in ten years.
Make this year your “green” year. Consider your options in manufacturing, packaging, and recycling products. Think about the savings you can achieve from a green facility. Research government grants and funding available for sustainability initiatives. Look to see where, by cutting costs and differentiating your products, you can make green from green. When your customers see the value that your environmental actions have for them and their world, they will embrace your company with new vigor.