Posted: April 8th, 2010 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Environmental Communications, Green Marketing, Greening Your Business, Sustainability | Tags: Branding, Green Marketing, Greening Your Business, Sustainability | No Comments »
For many years, the green initiative seemed like another lofty ideal with baseless roots that an occasional environmental do-gooder embraced viagra price. Gradually environmental leaders shared information and launched constructive programs that added weight to the movement . When green certification programs were added to the mix, a formula for success had a base cialis.
At first, the idea of increased profits and decreased overhead for these green businesses had no form viagra online. Gradually, certified green businesses began to realize there were economic, social, environmental and productivity reasons to adapt the green standard and pursue green certification viagra. Then, low and behold, going green became profitable cialis. With profitability, green business certification became appealing to diverse businesses of all types, shapes and sizes.
Buoyed by the prospect of increased productivity, lifted by a responsible environmental position and while discovering new-found profit centers, businesses have swarmed to the green movement. These businesses engage the conversion in three stages:
- Adapt to environmentally conscious initiatives
- Innovate and implement green applications throughout the workplace
- Transform operations to further the sustainable movement
To succeed, the transition will require guidance, oversight and input. Once launched, co-workers, employees, subcontractors and suppliers will need to get on board. Business managers have been surprised by the positive, enthusiastic response of workers and, just as importantly, consumers.
Some consumers have become skeptical of businesses that falsely claim green operations. The first step in the company’s green awareness program is to set a course that attains green certification. Employees and consumers will respect and endorse the commitment.
The second step is complete implementation of the policies within the framework of the green certification. Part of that implementation includes building a green marketing program. Within the fulfillment of this green certification program lays an expanded customer base and dramatically expanded sales.
Think of it this way; going green increases productivity and reduces operating costs while green marketing expands the customer base and opens new doors for services and products.
Building A Green Marketing Plan
Be creative, be goal oriented and be consistent. Let your green certification show the way. Statistics bear out that consumers respond favorably to businesses that are green certified and who stand behind the commitment.
The company’s green certification is testimony to your verified commitment to a healthier planet, a more positive work environment and a clean, safe and conscientious product line. For businesses that abide by their green certification, there is a new world of opportunity ahead.
Marketing By Example
The key to opening that new world of opportunity is to get word of the company’s green transformation on the table and visible. Of course, the marketing plan will reflect this new green commitment, so minimize the paperwork. Start learning to market via new technology and with presentation discs. Every aspect of a green marketing plan should be an exemplary demonstration of green awareness.
Even as a certified green business, consumers may be skeptical. While consumers want to utilize green products and green services, they have been misled before. It is imperative that newly certified green businesses quickly establish themselves as role models and deliver that message loud and clear. This is not a piecemeal, work-in-progress, rather it is a profitable business strategy
This is an aspect of the marketing plan that can go public. Unlike other marketing concepts, with a little bit of initiative, constant monitoring and creative applications, this “green model” marketing approach can gain immediate and resounding support on both local, provincial/state and national levels.
Take Green Marketing Public
Going green means analyzing every aspect of the business. It may involve tough decisions and may mean changing suppliers, providers, re-packaging, changes to the workplace, developing new distribution methods and a hoist of other projects. What green certified companies soon discover is that employees and customers are watching. These participants want the green movement to succeed. They will constantly be a source of innovative ideas.
As part of the company’s green marketing strategy, encourage this form of participation. Develop a web log where new green ideas are shared, discussed and advanced. If the idea works, implement it. Give green credit where green credit is due.
If a viable green suggestion is implemented, reward the originator. Develop a press release and drive the message to the public. Make your green certification a public matter and publicly celebrate advances. The marketing strategy will always welcome new members to their green team.
Local, provincial/state and national communities as well as all forms of media are listening and constantly discussing exciting new green developments. For valuable free publicity, green marketers maintain an ongoing presence with all these entities, every one of which wants the company’s story.
Green Marketers Make Changes
Achieving green certification is just the beginning. Businesses look inward first and outward second. Consumers notice everything, but they need to be reminded and re-assured. Green marketing develops strategies that constantly caress and sometimes insist on compliance. This tough love strategy is a measure of the company’s commitment. In the long run, it will be remembered and, even more importantly, admired.
Change everything that is not sustainable. Include a green message in the company’s new slogan. Minimize paper usage, maximize recycling, only use green products and offer green education internally and externally. Let the public know that the business is a ready willing and able green citizen.
Pursue Green Business
Green marketers are aware of new green development and new green programs. Green marketers keep their green certification and green initiatives in front of government agencies. Just like Rome, green businesses are not built in a day. But, they do not expand in a cocoon.
By publicizing the company’s green improvements and maintaining the green business certification, the marketing department is opening the door to a whole host of opportunities.
As Ray Cassella said in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” The marketing strategy of the certified green business knows that, but realizes that delivering the message is as important as delivering the green goods. Yes, if you build it they will come, but if you live it, breathe it and exemplify it, they will come in droves. Sounds better doesn’t it?
Posted: April 1st, 2010 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Environment, Environmental Communications, Greening Your Business | Tags: Green Blog | No Comments »
There are over 6,000 blogs related to the environment on Technorati, and countless more news feeds, and webzines.. There are hundreds of high-quality, well-written green blogs, so it’s very difficult to limit the list to just 15. This list seeks to balance depth with breadth and rankings popularity with diversity. These blogs represent many different topics, from general interest to news to lifestyle to tech.
1. Treehugger - Launched in 2004 by serial entrepreneur and designer Graham Hill, Treehugger defined a new online green space and quickly ascended to the ranks of the web’s top blogs. With radio, forums, video, television, its own social bookmarking network, and more than 30,000 posts, Treehugger is a comprehensive resource for sustainable modern living. Treehugger publishes posts by over 30 writers around the world updating 24/7. Discovery recently bought Treehugger and the site is now partnered to Planet Green. It’s not hard to see why: with over 2 million unique visitors per month and a Technorati rank of 19, Treehugger is by far the biggest green blog online today. The content is focused on green news, products, and events.
2. The Daily Green – Though technically an online newspaper, The Daily Green is loaded with blogs, videos, community features, and plenty of helpful guides that is quite comprehensive. It’s more consumer-focused than Treehugger. Readers will find everything from information about going green to the “Weird Weather Watch” to breaking news and consumer health advice. Well-known environmental journalist and activist Brian C. Howard is an editor of “the consumer’s guide to the green revolution”.
3. Huffington Post Green – The new green section of HuffPo is already a go-to resource for reading the latest news and views from leading environmentalists (Graham Hill drops by, among many notables). HuffPo is known for editorializing in a liberal direction, and the new Green section is no exception. The content is a mix of news, op-eds and more sensational stories. Huffington Post is the #1 blog in the world, according to Technorati.
4. Green Options – The Bay Area-based Green Options blog is unique in that it is a green network of blogs. The site features 15 blogs ranging from news to politics to technology to food to business to crafting. The main page is a good “one stop shop” general resource that displays content from each sub site. Green Options Media was created to reach light green, newly-conscious consumers with practical tips and accessible news and views. Founded in early 2007.
5. Green Daily - Part of Weblogs, Inc.’s DIY Life channel, Green Daily offers timely news and product stories and reviews. As with all Weblogs, Inc. properties and the other blogs in the channel, the site is a high-volume publication compiled by numerous freelance writers. Green Daily covers news, products, gadgets, technology, politics and celebrities.
6. World Changing – Calling itself a solutions-based online magazine, World Changing is a collaborative blog dedicated to helping people change their thinking. The official mission statement reads: “World Changing was founded on the idea that real solutions already exist for building the future we want. it’s just a matter of grabbing hold and getting moving.” Featuring original content in categories like Stuff, Shelter, Cities, Community, Business, Politics and Planet, the site focuses on positive, innovative green developments, stories and events.
7. Inhabitat - Launched by architecture student, green consultant and designer Jill Fehrenbacher in Spring 2005, Inhabitat focuses on “future forward design for the world you inhabit”. Topics include innovative materials, future-thinking design concepts, architecture, technology, sustainable style and more.
8. Environmental Graffiti – The home of “seriously awesome environmental news” doesn’t take itself too seriously. Focusing on the bizarre, odd, unusual, funny, cutting-edge and unexpected, Environmental Graffiti delivers a well-written mix of news, analysis and innovations with a wry edge much like Ecoble. The site was launched in May 2007 by lawyer turned “graffiti artist” Chris Ingham Brooke.
9. EcoGeek - Veteran eco blogger Hank Green founded and runs the EcoGeek blog (which now has several green sister sites). Green is a prominent member of the social media community, is often seen on Planet Green, and has written for numerous publications. The team at EcoGeek blogs about all things green and geeky: from sustainable technology to amazing green gadgets to future design.
10. Green Business Bureau – The GBB blog and news section covers a variety of green topics such as green business certification, green technology, green marketing, green products, green regulations, and various “how to’s” on going green to save money.
11. Grist - Veteran eco blogger Hank Green founded and runs the EcoGeek blog (which now has several green sister sites). Green is a prominent member of the social media community, is often seen on Planet Green, and has written for numerous publications. The team at EcoGeek blogs about all things green and geeky: from sustainable technology to amazing green gadgets to future design.
12. Ecorazzi - Ecorazzi is the Perez Hilton of green. The definitive eco gossip site hilariously (and ruthlessly) mocks celebrities as they attempt to gain green cred, and calls out the greenwash wherever it occurs. Praise is also given to celebrities who genuinely contribute to and promote green issues.
13. Eco Tech Daily – Eco Tech Daily and Lighter Footstep (#21) are sister sites. Chris Baskind’s daily wrap-up of the latest in sustainable technology and green developments is a handy morning read for anyone interested in keeping up on the very latest and breaking in green news, especially sustainable energy and green tech.
14. Mother Nature Network – MNN is a resource and an everyone’s eco-guide offering original programs, articles, blogs, videos, and how-to guides along with breaking news stories.
15. Hippyshopper - Hippershopper, produced by Shiny Media, is similar to other green product review blogs. However, this “guide to ethical consumerism” is a Nigel’s green web award winner. Everything from fashion to gadgets to food and drink is reviewed at this upbeat, informative blog.
Source: Green Business Bureau
Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Advertising | Tags: Advertising, Green Ideas | No Comments »
A very popular show in Canada, the Dragon’s Den, is looking for the next great “green” invention – or “Greenvention”
For this season, the Dragons’ Den is teaming up with Frito Lay Canada’s SunChips to look for Canada’s best Greenvention. Eco-preneurs can pitch their green inventions at local auditions or online until Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day), for a chance to win $100,000.
What’s a Greenvention? Well, it’s an eco-friendly idea that makes a big difference in the world. SunChips recently introduced their Greenvention: the world’s first compostable chip bag. And now, CBC’s Dragons’ Den has teamed up with SunChips to search for the best Greenvention.
Every entry must submit a video for public discussion on the Dragons’ Den website.
For more details, please visit www.sunchips.ca or www.cbc.ca/dragonsden.
Posted: March 16th, 2010 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Greening Your Business | Tags: Green Marketing, Greening Your Business, Sustainability | No Comments »
During the past several years, the word “green” has taken on new meaning and usage as it has quickly entered the business vernacular in its many forms.
What was once strictly an adjective has quickly evolved into a noun and verb as we use green to describe everything from household products to office buildings to the process of becoming more environmentally responsible.
What does it mean to design and operate a business in the era of green?
To that end, executives from the real estate, legal, technology and design services industries joined together for “The Green Symposium; Your office in the Era of Green.” The event was hosted by Howard Ecker + Company and panelists from Gensler, Workplace2go, Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, LLP and Ecker Green headed up a focused discussion on new ways to think about locating, planning and tech-ing, and living in office environments in the era of green.
According to one of the panelists, the following is her take the key takeaways from the discussion:
1. The time is now for companies to start thinking about sustainable practices. It isn’t something we are going to see coming in the future. It is already happening.
2. Businesses that align their practices with core values, such as sustainability, are often better positioned to recruit and retain employees. 58 percent of people working in office environments are under the age of 44 (bureau of labor statistics), placing them in the Millennial and Gen X demographic categories. A business’s sustainability practices are increasingly important to people within this age group.
3. Energy aware real estate strategies, space selection and efficient design can cut energy costs and increase work productivity and employee retention.
4. Reducing total energy use by 40 percent (average Energy Star Building reduction) would net savings of $1 a day per employee.
5. While LEED-certified buildings are designed to perform based on a set of prescriptive data, it’s how you live and occupy the space after the building is built that will ultimately decide the buildings performance. How you live and occupy your space also defines and demonstrates your commitment to the environment and the health of your organization.
6. Computers are proliferating and it appears growth will continue to be exponential. Computers use a great deal of power and disposal is a big problem. Server consolidation or cloud computing will reduce a company’s carbon footprint and save a lot of money.
7. Employees are often looking for a better work/life balance and telecommuting accomplishes this objective and at the same time improves productivity and the bottom line.
8. Avoid seeking the elusive environmental “silver bullet.” It doesn’t exist. It’s essential to look out for opportunities to use less. If an asset doesn’t improve customer service or productivity, get rid of it.
9. Design performance is all about beginning to research strategies on how to measure from four primary drivers: emotional, cultural, economic and environmental. The most important thing to do is to develop an understanding of space utilization and design accordingly.
10. The regulatory environment surrounding green building will change drastically in the next year or two, from a market-driven, locally-regulated environment, to a mandated, federally-regulated one.
11. Cities and counties, armed with federal funding and resources, are adopting climate change plans and regulations and are not waiting for federal direction, but are moving forward with a wide variety of programs and regulations.
12. Developers and building owners who are considering green construction practices or retrofit projects now will be ahead of this regulatory curve.
Source: Carrie Langford
Posted: March 12th, 2010 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Advertising, Green Marketing | Tags: Advertising, Branding, Green Marketing | No Comments »
Conventional wisdom might dictate that in these tough economic times, going green is a luxury to be avoided.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
While sustainability may have once been viewed as a frivolous “niche” venture, numerous surveys and studies show that pursuing sustainability is an increasingly intelligent strategy, potentially leading to greater efficiency and more powerful brands. This, of course, leads to greater fiscal rewards.
Greening your business is essential if you want to keep up with changing demographics. With anxieties about climate change and the future of the environment constantly on the media’s radar, sustainability and green living are now mainstream concerns. This means that the economic climate, once dominated by a cavalier lack of concern for the environment, must shift to keep pace. As consumers become increasingly concerned with the ethical ramifications of purchasing decisions, brands that reflect and respond to these concerns will reap the benefits on the bottom line.
Not only consumer relations, but also business-to-business relations are increasingly speaking the language of sustainability. As the profile and profitability of green branding rises in the marketplace, green businesses stand to benefit by establishing brand synergy with like-minded partners and associates.
The economic climate is, at the moment, rather arid. But one sure way to ensure that your brand can face the challenges that lie ahead is to incorporate sustainability and green thinking into your business model.
Posted: November 11th, 2009 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Green Service, Leaders of Sustainability | Tags: Environment, Environmental Birthday Parties, Event Greening, Interview, Leaders of Sustainability | No Comments »
November 11, 2011 . The eleventh installment in our on-going Leaders of Sustainability series of interviews with executives and entrepreneurs of sustainability-minded business is with Debbie Zinman and Alison Smith, Co-Founders of ECHOage. ECHOage was created to help concerned parents turn their child’s birthday party into an environmentally respectful and socially mindful celebration.
As always, our hope is that entrepreneurs and business leaders of sustainability-focused businesses will find this series helpful and instructive in growing their businesses and dealing with both the challenges and opportunities facing small business trying to make a profit at the same time reducing their impact on the environment.
I spoke to Debbie and Alison from their offices located in Toronto, Ontario.
Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. Before we delve into ECHOage, can each of you please tell us a little bit more about yourself and your career prior to co-founding ECHOage?
Debbie: Sure. I am a high school teacher by training and I have a background in social science research. I am familiar with mothers and their specific needs and desires because I had the pleasure of co-running the Moms2B Seminars which caters to the specific needs of women pregnant with their first child.
Alison: My background is in marketing and communication, which I did exclusively for a number of years before starting my own business in children’s clothing and furniture.
Justin: At what point did the two of you have that “a-ha” moment and decide to come together and create ECHOage?
Debbie: It’s an interesting story.
Since Alison and I have children that are around the same ages, we often found ourselves attending the same events. One afternoon, while attending a child’s music class, we started talking and a friendship began.
A few months later, my daughter and I were attending a birthday party for Alison’s son. As children arrived at the party, Alison and I noticed the same thing. They were not involved in the process of giving the gift; it was actually the parent handing the gift to the parent that was hosting the party. It wasn’t a child focused activity. Just as significant was that, after the party, there wasn’t an interest or a focus on the gifts either.
As Alison and I attended more children’s birthday parties over the coming month, we noticed the same thing over and over again. The process of giving and receiving birthday gifts was an activity more centered on the adult than the child. We also quickly realized that so much of the meaning, the purpose, of gift giving at a child’s party had been lost; children were simply not enjoying it as much as they should, and that the excitement rarely lasted longer than it took for a child to open a gift.
We thought the gift giving, and receiving, experience could be greatly improved for everyone involved. We realized that there could be something done for parents, for the environment, for children, and for charity, if the ritual of bringing gifts to birthday parties was altered slightly. It was at this point we had our “a-ha” moment, and dedicated ourselves to building something that would really make a difference in people’s life.
Justin: Now, ECHOage is an online service that makes children’s birthday parties more environmentally friendly. Can you please tell us how ECHOage works?
Debbie: Absolutely. To begin with, with ECHOage, you do not send out any paper invitations – everything is done online. Next, as a guest of an ECHOage party, your gift to the child is done on-line through our website. This avoids all of the greenhouse gas emission associated with driving to the store and purchasing not only the gift, but also all of the wrapping and packaging that usually goes along with it. It’s easy to imagine how all of this can add up, especially when you consider that many kids’ parties have 20 or more children attending.
Justin: Now, with the money that is collected, I understand that half is used by the child to purchase one gift, and the other half is used for a charitable donation. Can you please tell us a little bit more how this works?
Debbie: Sure, I would love to. The money that is contributed by those attending the child’s birthday party is pooled on our website, and then distributed. So, half of the money is going to buy one meaningful gift for the birthday child which will be selected by the birthday boy or girl.
And the other half is going to a charity of the child’s choice. So, what we do at ECHOage is to facilitate the whole process.
It’s exciting to see that children are buying something that they were dreaming of having, that they wouldn’t necessarily have been able to afford, and something that they truly desire. And now it’s memorable because it came from all of their friends. The other half of the funds is donated by ECHOage to the charity that the child has chosen, and the host parent receives a tax receipt for that donation. We’ve partnered with charities in the United States and in Canada that directly improve the lives of children. So, in Canada, the charities that we support are: Evergreen, Free The Children, Children’s Miracle Network, World Wild Life Fund, Eco Kids, Autisms Speaks, Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, Girls Inc., Kids Believe In SickKids, Camp Oochigeas, and Second Harvest
Justin: What kind of feedback are you getting from the children and parents that have participated in an ECHOage birthday party?
Alison: We have received a lot of comments from parents saying how ECHOage has really made it easy for them to demonstrate to their children, in a meaningful and tangible way, that their actions can have a real, positive impact not only on the environment, but also on the life of a child in need.
We’ve been told that ECHOage offers a fun, convenient and exciting way for children to get involved. It can be difficult to talk to our kids about other children that are in need, or of the importance to support worthy causes. Parents have told us that they found ECHOage, and the information that we have about each charity on our website, a real “door opener” for that conversation with their child.
Debbie: I’d like to add a few comments to what Alison just said.
The heart and soul of ECHOage is the magical combination of bringing meaning to a party, giving a child an educational experience that is real, and giving them a hands-on opportunity to help other children, and the planet, all at the same time.
Children today are more and more knowledgeable about the environment, and the impact humans are having on our planet. A child attending a traditional birthday party understands that all of the wrapping, packaging and waste are going straight to a landfill, and it is wasteful.
We’ve received many comments from children who have told us how proud they were to have a birthday party that was not wasteful, didn’t harm the environment, and gave them an opportunity to give something to a child in-need. Alison and I also strongly believe that if children do something that is charitable or environmental or giving or selfless at a young age, they are more likely to repeat this behaviour when they are older.
Justin: ECHOage is now active in both Canada and the US. What’s been your strategy for growing your small business?
Alison: We’ve discovered that when parents, particularly mothers, discover something that they think is meaningful and can improve the lives of their children, they are very passionate about telling others.
Supporting and encouraging this “word of mouth” component is really what has been most successful for us. The whole experience of a birthday is a ritual in our society, and mothers like to talk about it, and mothers like to share good experiences with others. Our strategy is very much one of supporting communication at the “grass roots” level, which has proved very effective for many reasons, particularly because we believe that ECHOage is an idea that’s time has arrived.
Justin: As two successful entrepreneurs, what advice could you pass along to someone just starting out?
Alison: First of all, I don’t think you can ever have too much information. There is a world of information available at your fingertips and entrepreneurs today need to make sure they thoroughly research their market, competitors, and have a strong understanding of all of the on-line resources that can help them succeed.
Secondly, and I think that this is really the best piece of advice that I have ever received, really trust your instincts and develop a small circle of advisers around you that you trust and whose opinion you value.
Debbie: I agree completely with what Alison has said. I’d just like to add that, as long as what you are pursuing brings meaning and enrichment to other peoples’ lives, you are probably on to the right track. Success then depends upon execution, and being able to focus on a wide variety of different tasks and not get overwhelmed. We are excited, and love what we do, which helps us with all of the challenges that entrepreneurs must overcome.
Justin: Today, ethical consumption remains a small percentage of all goods and services consumed in Western countries. Do you think we will see a dramatic movement by consumers towards ethical consumption over the next 10 years? What do you consider to be the keys to making ethical consumption the “default” selection amongst mainstream consumers?
Debbie: The first thing that comes to my mind is the importance of rewarding those who make ethical consumption decisions. When a child contributes to an ECHOage party, we send them an award that thanks them for helping to protect the environment. It is something worth rewarding, and we want to reinforce that behavior. I think you could apply this type of thinking in many different areas.
I think we also need to address the incorrect assumption that it always costs more to do something ethical, or to buy a product that is considered “green”. This is one of the first things we considered when we built ECHOage. Having an ECHOage party is not going to cost you more, it’s going to cost you less to go green, and charities will benefit as well.
Justin: What keeps the two of you motivated and driven during those difficult and challenging times that every entrepreneur faces?
Alison: For me, I would say that ECHOage has been such an intense labor of love for me and for Debbie. We wake up excited each day, anxious to work on ECHOage and bring it to as many people as possible.
It’s about finding something in your life that has real meaning to you. We all know that creating a business and being an entrepreneur has significant challenges that can consume almost every hour of every day. We’ve placed an emphasis on taking the time to celebrate our successes, and analyzing together when we could have done things a little bit better.
But what’s most important is to work on something that is meaningful to you, work on something that you are passionate about, work on something that you want to talk about and share. Building a business is a tough thing to do. If you are passionate about, and love the experience, it’s not tough – it’s a pleasure.
Debbie: We also help each other stay motivated. It’s critically important that you not only like the people you work with, but also that you trust and respect them. I am always anxious to hear Alison’s ideas, and enlist her help in addressing whatever challenges I face. We get along so well, and when we have hurdles to overcome, we work well together.
Our greatest motivation comes from taking a step back and appreciating the impact we are having on the world around us through ECHOage. We put out a press release for Earth Day this year about the impacts ECHOage has had. We determined that approximately 50,000 packages (along with all of the wrapping paper, cards and ribbons) have been averted from landfill, and that the emissions from 50,000 trips to the toy store have been avoided. When we realize that we are able to have this kind of impact on our environment and society, we really become energized to tackle the next challenge or opportunity.
Justin: That you Debbie and Alison for taking the time to speak with us today.
Alison: It’s been great to speak with you.
Justin: If our readers are interested in learning more about ECHOage, what should they do?
Debbie – Thanks Justin, it’s been fun. The best place to learn more about our company and its services is our website at www.echoage.com
Debbie Zinman & Alison Smith of ECHOage
Posted: September 8th, 2009 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Interview, Leaders of Sustainability, Retail, Uncategorized | Tags: ECOBAGS, Fashion, Interview, Leaders of Sustainability, Sharon Rowe | No Comments »
The tenth installment in our on-going Leaders of Sustainability series of interviews with executives and entrepreneurs of sustainability-minded business is with Ellen Ornato, VP Strategic Marketing & Fun for ECOBAGS. ECOBAGS is the pioneering firm that introduced reusable bags to U.S. consumers 20 years ago. Today, they manufacture and distribute a complete line of reusable bags using natural and certified organic cotton, recycled cotton and hemp/cotton blends and sell a wide array of reusable products produced in fair wage/fair labor facilities. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 27th, 2009 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Sustainability | Tags: small business, Sustainability | No Comments »
Last week I attended the University of British Columbia’s Summer Institute in Sustainability.
I was featured as a guest blogger on Retail Prophet where I wrote about my experiences, hoping to inspire, motivate and encourage others to look at sustainability as the best way to create value for their business.
Below you will find the title for each of the 5 articles, as well as a link to the full post (The first article can also be found on my blog).
Day 1 – Sustainability: The Big Difference Small Business Can Make
Day 2 – Sustainability is the Business Challenge for the 21st Century
Day 3 – Does Sustainability need its own Marlboro Man?
Day 4- Sustainability: Business Case be Damned
Day 5- Three Big Ideas for Business Sustainability
Posted: July 20th, 2009 | Author: Justin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
It’s not often that we have the opportunity to be removed from our daily routine, and instead, find ourselves immersed in a topic that we are passionate about and believe to be of historic importance. For me, this week is one of those very rare times indeed.
Over the next week, I will be attending the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Summer Institute in Sustainability being held at the Point Gray campus in Vancouver, British Columbia. This innovative program is part of The Continuing Studies Centre for Sustainability (CFS) at UBC, and is one of several programs focused on sustainability that the university offers.
Over the next five days, I will be sharing my thoughts, views and observations on what I have learned while attending this program, and hopefully provide a few insights of my own that will be of benefit to you and your business.
As I drove from my house in White Rock, B.C. into Vancouver towards the beautiful UBC campus, I found myself wondering – “just who exactly attends a full week dedicated to Sustainability”. So let’s start there for my first post of the week.
As it turns out, and not surprisingly, the issue of sustainability is of keen interest to a rather broad cross section of people. As I look across the room, many colleges, universities and various institutions of “higher learning” are well represented. We have participants from various levels of government, as well as some people that work for crown corporations (quasi government organizations that operate with varying levels of independence).
Big business is represented, and we have a fair number of advisors and sustainability consultants (including yours truly) that are participating in the activities this week. However, one group that I do not see adequately represented is small business. This is not surprising of course – as I am sure you will agree.
There are very few many small business owners that have the luxury of removing themselves from the “front-line” to attend a week long course on sustainability. However, the sad truth is that we can ill afford as a society not to have this critically important group actively engaged on this topic.
In many places across the globe, it is the small business owner that is the engine for economic prosperity. In British Columbia, nearly 6 out of every 10 individuals in the private sector are either self employed or are employed by a small business (those that employ 49 employees or fewer). And of the 378,700 companies operating in British Columbia, just 8,100 (or 2%) have 50 employees or more.
How can we hope to make meaningful progress on such an important issue unless we have active participation from small business leaders? Maybe that’s the job of consultant like myself and the others that are attending this week’s program. Maybe we need tailored programs that meet the unique needs (and time requirements) of small business leaders and entrepreneurs. Or maybe the small business community has not been convinced of the business case for sustainability (something I will write about later on in the week).
I don’t know the answer, but I do know that it’s a question (among many, many others) that must be solved in rather short order.
Tomorrow, I will be writing about why so many of us struggle with defining Sustainability in a way that everyone can understand (and why it’s so important to do so). However,I am guest blogging this week for Retail Prophet – so please visit their blog to read the rest of this weeks posts.
Posted: June 9th, 2009 | Author: Justin | Filed under: GHG Management, Interview, Leaders of Sustainability | Tags: Carbon Offsets, GHG Management, Interview, Leaders of Sustainability, Sustainability Consultant | No Comments »
The ninth installment in our on-going Leaders of Sustainability series of interviews with executives and entrepreneurs of sustainability-minded business is with Tom Johnson, Partner and VP, GHG Management Solutions with ClimateCHECK. ClimateCHECK provides green house gas (GHG) measurement and management services to a wide spectrum of clients, including those in the energy, clean technology, IT (Information Technology), non-profit sectors, as well as academic institutions. Read the rest of this entry »