“Going Green” is everywhere. Beyond being a buzzword, what does it mean? More importantly, what’s the payoff for being “Green”?
“Green” usually means conducting business in a manner that reflects a substantial commitment to environmental sustainability. How this is accomplished will vary by industry. For example, in the commercial furniture business it means selling products that are made from renewable and recycled resources. It also means reducing packaging and delivery resources. In regard to “payoffs”, currently there are no national monetary incentives for going green. There are some local initiatives to offer tax incentives to firms who meet some standards such as the US Green Building Council’s LEED program.
In the absence of a quantifiable financial payback why bother at all? What are the advantages of “going green”?
1. It’s not going away. Green is a color that is being deeply woven into the fabric of American business. Soon, it will be as ubiquitous as just-in-time inventories, email communications and overnight package deliveries. Learn about it now, start implementing and get ahead of the curve.
2. It’s the right thing to do. Let’s face it. We know the planet is in trouble, and every incremental effort to improve our environmental situation is worthwhile. Since “Earth Day” in 1970, these individual incremental improvements have resulted in significant improvements in air and water quality. We can do more, especially in the areas of reducing waste and conserving consumable resources.
3. It’s patriotic. In addition to saving Mother Earth, we are also supporting domestic manufacturing. Most American manufacturers, regardless of their industry, are making some commitment to “green” manufacturing. This can’t be said of our foreign competition. By supporting “Green” initiatives in your purchasing decisions you are in de facto support of American industry.
4. It will save you money, eventually. You may not get an immediate rebate, tax credit, or “green” incentive; but the whole purpose is to reduce resource use. This means saving money. In many businesses, energy costs are a significant expense. If these are reduced as a result of a Green initiative, savings and profits will follow.
5. It establishes your credibility in the supply chain. We are seeing that more and more buyers are requiring that their suppliers and sub-contractors commit to (and document) their environmental initiatives. In many cases, it is a pre-requisite for inclusion in the chain.
6. Your customers are asking for it. Like members of the supply chain, end users are requiring an environmental commitment from firms that sell directly to them. They may be actively pursuing LEED certification, or are positioning themselves to apply for it later.
7. It will give you a public relations advantage. If you can tell a good “green story” about your firm, you can leverage this to your advantage. When buying any item for your business, especially office furniture, consider the “green factor”. Many manufacturers such as Allsteel are making it easy for you to document your green purchases. They have established a standard report called a “Environmental Data Sheet” that documents and quantifies the “greenness” of individual products.
While there may not be strong financial incentives for adopting a “green” purchasing policy, the list above offers a strong argument for considering the implementation of one. If you need assistance in green product selection, please contact your Officenter Sales Consultant, or one of our staff Designers for suggestions. All members of our Sales and Design team are trained in products that are designed to be in compliance with current environmentally friendly design standards.