The knock on going green for a business is that it represents an added cost for something that is basically a public relations stunt. Essentially, saying your company uses solar power or purchases carbon offsets sounds nice to do-gooders, but isn’t really all that good for the business.
Well, that’s not all true. There are other, easy ways to increase your efficiency which both benefit business and the environment. The Wall Street Journal found a Subaru plant in Indiana that’s cut electricity use by 14% since 2000, and has ceased to sending waste to landfills. Both add up to real savings for the company.
How do they do it? The Journal lays it all out in a simple (though long) list. Here’s the six main points:
1. Profits come by increasing efficiency and reducing waste — but they don’t always come immediately. Redesigning an entire process will evenutally return money, though working through the kinks can feel costly.
2. Management’s leadership is vital in setting goals and getting departments to cooperate: Establish clear goals, then follow through on them. Make efficiency as important as quality
3. The front lines have to be engaged: Talk to the workers that are on the floor and can spot inefficiencies and ask for their input.
4. Green initiatives achieve lots more when companies involve their suppliers: Subaru was more inclined to give business to suppliers that would work with them on the green goals.
5. All wastes are potential products: One man’s trash is another man’s gold. Don’t automatically assume everything can be trashed.
6. Green leadership creates competitive advantages: The initiatives saved millions of dollars.
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