Much as we wish everyone was committed to going green, we're just not there yet. Still, there are often ways to promote green products and services without labeling them as such outright — which still helps the world, while taking the pressure off decision-makers whose company values or mission may not align with the green movement directly. Here’s how.
Presentation is everything
For some, words like "green" and "eco-friendly" conjure up images of folk singers and hippies — visions that don't jibe with the business world they inhabit. So change your language. Here are talking points to use when approaching businesses not typically receptive to green initiatives:
"Saves energy/money" The idea of saving the planet may not catch the attention of every CEO, but anything that positively impacts their company's bottom line surely will. Energy-saving light bulbs and devices, for example, are worth the switch when that power bill comes in. According to Forbes contributor Kate Harrison, "CFL and LED bulbs can replace standard bulbs in most fixtures and can save you up to $200 per bulb over time."
That's just one example of how small changes reap big savings. But whether companies go small — by opting for fixes like smart
power strips, which according to Financial Web, "turn off business equipment that's plugged into a smart power strip when not in use" — or as big as switching to renewable energy as their
primary power source, there are savings galore to be had.
"Increases productivity" Who doesn't want better output from their workforce? Going green accomplishes just that, according to a 2012 study by Magali Delmas of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Sanja Pekovic from France's University Paris–Dauphine.
The study's results indicate a shift in what motivates employees, especially younger generations like Millennials. Says Delmas, "They don't want to work just to make money. They also want to make a difference. There's a little more social consciousness than there was before."
"It's good PR" Job seekers aren't the only ones who consider green initiatives a bonus, consumers are also taking climate change more seriously, and choosing to spend with companies who go the extra mile toward reducing their carbon footprint.
Given that, mentioning such endeavors in your press and media campaigns can bring in new business, as can simply committing to the process, and demonstrating it with a little flash, as the San Francisco 49ers did by upgrading Levi's Stadium with View Dynamic Glass.
As 49ers CEO Jed York said in the View blog, “Levi’s Stadium was built to be a manifestation of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, and the 49ers organization has made every effort to be a leader in technology and sustainability. We continuously invest significant time and effort to enhance the in-game experience."
The fact that the glass saves energy while letting in the optimal amount of natural light for any time of day is just a bonus.
"It's the future" The 49ers have the right idea about embracing the latest green tech advances. Going green might seem like something businesses can take or leave right now, but as time progresses that's bound to change.
States like California and Hawaii have already banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags at retail check-outs, and efforts to ban plastic water bottles continue, and will certainly one day pass. As consumers adjust to these changes, and save money via their own green endeavors, they'll expect businesses to do the same — and pass some of those savings down.
Like the Internet and social media, being green will eventually be a way of life we take for granted. But until then, reframing the conversation doesn't hurt.