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Clients Look at Your Commitment to Sustainability

1 Jul, 2015 By: Sand Sinclair, Editor

Almost anywhere in the world, thanks to the Internet and 24/7 media available, we get a view of the globe, and along with it, the ability to help preserve it. Globalization has led to manufacturers focusing on the opportunities to increase their profits and customer base, and many are implementing some form of a sustainability practice to extend their level of corporate responsibility.  The evolution of these "green" platforms is one of the most valuable components of a forward-thinking company today.

Consider our Gen X-ers and Millennials who have come into their own, as will the generations behind them in being socially and environmentally conscious.  They and many customers now question organizations who do not have sound sustainability practices in place. Increasingly, CEOs and decision makers look to reduce the carbon footprint in a myriad of ways as this “environmental mindset" keeps growing.  Witness the willingness of ridesharing instead of owning a car, buying organic to avoid harmful chemicals and pesticides, using office supplies from companies that recycle to avoid toxic landfills, or doing business with a company like PrintReleaf who empowers businesses to certifiably reduce the environmental impact of using forest products by automatically planting trees across a global network of reforestation projects.

In addition, sustainability consultants such as Julie Urlaub of Taiga Company believe that, "Corporate risk managers should get involved in their company’s corporate responsibility and sustainability programs.”

Green messaging

Make no mistake, taking some form of responsibility for the environment should be a focal point in your company’s corporate thinking. Once implemented, this should be proudly promoted in your marketing efforts, delivering the message that your organization puts its customers’ interests first in its services, products, and manufacturing practices. The more your customers realize that you are trying to save precious resources and reduce hazardous elements as a business priority, the more it shows them that you have instituted a corporate policy with best practices that goes way beyond "just caring about profits."  Philanthropy can go a long way in delivering needed solutions to grave challenges, while a side benefit is attracting and retaining like-minded clientele who seek doing business with a company that provides a dedicated sustainable program "for all the right reasons."

According to Bahar Gidwani, CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub, "The tie between brand value and sustainability is getting stronger. Does a company that invests in sustainability increase its brand value?  What parts of sustainability performance seem to drive brand?"

CSRHub on Sustainability

The Product subcategory: covers the responsibility of a company for the development, design, and management of its products and services and their impacts on customers and society at large. This subcategory reflects a company’s capacity to reduce environmental costs, create new market opportunities through new sustainable technologies or processes, and produce or market goods and services that enhance the health and quality of life for consumers. This subcategory rating covers the integrity of a company’s products and sales practices, including their labeling and marketing, social impacts and end-of-life disposition. It also relates to product safety and quality and the company’s response to problems with safety and quality.

The Resource Management subcategory: covers how efficiently resources are used in manufacturing and delivering products and services, including those of a company’s suppliers. It includes a company’s capacity to reduce the use of materials, energy or water, and to find more efficient solutions by improving its supply chain management. This subcategory includes environmental performance relative to production size and is monitored by the production-related Eco Intensity Ratios (EIRs) for water and energy defined as resource consumption per produced or released unit. Resource materials include raw materials and packaging materials for production and related processes and packaging of products. Resource Management data also include waste and recycling performance. Recycling data is related to the proportion of waste recycled of the total waste. Data includes how the company manages operations to benefit the local airshed and watershed, and how the company impacts land use and local ecological stability. The water resource data includes consumption of drinking water, industrial water and steam.  For complete information on CSRHub sustainability and tools visit www.csrhub.com.

In the office technology channel, good companies such as Clover Technologies Group provide recycling solutions to a broad customer base throughout the world.  The Clover Environmental Solution (CES) is focused on the collection, reuse, and recycling of items including printer cartridges, cell phones and other small electronics. Clover has dedicated substantial time and resources into developing best practices and has established environmental goals for their organization to ensure accountability and continuous improvement. CES is steadfastly committed to conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.

If smaller companies think that only larger corporations can afford to implement a green policy, they can seek to partner with a reliable manufacturer or vendor who is committed and compliant to its sustainability practices. Where applicable, consider a consultant firm to guide you in the process.

Without question, corporate environmental responsibility is growing and having tremendous impact on the planet, while engendering individuals, companies and groups to do business with organizations that are committed to protect it.

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