Hi, my name is Jim Paar, founder of Full Motion Marketing and the Clean Air Green Tour. I own a very successful international green marketing agency and help create sustainable companies around the globe. I have worked with many leading brands creating a sustainable structure and message, some of those companies include Dyson, Michelin, Bosch, Kimberly Clark, Southwest Airlines, Indy Racing Series, and many more.
Profits vs Planet
It was in 2006 I realized how important it was to voice the importance of sustainability. I launched a green initiative called the “Clean Air Green Tour.” At that time, I saw companies abusing our natural resources and dumping waste into the earth that would affect our future generations. Most of all, they were losing profits by not being green.
Looking back, I realized the companies could benefit by being sustainable and actually increase profits to their bottom line by including this in the brand message. Over the last decade, I have worked with many companies create that message of sustainability but most of all making a real impact on the planet. Many companies claim to be green but have no real proof to back this message. That is where my team has helped clarify and establish these strategies so companies don’t get greenwashed.
Leading companies that have implemented sustainable initiatives along their supply chains have seen a huge boost in their financial performance. Companies that instituted only one aspect of sustainability lost more money than they gained due to a half hazard approach and the wrong reason.
Why Your Green Message Could Go Up In Smoke
As I am writing this article, the Amazon rainforest is being burned off a record rate. This is the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon stretches eight countries and covers over 40% of South America. More than 30 million people live in the Amazon, which is also home to large numbers of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, most of them unique to the region. A new plant or animal species is discovered there every two days which is so important for our world population.
The Amazon forest produces about 21% of earth’s oxygen and is often referred to as “the planet’s lungs.”
Why do I bring this story up? Companies are trying to use a message of sustainability to impact profits but are doing nothing for the planet. Warren Buffet said it best, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
Environmental reputations can be just as hard to rebuild with wrong or false messages. Non-governmental organizations like Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund believe in the potential fragility of the environment, and they see the potential fragility of companies’ brands as a means of pressuring them to change.
With the power of social media, the wrong or incorrect sustainable message can go up in smoke fast, far, and wide.
Taking a Sustainable Approach Can Be a Daunting Task
Everyday business executives across the world take on numerous strategies to build their company, and sustainability is just one a lengthy list of priorities. Very few will admit that they don’t care, although it is clear from meeting with many executives that many will only go as far as the demands of the customers, or make these environmental decisions if they also reduce costs.
When it comes to sustainability in business it may be necessary to take on the view from the science of climate change. I have seen companies spend more money on security to fend off the NGO’s then to embrace environmentalists’ arguments about the challenges or if they believe climate change is simply a hoax.
Regardless of what your personal beliefs may be, they still have a balance whether to pursue environmental initiatives and resources against competing demands. Instinctively, most of them focus on green messages that are aligned with their shareholder’s performance goals.
Currently, Cargill is taking an approach to remedy the rapidly rising global demand for proteins. One of the reasons the Amazon rainforest is burning to create more land for farmers, ranchers, and agriculture to feed our growing population. Across the food and agriculture industry, there is a pressing need to do more with less impact. To help address this need, Cargill is launching BeefUp Sustainability, an initiative committed to achieving a 30% greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity reduction across its North American beef supply chain by 2030.
What It Really Means To Go Green
To understand the benefits of a business going green we must understand what the actual words of “Going Green” mean. When a company makes a conscious decision to reduce its impact on the environment, that is “Going Green.” It can be as simple as visibly taking steps to reusing procedural programs, reducing utility costs, to buying green products and services.
Benefits To Becoming a Sustainable Company
- Increasing energy efficiency saves on utility costs.
- Green marketing awareness can increase trust between your company and consumers and ultimately increasing revenues.
- Many countries offer incentives to companies reducing their carbon footprint.
- Employees feel safer working for green businesses which boost morale and performance.
When it comes down to it the benefits of going green for a business, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. The time and money it takes to establish new environmentally green protocols pay back in dividends over the years, not only in money but also in feeling good that the company is kind to the planet.