Extent and limitations of a business going green

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Green economy is the economy that takes into measure the environmental consequences current technologies have created. The three pillars of sustainability as they are called are: economy, society and environment. While companies do embrace this, they fail to make their mark. So, how does a green business, that believes in sustainable development, limits its growth and how can it overcome it?

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(Image credit: 48hourslogo)

Here are some parameters that can measure a company’s extent and limitations:

#1 Going ‘green’: Green is called nature’s color. But it is not wise to color your websites and offices in all possible shades of green: green wall, green chair, green pens. It can come across as a green wash. It affects your brand and credibility. Jeremy Heimans, co-founder of GetUp and of Avaaz.org, calls it the ‘green vomit‘. Instead let your greenness reflect in your inner and outer workings of the company. Embrace energy efficiency and less polluting strategies. Save water. Become an eco-friendly business at all levels possible. Help others do the same. It does make business sense to do that. Lead your way.

#2 Keeping intentions clear: Environmental responsibility is possible with profitability but not at the expense of it.The third pillar of sustainability is economy which cannot be forgotten. A business is capable of solving environmental and social problems, although it is not what it is primarily based on. Take, IKEA for instance. IKEA is a Swedish company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories and does green business with solar-panels. IKEA doesn’t accept child-labour and supports sustainable forestry. Companies like this are doing well since green business is now popular among consumers.

#3 Incentives: Just because one cares about having a healthy and clean environment doesn’t mean he/she has to work for a green company at low wages. It is a deterrent because everyone works for a living. Pump up some creativity in everything you do and it is bound to grab some attention. Honesty is the best policy. Millennials will dig it. Instead of making people guilty of not recycling, how about creating incentives for the process? What do you think about Coca-cola’s new idea about making recycling fun? Have a look at this video:

#4 Transparency: A business is affected by how transparent it is in its actions. Sustainability reporting is one way to convey transparency. Whoever expresses it the best is at an advantage.

What else do you think that businesses can do to go green without limiting themselves?

 

This article was first published on LinkedIn.

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4 thoughts on “Extent and limitations of a business going green

  1. You say that “Profitability is possible with environmental responsibility but not at the expense of it.” but surely it is the other way round? A company that fails to make a profit will go out of business.

    1. Oh ho ho. Steve, good question. I actually meant to write ‘Environmental responsibility is possible with profitability but not at the expense of it.’. How do you suggest I make an edit? – Strike it and add this sentence or post an ‘Edit – —-‘ below the article?

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