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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


With an eye on the future, it's important for your business to build its environmental sustainability reputation and credibility. It makes all the difference if your company is perceived as a value player in the green movement - and as we all know - perception is reality.

No business wants to be open to accusations or even worse the perception of green washing. The lesson here is you must foster and demonstrate through positive actions a deep and long-term commitment to sustainability issues and effectively communicate to your customers and community.

To build your Eco-cred follow these steps:

- A company should engage with a variety of different local/national or perhaps even international groups that have sustainability goals in common with yours. This engagement should be accomplished on a regular basis, and is preferable to single issue initiatives as it reaps much more positive results and cumulative benefits.

- Consider paarticipating in local programs. It is not necessarily better to focus on high profile media opportunities. In fact, in many cases, going local is the preferable tact.

- Always research the groups you are working with and/or sponsoring for their credibility as well. What have they accomplished in the past and what are their goals regarding sustainability? Teaming up with an organization - private firm, public entity, or not-for-profit - with a lot of sustainable cred can make all the difference.

- Initiate programs and actions that present your company as a meaningful contributor and practitioner of sustainability practices. Don't fool and don't spin this issue, as a bad reputation is going to be very hard to fix.

To build a truly sustainable business reputation companies must do more, a lot more, than just talk a good show or implement a few superficial energy saving initiatives. The environmental program you adopt must be strategic, long-term, thoughtful, and productive not only for the company but for the community at large, and your customers. Being part of the global ecological initiative and demostrating your commitment to it will bring significant benefit to your firm's eco-credibility and, over time, your firm's profitability and goodwill.

By: Jim Lavorato

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