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Table of Contents

Review of Books on Green Buildings – Part 4

1229

Green Business: A Five Part Model for Creating an Environmentally Responsible Company

Table of contents

Chapter 1: The Five Reasons Why Companies Are Greening

Outline:

  1. The five reasons why companies are greening:
    1. Environmental impacts & values
    2. Government regulation
    3. Economic opportunities / disincentives
    4. Organizational crises
    5. Stakeholder pressure
  2. The various strategies for greening that can be applied by companies:
    1. Certification: Organic, sustainable forestry, sustainable fishing, fair trade
    2. Biodiversity and land conservation
    3. Emissions measurement, reduction, and trading
    4. Energy efficiency
    5. Alternative energy
    6. Employee engagement
    7. Climate change
    8. Consumer messaging, labelling
    9. Alternative transportation
    10. Green building
    11. Green product design
    12. Recycling and resource conservation
    13. Sustainability reporting
    14. Waste management
    15. Product stewardship
    16. Supply chain accountability / ethical sourcing
    17. Sustainable / green investing
    18. Green manufacturing
    19. Safer alternatives to toxics
    20. Sustainable packaging and shipping / logistics
    21. Workplace transformation
    22. Public policy leadership
    23. Water management

Summary:

This chapter enumerates the five reasons why companies are greening. These are as follows: 1.) Environmental impacts & values; 2.) Government regulation; 3.) Economic opportunities/disincentives; 4.) Organizational crises; 5.) Stakeholder pressure. There are several ways to apply strategies to make one’s company green and competitive. This includes the following: Energy efficiency; Green product design; Waste management; Water management; Emissions measurement, reduction, and trading, among others. These strategies are very useful for companies to reduce their energy consumption and waste disposal, etc. Other strategies are: use of alternative transportation, supply chain accountability/ethical sourcing, biodiversity and land conservation, consumer messaging/labelling, employee engagement, public policy leadership, green building, safer alternatives to toxics, green manufacturing, product stewardship, sustainable packaging and shipping/logistics, sustainable/green investing, recycling and resource conservation, sustainability reporting, and workplace transformation.

Chapter 2: The Need to Standardize What Companies Green

Outline:

  1. The greening of business must adhere to a process that includes a mission statement, employee manual, operational directive, the facility and sites manual, and of course, the products and services plan.
  2. Green Business Interfaces with Best Practices to provide the core template for a business.

Summary:

This chapter outlines what companies need to standardize in order to get green. The author stressed that the strategies for greening one’s business is not just a random set of actions. It is a standard process which is organized. First, the company must have a mission statement. This must be adhered to. Then, the company needs an employee manual, operational policies, manual of sites and facilities, and ultimately, it needs a plan for the redesigned products or services.

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The core process of standardization gives companies the required synergies which were not present before. It also aids in reducing unseen difficulties such as those of product procurement, among others. It illustrates this point by citing a company that has a numerous vendors since it is a large scale business. Imagine the various types of vetting process the company requires and how long this will take for the company to fulfil. This entails working on each vendor to ensure that they are eco-friendly and that they comply with their new environmental standards. The chapter provides all the necessary requirements of the company to aid them in their pursuit of the green stamp. This includes planning their strategies and new procedures, adjustments, and the actual application of the changes it undertakes that will definitely have an impact to their business.

Chapter 3: Greening Your Mission

Outline:

  1. How to develop your company’s green mission.
  2. The mission statement is basically an extension of the broader, general and clear statement of the company’s intentions to reduce the environmental impacts of their business practices.
  3. Communicating the company’s unique commitment to sustainability.
  4. A company’s green mission statement must reflect the goals and priorities of their specific goals.

Summary:

A green mission statement is a crucial element of a company’s initiative into going green. It is also a marketing effort. The business strategies now involve communicating the company’s greenness and this becomes as a valuable asset for the company in terms of strategy and marketing. Inherently, a mission statement is basically an extension of the overall statement of the company’s intent to reduce its environmental damages or the impact of its business operations in terms of business design, manufacturing and distribution processes. A green mission can be a general statement or a specific one. It can detail the sustainable activities and processes which the company will undergo.

The green mission needs to be communicated to the other stakeholders of the company. The mission is said to be more achievable once it is shared with the other stakeholders such as the customers and the stockholders. The mission statement is the concrete evidence that the company is committed to the reduction of the environmental impact of its activities. The green mission helps companies prioritize their objectives and communicate their intentions.

Chapter 4: Greening Your Employees

Outline:

  1. Training employees to go green consists of giving them valuable knowledge about what environmentalism is and how it relates with sustainability of the company.
  2. Steps in greening the employees:
  3. Creating an internal "green team" composed of management and personnel. They will form a general sustainability plan and suggests business consultants, if needed.
  4. Making a targeted training in the green initiatives of new recruits and retraining for current employees.
  5. Introducing the theme of sustainability at the training sessions and how it is vital to one’s work and living.
  6. Relaying the company’s green program's goals in training.
  7. Asking the employees’ commitment to greening.

Summary:

Employees must be trained to go green. This is a two way channel wherein the employees and management will be sharing valuable knowledge about how environmentalism works and what must be done. There must be an internal group whiich will charter the company-wide sustainability plan. Its goals and objective and other vital elements must be translated into actions such as increased recycling in the production process of the company, more energy reduction and saving, among others. Training and reorientation must be for new recruits and present employees. It should be emphasized that employees play a significant role in reducing the company’s environmental effects. The company must introduce the theme of sustainability when they train their employees. They must stress the importance of waste reduction, improving recycling and managing electronic data. Employees should be involved in the process of greening and they must be initiated to contribute their own efforts towards making the compay sustainable and green.

Chapter 5: Greening Your Operations

Outline:

  1. Seeing your business operations in the general scheme of things.
  2. An organized, systematic approach is necessary to achieve the best results.
  3. The effect of the business on the community.
  4. Greening operations through technology.
  5. Greening one’s building is part of greening operations.

Summary:

This chapter supports the vital green operations of one’s business. It has a step-by-step approach to assess business operations and develop a detailed plan to make those activities and operations more efficient in terms of energy and resource consumption. A company needs to know where it must initiate its green operations. It now needs to apply its green statement and work out all the necessary changes in all aspects of its business activities. This includes greening one’s business location or building, the employees, and the whole community.

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Greening an operation must be a very organized, orderly approach to reap its best results. Companies need to evaluate the business as a whole operation. Through this, it can understand its effects on its community and the larger environment. Areas for improvement must be identified. The management needs to sharpen its operations personnel to be more effective. The people must know why and how these improvements are being set, in the first place.

The company needs to evaluate their overall environmental impact in relation to their community. Major changes need to be undertaken in areas where sustainable business is enhanced. This basically involves the selection of energy and raw materials, especially toxic materials. Dangerous chemical must also be shoved off. By making the company environmentally sound, the outcomes will be positive in the present and future undertakings.

Chapter 6: Greening Your Facilities & Sites

Outline:

  1. The importance of building green.
  2. Green development is on its successful direction as a mainstream business practice.
  3. How companies have applied sustainability concepts into their manufacturing, packaging, and logistics processes.
  4. Sustainable buildings.
  5. Tangible and Intangible Benefits of green buildings.
  6. Sustainable design also offers significant advantages in the areas of energy and water use reduction, air quality improvement, and increased material efficiency.
  7. Buildings with efficient layouts can reduce the cost of building materials and construction waste.
  8. Construction practices involving the storage and disposal of materials are being adjusted to be more environmentally sound.
  9. Pursuing LEED Certification.

Summary:

Greening a company’s facility is paramount to going green. This is because sustainable buildings usually make use of the most efficient practices in terms of land and construction materials’ use and energy and water consumption. The use of natural lights and clean natural air may also prove to be healthier and conducive to greater productivity for work spaces. Thus, this chapter stresses the importance of greening the buildings and sites of a company. The authors suggest that greening of buildings and sites is relatively new it has just gained momentum.

However, changes have rapidly emerged. Green development is paving the way for being a mainstream business practice. The LEED certification program or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) facilitates the greening of buildings as an accepted process. Greening of buildings and site is considered as a smart move towards profitability and sustainability of green companies. It responds to companies’ demand for facilities that are more energy-efficient and are made up of biodegradable, non-polluting, and recyclable materials.

Chapter 7: Greening Your Products and Services

Outline:

  1. The market for green products and services.
  2. Sample companies which turned to green products and services.
  3. Greening Product Attributes.
  4. Greening the Manufacturing Process.
  5. Evaluating profitability.

Summary:

While companies jump to the green bandwagon, the need to substantiate it with the creation of their green products and services. Green products save money and reduce environmental impacts since it is made up of biodegradable, non-polluting and recyclable products/materials. They also use reduced energy and water and reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in its production.

In greening a product, the right approach is to develop products that have better environmental attributes against similar products. In greening a business process, the chapter suggests that the company improve its manufacturing and business operations to save on energy and materials as well as decrease wastes and emissions related with the processes of production. However, the critical point in this chapter is the marketing of these green products.

Inherently, greening of a company’s products and services accrues to cost reduction and efficiencies. The ultimate goal of most companies is to benefit their income and also take care of the environment. This chapter emphasizes that while these steps improve a company’s profitability in a variety of ways, the greening concepts should be integrated into the various stages of the product development. In this, a special consideration is given to the product’s design. This stage in product production is crucial to the general environmental impacts which are determined during this stage.

Chapter 8: The Future of Green Business

Outline:

  1. Green developments in the business world.
  2. Cases of how companies turned green.
  3. Trends and prospects in the future.

Summary:

This chapter describes the green movement as a rapid development in the commercial industries. It is assumed that most companies increasingly choose the greener choices even when it costs a little more. These trends define the future of a successful green business. Green companies will then be measured against their environmental performance as well as their bottom lines. They must continue to create green business and uphold their green commitment, their mission and vision and their business practices. They must reach out to their stakeholders and take advantage of their position to promote environmental sustainability while making profits out of their products and services. These companies also need to develop and openly refine their green practices that integrate the wellness of their community.

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