Green, The Popular Color

It’s been on the minds of many lately.  How can I become more “green?”

Scores of people talk about it and show a sincere interest in improving the environment around them.  They want to be a part of the solution and reduce their carbon footprint.

We are no different.

In order to keep in step with reducing one’s carbon-footprint, we recently studied our own behavior and found our “green-ness” needed a bit of sprucing up.  Sure, we were recycling paper and soda cans but most companies and people have taken those steps.  How could we do more?

After taking a closer look at ourselves, we came up with some solutions.

Let me share a few examples of how we “greened” things up at Laughlin Constable.  In return, we’d love to hear what you’ve done too.  Here are some of our recent efforts:

  • Applied sun and heat deflective window shades to most windows to maintain a consistent temperature in our offices.
  • Installed a revolving door in our lobby to retain a constant temperature and airflow in our lobby and adjacent areas.
  • Instructed our cleaning crew to purchase bulk items (such as liquid hand soap) to refill and reuse the smaller plastic containers already in place.
  • Purchased office supplies made from recycled materials whenever possible.
  • We have been recycling plastic and paper, but also started disposing of electronic equipment, printer cartridges and more in a proper, eco-friendly fashion.
  • Replaced many light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs, including LED lighting.
  • Installed low-flow toilets to reduce water consumption.
  • Encouraged not printing unnecessary documents reduce our paper consumption.
  • Eliminated all packing peanuts. Good riddance.

The measures mentioned above show a pro-active approach and significant progress in the agency’s effort to become more environmentally friendly.  But by no means does it stop there.  Our business is all about creating ideas.  And we’ll continue to look at new ideas to improve our carbon footprint, not because it is the current trend, but the right thing to do.

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

This green movement is for real. It certainly can’t be argued that consumers’ green consciousness is growing rapidly. And, for many, the issue is reaching emergency status. It’s no longer about protecting the planet, it’s about saving it.

That growing consumer interest is just one more reason that it’s not so much if you have a green policy for your brand – it’s what that green policy is. But before we declare green the new black – at least as it relates to the bottom line – green isn’t a positioning strategy unless it makes sense for your brand’s story.

Look at Nike. They’re going green. For all the right reasons. But, according to a nice piece in Business Week, they’re keeping it quiet. I guess I don’t covet the Nike+ system due to it’s greenness.

Green is an equity you can own. Just like being durable. Or fast. Or bigger, faster, stronger, smarter. But is it authentic? Is it a point of differentiation or parody? Does it offer another “reason to believe?” Does your category reward it?

It’s not whether your brand should be greener. It should. It’s whether it makes sense to make it a part of your story. And, just like everything else, that depends.