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When it comes to corporate recycling and sustainability, who’s the best person in your organization to lead the way?

CEO’s set the stage for the primary business model, goals and objectives but … the command-control of “leading from the top,” is the reason many businesses sustainability initiatives ultimately fail.

When it comes to sustainable innovation and execution, business’s must distribute leadership. Part of that is encouraging employees at every level to take part in creating the company’s sustainable culture.

Having spent considerable time talking with CEO’s and C-Level business leaders, as well as managers and those in operations and administration, we learned very clearly that effective leaders know they don’t have all the big ideas. Most great ideas come from within the organization, from hands on employees as a result of their passion and commitment to add innovation and sustainability into the business.

Ask yourself? Do you have an aspiration that’s bigger than simply making money and product? Those aspirations lead to greatness!

Creativity, innovation and compassion remain the key drivers to sustainability. But creativity sits in the middle of aspiration and resources so when companies let the gap shrink between the two, that’s when they are in danger. As innovators, we need to provide resources and corporate culture that enables employees to move forward with their sustainable initiatives to grow in an unpredictable world. 

Ask? How are you treating your recycling and sustainability initiatives today? How can you change practices to increase sustainability and add economic – environmental – socially purposeful value – for your business and importantly for your customer?

The world today is changing quickly! We all need to be red hot in pursuit of our own disruption and continually search for what obsoletes our business today. Sustainability or the lack thereof will obsolete many businesses in the coming years. The way we operate today will certainly not ensure success in the future. 

The first most important steps to successful sustainability is asking these questions below, then “collaborating” with our supply chain partners to find answers, resources, and solutions “together”. Working in a vacuum gets us dirty and clogged. Working in a circular supply chain collaborating with our supply chain partners and involving our customers to create circular economies adds innovation, resources and energy. 

  1. Is there a better different approach to handling our plastic scrap materials that’s touches on and adds economic,strategic, and humanitarian value beyond “price per pound”? 
  2. Are their alternative cost effective plastic and polymer raw materials or better ways of using raw materials to make our products more sustainable?
  3. Can we create real partnerships within our supply chains that help us and our supply chain partners to all succeed better?
  4. Are we using sustainably made products in our own operations?Why should we and how does that benefit our company culturally and economically?
  5. Can we optimize and reduce our packaging to use less material but deliver more product in trucks and on shelves? Can we use more sustainable packaging and is there a way to help our customers to recycle our packaging after it’s used?
  6. Are we taking responsibility for our products in the market once they reach end of use? Can they be reused or recycled? How can that benefit us and our customers?
  7. Do our customers care about sustainability and if our company has a purpose beyond making a product and profit? If so, can we better communicate our sustainability and social purpose to our customers to strengthen relationships?

Ask.. Who better to lead the way for your businesses sustainability growth to add purpose to your product and better impact your bottom line, top line, and brand value THAN YOU?  

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com  

 

Sustainable Shopper

6 Tips for being a more Sustainable Consumer

Be a shopper who supports sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices

Consumers make an impact through their shopping habits by being a shopper who supports sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices.

There are several ways to be more eco-friendly in your everyday life by supporting companies that are ethical and sustainable. The move to sustainability in industry is driven by consumer demand, and that’s where you can make a greater impact.

Research

You can add sustainability to your list of ‘must-have’ features for your everyday purchases. There are several consumer websites which rate companies and products according to their ethical and environmental records. This can help you decide which companies to support.

Focus on Quality

Think about foregoing the two-for-one special or prices that seem too good to be true. Poor quality items can be landfill fodder that cost you more in the long run as they need to be constantly replaced. Instead, consider buying quality products that last so you save money and help the environment too.

Keep it Local

Consider shopping from local producers as this gives you the opportunity to ask questions and do research into how items are produced. Local items likely have a smaller carbon footprint because they haven’t traveled long distances to get to you. And, supporting local farmers, producers and manufacturers means you bolster the economy in your community.

Consider Value

We shouldn’t have to pay more just because a product is made more sustainably. Sustainability generally leads organizations to innovation and improvement that can drive costs down, so even if they pay more for sustainable raw materials, they can make up for that added cost by reducing costs in operations and disposal. All things being “relatively equal”, buy Green!

Check Certifications

There are a number of certifications which provide indications that the products you are buying are eco-friendly.

When buying wood or paper products, you can look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo which tells you the product was sustainably sourced. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification mark on your seafood means you are buying responsibly caught fish and you can also shop ‘organic’ for your fresh food and meat.

EnergyStar indicates appliances that are energy efficient and items that carry the Fair Trade seal meet the internationally agreed social, environmental and economic Fairtrade Standards.

Engage

Many consumers are now engaging with their favorite brands to see what steps they are taking to be more environmentally friendly. Get more involved with the products you purchase to learn about the company’s commitment to people and planet. It’s always good to buy from companies that do good.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com