Green Communications – Interview with the organizer
I had the opportunity to speak with Steve Etzler, CEO & Founder of Business Development Institute (BDI) this past week for a few minutes on the Green Communications event his company is organizing in New York City on July 24, 2007.
Below is the interview. Below the interview is the invite to the event that tells you more about the event and provides related links.If you are interested in the event, there is still time to register. If you use “thinkgreen” in the promo code, you pay $155 instead of $195.
I hope to see you at the event!
Who’s who in the interview:
Think Green Media = (TGM)
Business Development Institute = (BDI)
TGM: What can a company do to begin to go green?
BDI: Organizations should first define their general corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. CSR is simply jargon for what the company will do to be a good citizen. Green should be a component of the overall CSR plan. Before you go green watch, listen and learn from others. Have a long term vision but set short term measurable goals. Don’t hype or over publicize your plans, especially at the beginning phases.
TGM: Many companies think going green costs a lot of green. What can a company expect to pay to go green?
BDI: It really depends on the scope of what the plan is. It can be as inexpensive as incurring some minor extra costs to use recycled paper or as significant as using sustainable supply sources from manufacturers.
TGM: The companies featured in the case studies at Green Communications are bigger companies like Ford, IKEA and HSBC. Can small and mid-sized companies go green?
BDI: Absolutely. In fact going green is easier for smaller companies because they can plan, execute and measure much faster than large organizations.
TGM: Are there programs to financially assist smaller companies go green?
BDI: Yes, depending on what state you are in there are tax breaks for using green energy sources. CA and NJ are leaders in providing tax incentives for green related investments.
TGM: Is big business really embracing environmental practices? Or is it just a way to gain good press?
BDI: Many large businesses are embracing environmental practices for the one simple reason they do everything – to make money. GE for example projects major new revenue growth from providing green products and services. Many other large companies realize there is a major profit incentive to go green. Auto manufacturer’s profit margins on hybrid vehicles are higher than standard cars. Besides, green makes good business sense.
There is a genuine movement towards being good corporate citizens. For more and more publicly traded companies corporate social responsibility is being taken very seriously by senior executives and their board of directors. Many small and medium sized businesses are run by entrepreneurs who authentically want to make the world a better place while they make profits. Yes, there are some who are motivated solely by PR but their efforts usually backfire because the press and public are smart enough to see through them in most cases.