Balancing Green and Profit
February 18, 2009
With the economy at the forefront of everyone's mind, it’s easy to lose track of other important initiatives that once made the top priority list like "Green,” and the more recent buzz word that has emerged in this area "Sustainability."
At NRF I had the opportunity to sit in on presentation by James Dion on sustainability. According to Wikipedia, to be sustainable, regardless of context, the Earth's resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished. Dion states, that for retailers this means, use resources that are as close to renewable/recyclable as humanly possible.
The reality is: we all want to save the environment, but we also have to make sure it makes business sense. From an article mentioned in our November blog on going green, "Green has gone from improving the bottom line to growing the top line. Green is seen as creating new innovative products and services to make your business more competitive." said Joel Makower, executive editor of GreenBiz.com, an online news and information site about environmental responsibility and corporate success.
So I think the challenge here for retailers is finding balance. Find products that are "Green" or "Sustainable" while improving business operations. And many OEMs are stepping up to the challenge.
I just caught a glimpse of an IBM press release on a new offering, Strategic Carbon Management, that uses a number of IBM consulting processes to help companies perform an analysis, including a carbon management diagnostic, carbon footprinting, “green” action planning and business case modeling.
The press release confirms what Makower says above, green and susatinability can give you a competetive advanatge. "An IBM global corporate social responsibility survey of more than 250 c-suite executives shows that 68 percent of them already are focusing on CSR activities to create new revenue streams and 54% believe it's giving them a competitive advantage. In addition, 85 percent said they were using CSR initiatives to reduce costs, and a third report that their business partners are requiring them to lower their CO2 emissions."
Dion also mentions in his presentation that retailers can look to power at sore levels to head down the path of sustainability. We have recently run across a power conditioning product company who's products not only cleans the power, minimizing power relates failures in the stores, but also creates energy savings of 14 to 22% on every component it is attached to. Click here to learn more about Leveler products.
Dion states we can come close, but will never achieve total sustainability. I think it’s important to find balance. Green products should serve a purpose and impact the bottom line.
Would love to hear about other products, companies or steps you are taking in your stores toward sustainability.
Dana Harder, Marketing Director, tekservePOS