An influencer of growing importance is what we used to call, The Tree Hugger. There are now Green architects, engineers, builders, contractors, code officials, emerging competitors, media and consumers who have a growing voice in all aspects of construction.
Just look at the growth of the Green Build show while other shows decline. You cannot fool these people by saying you are Green or concerned for the environment. They can find out just how Green you are and thanks to the Internet, they can now let everyone know about anything you do that is less than Green.
The world is now very transparent. Your customers now decide whether or not you are really Green or if it’s just a claim. If you are going to be Green, you need to go all in. It needs to be a top down initiative, just like safety.
It needs to cover everything from how and where you source your ingredients, to what harmful materials are used in your product. Look at how the fiber glass insulation industry was forced by one manufacturer, Johns Manville, to remove what they believed were small harmless amounts of formaldehyde from their manufacturing process.
If you are going to call yourself Green, your facilities need to have state-of-the-art energy efficiency systems. How you ship your product to market is another area, as is your packaging and jobsite waste. You need to ask yourself, why do you print literature anymore?
The larger the company, the less credibility they have with the Green audience. Even when they are backed with expensive research to prove how Green they are, they often aren’t believed. The smaller upstart with a new unproven idea and a passionate owner has much more credibility when it comes to being Green. This is a real challenge for larger companies.
The Green audience is looking for commitment by a company that shows they are going above and beyond. You are either really, totally and actually Green or everything you do and say is met with doubt.