The Rewards for Going Green

A new study conducted by Environmental Leader and Media-BuyerPlanner has found that the majority of companies see their green marketing efforts as creating real business value – and not as a fad to garner consumer attention.

“Green Marketing: What Works; What Doesn’t – A Marketing Study of Practitioners” was designed to determine if the practice of green marketing was a fad – or if it was fast becoming a staple for marketers. What they found was that businesses not only believe that their green marketing is effective, but that it is more effective than traditional communications and that they plan on increasing spend in this area.

Some of the study’s conclusions:
  • One-third of respondents said green marketing was more effective than their normal marketing efforts, with just 7 percent saying it was less effective.

  • Eighty percent of respondents expect to spend more on green marketing in the future.

  • Four times as many marketers said green marketing was more effective than those who said it was less effective.

  • The Internet was the most popular channel for marketers, with 74 percent of respondents utilizing online communication. Next popular are print (50%) and direct-mail (40%).

  • Nearly half said decision-makers hold green marketing in high regard.

  • Companies with smaller marketing budgets tend to spend more on green marketing.

  • When split into groups that do or don’t measure advertising results, media-measuring companies tend to spend more on their green efforts.
It’s been determined that customers are rewarding companies that use so-called “green marketing” tactics, and are willing to pay more for the same product when it is presented with an environmentally friendly message. The report also revealed that increased spending on green advertising and marketing is, in many cases, the result of firms finding distinct additional marketing and advertising advantages with green messages.

Though most firms perceived that they were – in reality – greener than their customers initially thought they were, according to Jennifer Nastu, a study co-author, the research found that companies that perceive themselves to be greener spend the most on green marketing, suggesting that “greenwashing” may not be as prevalent as some suppose. Respondents who see their organizations as less green tend to avoid green marketing messages. Similarly, it appears that management deliberately moves to make greener operational choices first, and only later markets with green messages.

“While green marketing is showing itself particularly competent in selling, most marketers appear to try to use it as a branding device,” says study editor Tig Tillinghast of Watershed Publishing. “We are now starting to understand that it’s under-utilized in its most effective application.”

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Sound Advice: Get In on the Green

Green building is synonymous with change, and its rising popularity is having an impact on all aspects of contracting organizations. Companies with more rigid, change-averse management teams will find it more difficult to compete in the green building sector. In the recently published article, “Green Change,” featured in the FMI Quarterly, consultant Briston Blair discusses the rise of green building and the need for contractors to make it a strategic priority, highlights what green building means to contractors and outlines how contractors can better position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities green building presents.

With FMI’s aggregate growth forecast for nonresidential green construction at 32 percent over the next 5 years, now is the time for organizations to ask themselves, “What does this green movement mean for my organization and where do I begin?”

Briston answers these questions by looking at change and its impact on seven aspects of an organization:

Superordinate Goals/Shared Values –Most firms currently building green are guided by a strong sense of shared values.

Strategy –The decision to incorporate green building into your firm’s strategy represents a business decision, and as such, will require an appropriate amount of strategic discourse covering strategic planning, corporate sustainability, strategic alliances and business development.

Structure –Green building’s team-based approach to project delivery will necessitate a change in structure for some construction firms.

Skills – Contractors may need to develop new skills to mitigate the effect green building has on their project delivery systems.

Staff – An ancillary – and significant – benefit of being recognized as a green company is the ability to attract, motivate and retain younger employees.

Systems – The impact of green building for construction will be less severe for firms that already are highly systemized.

Style –Many of the leading green builders have change-focused managers leading the organization.

According to Briston, “The fluid nature of construction requires contractors to be unusually adept at anticipating, managing and capitalizing on change. It is this inherent ability to adjust tactically to unanticipated events that truly separates the best contractors from all the rest.”

New Green Construction Code

The International Code Council today announced the release of Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) to regulate construction of new and existing commercial buildings.

The IGCC aims to significantly reduce energy usage and greenhouse gasses. It addresses site development and land use, including preservation of natural and material resources. Enforcement of the code will improve indoor air quality and support the use of energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems, and the recovery of used water (graywater).

The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best energy-efficient practices. A key feature of the new code is a section devoted to  “jurisdictional electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.

The IGCC initiative was launched in 2009 with cooperating sponsors the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International. The support of the AIA underscores its long-time leadership in the sustainability movement, including its 2030 Carbon Neutrality challenge, and its emphasis on the critical role of architects and designers in the life cycle of sustainable construction. The engagement of ASTM ensures the IGCC will make use of certain voluntary consensus standards recognized by industry, code officials and other stakeholders for their high-degree of technical quality, relevance and their suitability to contribute to more sustainable and environmentally improved buildings.

WDC Adopts Sustainability Plan

At WDC Exploration & Wells, concern for the environment is integral to its business strategy toward sustainability. To this end, the company strives to fulfill all of its environmental obligations and commitments toward being a responsible global corporate citizen. WDC is committed to protecting the environment, and the health and safety of its employees and of the public. In light of this commitment, WDC has set a policy establishing a company-wide waste-reduction program.

By actively reducing waste output and preventing pollution at the source, the company will reap benefits such as decreased waste disposal and production costs, increased productivity, and reduced regulatory burdens and liability concerns. Waste reduction is a term used to encompass various activities that reduce waste – the primary activities are source reduction, reuse and recycling.

The program already has been implemented at WDC’s Woodland, Calif., corporate office. Goals have been established and will be monitored on a quarterly basis. In the second half of 2010, the program will be rolled out to the district offices with the expectation of full compliance within 180 days of implementation. This first phase will encompass the offices only; the end goal of the program will be to include all field activities.

Waste Reduction Policy

WDC is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its operations through appropriate ongoing material management. This calls for a conscious effort across WDC in the several areas.

Reduction of waste at source. All offices will manage operations to reduce the quantity or toxicity of waste produced. Such measures include, but are not limited to:
  • Printing reports and documents, whenever possible, on both sides of the paper, updating mailing and distribution lists periodically to avoid overrun; use of e-mail whenever appropriate.

  • Giving preferential purchasing consideration to products that are reusable, refillable, repairable, more durable, less toxic, recyclable, and that avoid excess packaging.

  • Reuse products and materials will be reused wherever possible.

  • Recycling –  it is the responsibility of every associate to separate identified recyclable materials and place them in appropriate recycling containers. Office paper, corrugated cardboard, and aluminum and glass beverage/food containers always must be recycled in the appropriately marked container. Other materials are to be recycled whenever feasible and wherever containers are provided. Reuse is preferable to recycling.

  • Purchasing of products with recycled content. Recycled content of products will be at least 50 percent post-consumer but no less than 30 percent.

In addition to the specific efforts mentioned above, all offices will designate one associate as a recycling monitor.

Plan Implementation

The program coordinator will work with the recycling monitors to make recycling and waste reduction as convenient as possible. Active participation will trim unnecessary waste disposal costs, meet mandated waste reduction requirements, and will help WDC meet its commitment to reduce the negative impact of operations on the environment. This policy will be made available to all employees.

Targets for the year 2010:
  • Environment-friendly disposal of 100 percent e-waste.

  • Environment-friendly disposal of 100 percent printer cartridges.

  • One hundred percent increase in reduce, reuse and recycle (compared to 2009).

  • Forty percent decrease in solid waste (compared to 2009).

  • Ten percent decrease in energy consumption (compared to 2009).

  •  Thirty percent decrease in paper consumption (compared to 2009).
 WDC Exploration & Wells has been the leader in environmental drilling technology for many years. The company has challenged itself to continue that role in sustainable operations, starting with its reduce/reuse/recycle program in the corporate office.