I have written frequently on the benefits of renewable energy, specifically wind power. It is easy to build, emission free, and uses less than 5% of the land on which turbines are sited.
As a result, wind power is the fastest-growing energy source in the world. It has taken my industry by storm – we see more and more clients who want their products made in plants powered with wind power (using offsets), as it helps send a values-laden message to an organization’s constituents that they are trying to be good stewards of the environment.
And although this is leading to higher wind power costs, as well as rising prices for the turbine equipment (see article from last week in TreeHugger: article), this is not such a bad thing. As the aforementioned article states, “The fact that demand is so high pushes prices upward, but that will only serve to attract more players; investors will see that there’s money to be made with wind power and large industrial companies might shift more resources to their wind power divisions. In fact, demand has been high for long enough to show the market that wind power is not simply a passing fad.”
All of these developments will lead to greater wind power generation capacity which will help the US reduce its dependence on oil, the majority of which comes from foreign sources. It may take a number of years, but the promise is great – as demonstrated in Spain. During one week this spring, wind power accounted for just over 40% of the country’s overall energy demand. And although this number may be a bit high, due to lower-than-normal energy demand, this figure is very exciting and gives us a big goal to shoot for.
On Friday, May 16, the Boston Business Journal hosted its first-ever Green Business Summit.
I attended the morning event, and was impressed with the program, which included a keynote speech by Cape Wind CEO Jim Gordon. Here’s a link to an article on his talk:
CEO of Suffolk Construction John Fish’s comments were particularly interesting and penetrating. He cited a number of steps that his firm had taken that I believe represent an excellent roadmap or model for all companies in terms of how to inculcate a commitment to green solutions and sustainability within their organization.
They included the following:
- Change the culture – it is important to help people think and act green. Fish said steps to make this possible can be as small as putting a blue recycling bin next to a black trash can at each employee’s desk, reminding them of environmental choices every day.
- Training - At Suffolk, this includes a 3-day course on green construction for employees
- Be a catalyst for change by bringing all parties together – In Suffolk’s case, this means architects, owners and subcontractors. In our business, it is designers, marketing professionals and senior management.
- Affordability – People need to overcome the perception that going green is more expensive. In the construction industry, a green building that is more energy-efficient can save money in the long run.
- If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – You need to create standards and specifics metrics by which to measure success.
- Create standards and specific measurements to reduce waste
For more coverage on the summit, please see the following article:
I wrote on this blog earlier this year that I was to give a lecture on green marketing to members of Harvard Extension School’s Environmental Management Program on Friday, February 29, 2008.
I am pleased to provide a link to a video of the discussion:
Many thanks for your interest!
Over the weekend, the Boston Globe wrote an article on a Somerville, MA green movement that is catching on. The program, called GoGreen Davis Square,focuses on Davis Square, which is near Tufts University, and it involves local businesses. The goal is to make Davis Square carbon neutral – which for a large group of service-based businesses, would be a huge accomplishment.
I wanted to point to a specific comment from local business owner, Jennifer Park, on the potential business benefits of going green, namely increased customer loyalty, something that I wrote about when I discussed the green efforts of the Lenox Hotel: Click here for that blog post.
Park, who owns two establishments, Diesel Cafe and Bloc11Cafe said of the effort: ‘‘I think it’s built — even increased — loyalty of our customers for the kind of people who care about this area,’’ she said. ‘‘It gets people thinking about this stuff.’’
Grossman Marketing Group is also involved in the program, although we are not located near Davis Square. As one of the largest employers in the city, and an organization that has benefited from “going green,” we believe it is important to demonstrate to other local businesses that going green is not simply an additional cost – rather it is good for the world in which we live, and has major benefits as well.
To read the entire Globe story, please click here: Article
Recently, Dan Smolen, who heads up a talent-management firm in the Washington, DC area, wrote about my firm on his blog. The blog, called Sturdy Roots, is focused on “Recruiting, Hiring & Retaining Talented Green-Marketers.”
In an April 18th post, titled “How Green Is My Marketing Company?” Smolen recommends a third-party sustainability audit to truly determine how green your marketing communications really are. Specifically he recommended my firm.
He wrote: “We recommend contacting Ben Grossman at Grossman Marketing Group. GMG is a fourth-generation marketing services provider with origins in the commercial envelope business. Based in the Boston suburbs, GMG employs wind-power to run the presses that produce envelopes made of recycled paper. And for its other energy needs, it purchases wind-power credits at no extra charge to its customers.”