How do Retailers and Suppliers go Green?

May 22nd, 2008

Today’s retailers have so many initiatives on their plates that trying to focus on what at first does not seem to be their most important initiative (Going Green) can create a type of corporate gridlock that stops the organization from moving forward in a timely manner.

Today’s retailers have so many initiatives on their plates that trying to focus on what at first does not seem to be their most important initiative (Going Green) can create a type of corporate gridlock that stops the organization from moving forward in a timely manner. The key is to not bite off more than you can chew and to set realistic goals and timeframes. There are so many external organizations trying to share their green initiatives today and set their own company standards so high that they hope to become the standard for everyone. As a result, volumes of data exist that would drive many organization crazy just trying to sort thorough it in order to come up with their own companies guideline.

So, where should a company begin? First of all, companies need to set guidelines for their company. In order to set guidelines, companies need to realize going in that guidelines are intended to be ‘living documents’, and will be updated on a regular basis going forward. In other words, by their nature they are not complete. Since we are talking about the environment, let’s make sure we don’t go down the path of health, safety and other areas even though they are related. Crossover with these areas will occur naturally as you focus on your guidelines for those specific areas later. Today we are here to talk about the environment. So what do we focus on? A starting point for the environment will always include the following. As you try to break this format down further, you will find that almost all areas fit into the following categories. As an example, contaminated land would fall into land management.

Energy Conservation
Water Conservation
Hazardous Materials Handling
Waste Management
Noise Pollution
Land Management
Wastewater Management

An important piecet of any corporate policy once outlined is to make sure that you share your guidelines with your trading partners and hold them accountable to doing the same thing in order to earn their business with you.

Once you begin to focus on tgoing green, it’s amazing how you will transfer it to your personal life. I know it’s personal for me.

I look forward to your comments.

Ron

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