Monday, November 30, 2009

The Most Awful Word

The "most awful word" in the English language is said to be the word ALONE. And that is how many of you feel. We often hear, "I am just one person ,and although sustainability is important to me, my company doesn't really care."

Sound familiar? How can you make a difference?

First, remember individuals can change the world. You are probably in a decision-making role in your organization so start by making different decisions. Start with the "low hanging fruit" that doesn't cost anything. Recycle, print fewer handouts, don't order bottled water or reuse signage. Then compile the economic savings for these decisions and show senior management. Believe me, you will get their attention. One convention service manager at a large hotel recently told me he was the lone voice for green practices and he insitituted a recycling program. The cost savings is $5,000-$7,000 a month. They are listening now!

Secondly, recruit other passionate people in your company for an informal green team. They will bring ideas from their area of expertise to the table. Again, use ideas that will save money and increase your image to key stakeholders.

Third, take a look at your organization's mission statement to see if there is anything about corporate responsibility, being a good citizen, saving the environment, changing to meet the future, etc. Leverage this statement to get senior management on board and behind the green team.

Organizations today are under increased scrutiny from the public and showing you are sustainable is key. There is no more visable place than in the meetings and events you produce!

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