Here’s the lie: Green Business Lie #23: We don’t make anything–we’re just a service provider. There’s nothing we can do to “green up”!
Here’s the truth — excerpted from The Truth About Green Business:
TRUTH 23: What Makes a Service Green?
As you think about how to make your services greener:
-Ask yourself and your customers, “What does the customer need, really?” What’s the function that needs to be fulfilled? “If I want to hang a picture,” Amory Lovins (Chairman and Chief Scientist at Rocky Mountain Institute) pithily observes, “I don’t need a drill; I need a hole.” Are you selling the solution best suited to your customers’ real needs?
-Figure out how you can fulfill that need with service instead of product. You’re instantly greener, since you need less stuff to produce the result. Then, determine how your service can be delivered as greenly as possible.
-Look at materials used in your service. Are you using high recycled content, recyclable, low carbon alternatives in your office supplies? If you’re using or providing equipment, is it as energy efficient as possible? Create an environmentally preferable purchasing plan.
-Optimize your operations. Incorporate lean operating strategies into the delivery of your service. When you control your costs and continually improving your processes, you save money as well as resources, and that’s a good thing.
-Localize and virtualize. Travel efficiently and try to reduce employee commute by using virtual meetings to replace air travel. Check out WebEx, HP Virtual Meeting Room, Cisco TelePresence or even Second Life.