GO GREEN FOR MORE MONEY AND MORE MARKETSHARE
Score big and lead your industry with sustainability, environmental consciousness and social responsibility.
By now, I know that you want to be successful at what you are doing. I also know you are willing to make the commitment and cultivate the passion necessary to see it through. But don’t miss the opportunity to harness the current world focus on our changing environment for your benefit. What have you wondered about this new green revolution? Have you figured out how to make money out of the notion of sustainability and social responsiveness? Are you ready to add a new dimension to your firm? Hopefully, you know enough about our world economy to see the value and importance of conserving our natural resources and creating alternative energy resources. But do you know how it is all connected to your business?
With the uprising in many oil-producing and -exporting countries and the cost of oil hovering around $150 per barrel (as of April 2011), we can no longer rely on our traditional supply of fossil fuels. However, we can now embrace increased awareness about the environment as a planned “green strategy” to sustain ourselves and generate revenues at the same time. Furthermore, now is the time to increase your market share by leading your firm and industry with new offerings. Developing an approach that embraces sustainability and environmental consciousness is extremely relevant today and a very good complement to your current business model. Your firm wins by creating a marketable strategy that includes your professional skills, business processes and the manner in which you deliver your product, service or experience. Consider developing your green strategy as a means to differentiate and expand your professional skills. If you can acquire the expertise and, in some cases, the certification that would allow you to be considered an authority on the practice of sustainability, you could gain leverage and opportunity for your business.
In 2003 I was focused on managing the design and construction of 20 to 25 large public schools in New Jersey. I was required to evaluate design professionals and critique their proposals and technologies used in the planning process for the new schools. It required a lot of work and research but I knew I could only be successful if I could raise my level of expertise to match the “experts” that were presenting the emerging technologies and alternative energy designed systems. Not wanting to be out of the loop in the architectural and engineering discussion for the new buildings, I began to research the requirements for professional sustainability accreditation by the United States Green Building Council. The USGBC had developed a rating system and criteria for building professionals to be measured by in order to achieve or signify their commitment to the principles of sustainability.
Over the course of the next 12 months, I added to my body of knowledge by researching the various codes and regulations that made up the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. After a full year of study and practical application at work, I took the required exam in January 2004, passed on my first attempt and became a LEED accredited professional, which I started to market. Even though I was not running my own business at the time, it was critically important for the director of design and construction of such a large school district to have the qualifications and capabilities to lead by example and set the stage for the sustainability revolution as it was ushered in at my place of business.
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