It Ain't Easy Being Green

The press is now asking questions regarding the energy debt amassed in the creation of cleantech products. Energy consumption during silicon manufacture has brought this issue to the fore as experts recognize the large energy debt created by the manufacturing process for current solar photovoltaic panels. As a result, other “green” power technologies have been asked to account for the power consumed in the manufacture, shipping, and installation of products.  

This brings us also to the growing expectation in the public for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Green is a subset of CSR. As one green energy client points out, there should be compelling energy savings and other business reasons for producing a cleantech product long before it is viewed as a Green solution. And, while there is ample hypocrisy among editors, companies, and politicians claiming to be Green, the fact is there will be escalating expectations among investors, customers, partners, the press, politicians, and consumers for companies to “do the right thing” in a larger sense of the word.  

Therefore, PilmerPR recommends that consideration be paid to CSR issues in small companies as if the company were a much larger publicly held corporation with the CSR spotlight on it – as it soon will be as you gain notoriety.  

One of the truly greenest companies I know of, New Seasons Market grocery chain in Portland, shares the thought, “It’s hard to be truly green, but we are getting better.” The idea is we aren’t perfect, but we are working on it in a measurable way. 

Areas to consider regarding your company’s state of Green, among others: 

  • What’s not Green right now (and can be improved on) about your company, its officers, and employees? 
  • Are employees encouraged to conserve energy or resources by recycling, riding the bus, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, xerascaping, etc.? 
  • What does the company do (or can do) to save energy in manufacturing or office facilities?  
  • Are there recycled materials, well managed sources for wood, or other processes like water recycling or conservation that can be improved upon? 
  • Do company vehicles run on alternative fuel or use hybrid technology? 
  • How will manufacturing partners or facilities be required to account for environmentally sustainable practices?  
  • What is the company doing to give back to the community what it has learned about being Green?

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.


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