Sustainability Tips for People-Based Companies

Sustainability Tips for People-Based Companies

Are you aware of any resources/books that can help guide people-based companies (i.e. firms that don't produce products, own buildings, etc.) find ways to be more sustainable?

Gil:
Even people-based companies have ecological footprints, of course, because even people-based businesses "use" (that is, "degrade") energy and "use" (that is, move and transform) materials. Each and every one of those actions has a resource demand and an environmental impact. And each offers an opportunity to generate equal or better results -- for customers, employees and shareholders -- while reducing those demands and impacts.

(It's kind of interesting that we would ever think otherwise: consider transportation of employees and customers; heating, cooling and lighting stores and workplaces; purchase of equipment and supplies; printing, copying and moving paper; preparing food; janitorial functions; dumping surprising quantities of "waste" to landfills; management, communications, and decision-making; and even good old recycling. Resource demanders and an environmental impacters, all.)

What to do? Or, as you ask, what to read? The only book we know of focused specifically on this subject is The Smart Office: Turning Your Business on its Head, which offers straightforward suggestions that apply to people-based companies as well as home offices.

But here are a few other favorites (including some old favorites) that should have plenty of useful ideas for you to work with.


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Gil Friend, systems ecologist and business strategist, is president and CEO of Natural Logic, Inc. -- offering advisory services and tools that help companies and communities prosper by embedding the laws of nature at the heart of enterprise. Sign up online to receive his monthly column via email. Read Gil's blog here.