Greenlight on Change
Barker added this is an extremely helpful source of information because many companies don’t compile a lot of data about their footprints since there are no mandatory regulations.
“Benchmarking really helped us determine what companies were doing and what was working,” she explained. “It is a good way to get ideas. It gives you an indication as to how long things take.”
Once a company begins researching what other companies are doing, Barker said many will begin to notice that they already may be doing things to reduce their carbon footprints. During the process, Appleton ended up compiling a five-page list of things it was already doing that were good for the environment. For instance, the company already had been using recycled content in paper and had been making other moves to reduce its energy consumption.
“After you know where you are at, it is much easier to see where you want to be,” Barker asserted.
After the research, it’s time to start talking. Barker recommended meeting with or talking to environmental organizations, as well as, nonprofits and trade organizations. She continued, environmental consultants often will come in at no charge to help a company brainstorm if they think they may be hired in the future.
Hanging out with experts also can be beneficial. Barker said she picked up a lot of valuable information at seminars. “You get to hear from key leaders and CEOs from other companies,” she stated. “You hear about their pitfalls and what they went through to find what projects worked for them.
“The most important thing to remember is that everything takes longer than expected. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it is well worth doing.”
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