“We don’t get credit for the things we do,” the CEO of a major jansan organization told me, regarding his company’s sustainability efforts.
This company has taken several steps to help their communities; provide benefits for their staff; and has adopted numerous initiatives to protect the environment and reduce their dependence on natural resources.
But it appears that no one seems to know about it.
While such initiatives should not be viewed as marketing opportunities, according to Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group and the professional cleaning industry’s leading advocate for sustainability, there are solid reasons for getting the word out about these efforts.
For instance, he says:
- Employees, especially younger workers, feel better about an employer that is Green- and sustainability-focused
- Sustainablity invariably translates into greater efficiency and cost savings, which can benefit end-customers
- Bankers and investors now determine the value and even the fate of a company based on its sustainability efforts.
So how can this CEO and other jansan leaders get the word out about their sustainability efforts?
“It starts in the office. The most important thing these companies must do is walk their talk,” says Ashkin. “Employees need to see these efforts in action.”
Other suggestions Ashkin has for getting the word out are the following:
Boldly advertise Green and sustainability messages. “If products are made from 100 percent recycled materials, don’t tuck this away in the small print of an advertisement. Make sure the end-customer sees this message.”
Take action steps. If a product or an ingredient in a product is proven harmful to people or the environment, “the company should send out a news story that they are no longer marketing this product or using this ingredient.”
Get in the news… a lot. As useful as advertising and news stories are, “they may not be enough. Organizations must continually get in the news, spreading the word about their good deeds and sustainability efforts.”
About Stephen Ashkin and The Ashkin Group
Stephen P. Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm specializing in Greening the cleaning industry, and CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, which helps facilities monitor and measure their use of natural resources. He is known as the “father of Green Cleaning” and the professional cleaning industries leading advocate promoting sustainability. He is also coauthor of both The Business of Green Cleaning and Green Cleaning for Dummies