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4 Ways to green your company

Have you ever wondered how you can help your company become more environmentally responsible or how you can make your career more echo friendly? This week’s Podcast is with NOW magazine columnist Adria Vasil, author of the best selling book ‘Ecoholic’ on green living in Canada. David Suzuki said, "This book is for people who want to do something to lighten their impact on the planet. The small steps cost us little in the way of effort, money or time, but the cumulative effects can be enormous."

See, you don’t have to ride your bike every day or move to the country and live a hermit lifestyle. These days it seems like every where we are hearing about green and it is not because people are desperate for spring to arrive. The media is talking about the green economy and finding roles that would be sustainable.

Adria never planned on being a best selling author and speaker in the area of the green economy. "I was the kind of person who switched careers every year or so." She graduated from the University of Toronto in anthropology and developmental politics and started working at an NGO as a researcher on labour rights. She worked on one area related to labourers in Mexico dealing with health issues related to working and dying. She noticed the connection between labour, health issues and the environment as well as the lack of public consciousness and media support around social/justice issues and the environment.

This frustration led her in a new direction. She understood that the best way that she could combine her talents and passions and truly start to influence society was through the written word. She went back to school and completed a journalism degree from Ryerson. This led to an internship at NOW magazine. She truly was at the right place at the right time. In 2004, the editor of the magazine was looking to start up a green column to raise awareness about the planet. Adria pitched the idea that she could write this from a uniquely Canadian perspective. Even though she felt "The environmental movement was for all intents and purposes dead". She truly believed in the cause. With her passion and talent and the support of NOW Magazine, "Ecoholic" which means addicted to the planet, was launched as a column. It took a little bit of time, but it took off and this led to her book being published on Earth Day in 2006.

There are a number of different ways you can make a difference. Here are some thoughts on how to take action:

4 ways to help green your company

Think Team: Start up a group within your company. Start meeting once per month and brainstorm about ways and ideas that you can help your company create echo friendly products and utilize your resources more efficiently.

Think Small: Don’t go to the executive team with the idea of windmills on the lawn or solar powered deep fryers at the start. Look for small ideas such as mugs instead of paper cups, telecommuting or a way to create a green product/service that meets your industries needs.

Think Profit: Companies are always looking for ways to create revenue or save revenue. Create a business case for your ideas that speak to the company’s drivers and needs of the executive team.

Think Long- term: Make sure that your small ideas are going to be sustainable and recognize that change takes time. Then you can start on some bigger ideas.

You may feel like you cannot make a difference. Pay attention to where there are needs in your company or the market. Over the past 4 years there have been thousands of new businesses launched in the emerging green economy. A number of Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Loblaws and NIKE have invested millions of dollars into developing green business units. It has never been easier to find a fair trade between your profession and the planet.

Tens of thousands of Canadians have been inspired by Adria’s desire to make a difference in this world. Adria’s journey has created a win win for everyone involved including the world we are all addicted to.

Looking for help with moving into a green collar career or in launching a new venture? Get started now. Book a meeting with me. You never know where you can take your career or how your passion and talent can impact the planet.

Enjoying the fresh air of spring along the road with you!

Alan Kearns