Earth Days and Ecofests help keep us motivated and connected in our efforts to go green. When it comes to baking in long-term and structural improvements, though, we need tried-and-true ingredients and good guidance. Julie Gabrielli, founder of GoForChange has provided just such a recipe to move us all toward a greener work environment and a greener economy all around. The company’s general mission (and one that was founded in the early days of interest in any greening movement) is to work with small- and mission-based companies to improve their eco-standards and their bottom lines:
GOforChange has a big vision for a community that is life-affirming in all senses. We work with small business owners who want to find simple, practical ways to increase their profitability, satisfaction and success by going green. We’ve been at this for 20 years, so green isn’t a fad or trend to us. We know how to go right to the heart of the matter, cut through the clutter and get to the gold. Using timeless, grounded frameworks, we work with you to customize a plan that fits your unique values and interests
The recipe she presents in a recent blog posting breaks the overarching plan into four tasty ‘courses’ that a business should taste and then adjust as it strives toward the larger greening goal:
• Appetizer: Aspire to be 100% good, not just “less bad”
• First Course: Act in cycles, rather than linear (waste = food)
• Second Course: Tap into an unlimited source of energy (the sun)
• Dessert: Attract and keep the best employees and customers (celebrate diversity)
Planning is critical to any successful menu, and Ms. Gabrielli stresses the need for a plan and a mission statement as standards by which progress can be measured. Besides keeping employees on track, such guidelines provide opportunity for celebration as benchmarks are achieved. She also emphasizes the need to conserve energy both the traditional sense (CFL light bulbs or – better still – LED; Using and shutting off power strips; ENERGY STAR-rated appliances…) and in the personal sense. Much of our personal energy can be sapped away by an uncomfortable and stressful environment, which wastes energy. So, allow employees to have a say in how spaces are arranged and decorated, and allow some flex-time for breathing and stretching to allow bodies to recharge with the batteries in the cell phones.
Her four-course meal is not for the nibbler, though she offers plenty of take-aways that can trim a few pennies here/some CO2 there. The rewards are worth the effort, though, as her company’s blog stresses the cost cutting on energy and the benefits to the intra-office environment as well as that of the neighborhood and planet – a delicious combination.
We promise not to whip the food metaphors to a butter tomorrow, when we will review some of the recent metrics on social media and non-profit fund raising.