QUESTION: How Do You Eat a Green Elephant?

Eating Elephants

Navigating the Corporate Social Responsibility Platform of Being Green

As we build out the real estate arm of the BH&G brand, we are faced with wading through a sea of options when it comes to being green. The challenge lies in the fact that green extends into almost every facet of business and life. It’s not as if you can simply hold a fundraiser once a quarter for some particular cause and cut a check. That approach might just smack of greenwashing (scroll down to see NBC Today Show Video). To be really green, a company needs to consider its operations in their entirety:

* Are the products and services produced or in use environmentally friendly?
* Is there a recycling program in affect?
* What practices have been engaged to change the Company culture? Have the employees been educated? Are they onboard?
* From an operational perspective, what can be done differently to reduce the overall impact of the Company’s footprint on the environment?

Recognizing the natural limitations to our own organization’s resources, we are focusing our own green platform on the following:
1.) Green agent training and certification
2.) Facilitating product and service discounts on green products
3.) Conducting consumer research on green issues related to housing
4.) Sponsoring nonprofits that can further the agenda of preserving the planet
5.) Developing employee-based programs to affect the company culture

With the agenda set, though, now comes the tricky part… gathering all the appropriate information and narrowing the options.

In our research, we have been collecting links to Web sites and other information that will help form and shape our thinking on our Green program. We will continue to develop this list on a GreenLinks page with the hope that, in time our community of readers adds their own links and resources to help make it grow.

Slowly but surely, we will gain more and more insight into this challenge and the actions we can take to effect a change for the better. Our vision is to help move an entire network down the path of a better future.

So, with a little salt, pepper, and ketchup, we shall begin our journey…

(ANSWER:) One bite at a time.

Green Links and Resources (Post some when you get them!)

Click a Link:

Receive a weekly “Living Green” newsletter through
Build an iGoogle page and add widgets with an environmental theme
Subscribe to podcasts on iTunes (New company owned by National Geographic Society) (WasteManagement’s flash site) (The latest in green gossip)

Check out a group:

Low Impact Living
Urban Land Institute
Climate Institute
Earth 911
Green Real Estate Education
Eco Broker
Living Green
Global Green
Earth Advantage
Smart Growth Network
Worldwatch Institute
Center for a New American Dream
National Geographic Green Guide
Scenic America

Take in a conference:

National Green Building Conference 5/11 – 5/13/08 New Orleans, LA

7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy & Livable Communities 2/7-2/9/08 Washington, DC

Green West Expo 5/20-5/22/08 Los Angeles, CA

Green East Expo 10/21-10/23/08 NYC, NY

GreenPrints 2008: Sustainable Communities by Design 3/13-3/14/08 Atlanta, GA

Building Energy 08 3/11-3/13/08 Boston, MA

Globe 2008 3/12-3/14/08 Vancouver, BC

Green by Design 6/12-6/13/08 Alexandria, VA

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