We all love Mother Earth. If the devil is in the details, applies here as it does in most areas of life and business, how do we move to the next step of a greener world? What does it really mean to your company to actually operate in a greener world, and how soon will it happen? Logically most companies will see some benefits (good), some drawbacks (bad) and some will face major problems (ugly).
Consider how the following seven strategic "green energy" trends will impact your industry and your business in particular.
- Bottom line benefit case studies from sustainable pioneers going green are starting to appear in the Wall Street Journal, other major business publications, and possibly your local newspaper.
- Technology can help. Website and software tools are available to calculate the carbon footprint for your company, as one of the first steps to understand the various aspects of instituting green for your company. That capability can help a company research, define and then estimate its carbon footprint. The ability to include its entire worldwide supply chain helps better plan for the transition to a greener carbon footprint. Basically this quantifies targeted emissions for reduction to some government mandated level for your industry or country.
- After estimating the carbon emission of your carbon footprint versus the mandated quantity, carbon tax can be estimated at a given carbon tax rate per ton. Soon to follow will be footnote disclosure and then recording the carbon footprint liability. This will be massive for some companies. The higher the carbon footprint quantity and the higher the tax rate, the higher the tax liability for targeted industries.
- Think of people in prior generations protesting the Vietnam War or chaining themselves to trees to prevent logging operations. Companies need to better understand the passion, even fervor, of green energy advocates who demand that business formulate and implement green initiatives.
- A "green washing" backlash is developing when clean energy advocates think corporate green claims are overstated. Remember, they define how green your activities must be, not your executives.
- You will soon see pressure from your larger customers for you to meet greener mandates they have put in place. If you want to continue doing business with a number of blue-chip companies, you will be meeting their goals of greener operations as part of their strategic planning. Since it is easier for corporate level executives and strategists to make a decision than for their suppliers to actually make those strategies work, be prepared.
- Many clean energy advocates are concerned about the backlash already building against going green. As more details of the magnitude and cost of proposed carbon tax legislation and the extent of its use of proceeds for Congressional leadership approved or non job creation purposes are apparent, a backlash against that Congressional leadership plan is building. To the extent that the job creation justification actually is used to fund a welfare system tax, backlash will accelerate.
Advocates see a much overdue environmentally transition. Other experts are concerned that the carbon tax being discussed will destroy more jobs than are created in the green sector. Whatever tax is enacted and undoubtedly revised, companies must plan and prepare for a range of conditions from strong benefits and opportunities to substantial, even massive, associated rising costs that such a tax will produce. Every industry and most businesses will see good, bad or ugly aspects from the greener world. How prepared are you?