How King Arthur Flour Has Gone ‘Green,’ Part 2 of 2
This week in the final part of our two-part coverage of a recent webinar from the Target Marketing and Printing Impressions Publishing Groups (sister publications of Catalog Success), Go ‘Green’ From the Inside Out: How to Develop a Corporate Environmental Sustainability Program, we continue our look at how baking flour cataloger King Arthur Flour has made environmental responsibility a priority. In particular, we’ll provide tips from Allison Furbish, media relations manager at King Arthur Flour, on how to help your business develop an environmental sustainability program.
(For part 1, click here.)
To support its environmental sustainability initiative, King Arthur Flour has partnered with a number of different environmental organizations, including Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Vermont Business Environmental Partnership, Efficiency Vermont, 10% Challenge and the B Corporation. These partnerships are important because environmentally responsible companies can learn from one another, Furbish said.
Being environmentally responsible can have its marketing advantages, too. “Communicate these efforts with your external audience,” Furbish advised. “It’s nice to be recognized for your efforts, and it can be used as an effective marketing tactic. Your customers care about these things.” To that end, King Arthur Flour has dedicated a section of its Web site to highlighting its environmental achievements, including a 44 percent reduction in its solid waste from 2006 to 2007 as a result of its recycling and composting efforts.
It’s also important to communicate your sustainability initiatives internally to your staff, Furbish said. King Arthur Flour has created a sustainability wiki page for its employees, where it displays all of its environmental policies, activities its involved in and resources for employees to take advantage of. Furbish recommended the audience take advantage of the following resources: www.bcorporation.net, www.10percentchallenge.org, www.greenseal.org, www.epa.gov, local businesses for social responsibility, solid waste management districts, rideshare organizations and energy-efficiency programs.
3-Step Process to Environmentally Sustainability
Furbish wrapped up her presentation by listing three steps to help your organization become environmentally sustainable. They are:
1. Develop a culture of metrics/measurement in your organization. Identify your baseline and figure out how to measure what you’re doing. You want to see a positive impact on your results.
2. Find systems that fit your organization’s goals and abilities — based on your budget.
3. Balance measuring and doing. At King Arthur Flour, Furbish likes to think the company leans more to doing.
And of course, you’re going to need the all-important executive buy-in to help fund any environmental sustainability program. For this, Furbish advises to “present the green and financial appeal of your green efforts; show them how it can benefit the bottom line.”