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What Would you Wager to go Green?

Posted by Natasha Bale on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 09:44 AM

Consumers are beginning to demand more than just the bare minimum environmental requirements and their purchasing behaviour reflects it. According to The Green Revolution, a report released by Grail Research, 93% of consumers feel that green initiatives within a company play a key role in their purchasing decisions.  What if consumers came together to put power in their purchases and rewarded the company that is willing to reinvest the most into making it green?

That’s the idea behind CarrotMob. Consumers get together to spend more at one company. Since they would be purchasing the products or services anyway, they use power in numbers to drive change.

So what if a CarrotMob approached your shop? How much of the additional revenue would you be willing to invest into making your shop better for the environment and for your employees’ health? As the collision repair industry is a significant contributor to environmental pollution, there are many areas that can always be improved on beyond the minimum government regulations.

It doesn’t really matter if a CarrotMob comes or not. With new technology threatening the future of the industry (as discussed in my last blog), gaining a competitive advantage now is the only way to secure business. You can’t ignore the demands of consumers when it affects nearly everyone’s purchasing behaviour.

Here are a few suggestions to help get you started:

-Make the Switch to Water-borne Paint:

o If it’s not already mandatory in your area as it is in Canada, Europe, and parts of California and New York, it will be soon

o Water-borne paint reduces annual VOC emissions by around 40%

-Energy and Water Conservation

o Install energy efficient lighting

o Investigate renewable energy oppotunities such as wind or solar

-RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE!

o The usual suspects (such as parts, solvents, used oil, scrap metal, batteries, etc..)

o Don't forget the non-business related items such as staff's empty food and beverage containers

-LEED Certified Building (For a body shop example, click here)

-The BIGGER picture

o Choose suppliers based on their green level and initiatives

o Educate your customers on what they can do

o Educate your staff

o Remember public areas too

Some of these are easy to implement, such as a recycling program, while others require a larger investment. The payoff is worth it though- not only is it safer for the environment and your employees, many of the green initiatives will save you money in the long-run. It’s important to start taking steps beyond what is required of you while never compromising quality.

Remember that honesty is key: consumers just want to know that you’re heading in the right direction. Don’t exaggerate your efforts or lie. The Green Revolution reports that 75% of consumers would stop buying from a company if they felt that its environmental claims were misleading.

What are some of your suggestions and what have you done as a shop so far? We’d love to hear them.

Tags: Competitive Advantage, Sustainability, Collision Repair Industry, Trends, Going Green