Going Green – The Consumer Giants Are Catching On

Deer in parkland

Protecting the environment is more than just a PR catchphrase - make it core to your business processes.

Big business is learning the lesson that making sustainability and responsibility core values is good for business.  I am prompted to make this point following Unilever’s recent declaration that this will be the basis for their future development.  See this post from The Guardian for the details.

Now you could be excused for being cynical and thinking that this is just a marketing gimmick or a PR ploy.  But Unilever has history on its side.  Lord Lever set-up his model factory on Merseyside, over a century ago.  He was one of a handful of enlightened industrialists, like Salt and Cadbury, who realised the value of providing decent housing for his workers.  Port Sunlight Village adjoins the factory.  It has comfortable homes of character – many designed by leading architects of the day such as Lutchens, set in a softly landscaped village environment.  Even today it is a very agreeable place to live.

Now there may be many SME’s who still think that going green is not an option.  It is an indulgence for big companies.  It is a cost and not a contribution to profit.  It is a diversion from the real business of doing business.  How wrong can they be?

For anyone who wants a primer on how to get started there are a couple of checklists on the Free PR Advice web site that are worth looking at.

http://www.free-pr-advice.co.uk/environmentalposition.htm

http://www.free-pr-advice.co.uk/corporateresponsibility.htm

By the way, there are terrific PR opportunities in being a sustainability pioneer.  This is not just the preserve of the giant companies. In the last year alone we have reported on two clients achieving the ISO14001 environmental standard, another building an environmentally friendly HQ and the release of a totally carbon offset Diesel for the construction industry.  Going green is gathering pace.  You don’t want to be left behind.

Kevin Ainsworth, Partner, Ainsworth Maguire Public Relations

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