America is searching for a path that will restore jobs, the economy and our environment. The Green Builds Business program created by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation with funding from Walmart is doing just that.
As the Green Builds Business implementation-coach, I have worked this summer with business owners in Milwaukee, Irving Texas, Washington D.C. and Salt Lake City on the proven smart, healthy and green best practices being used by pioneering businesses to grow revenues and cut costs. Each of my coaching sessions has been focused on outlining a “getting to first base” project that participants could implement within 120 days that will make money and a difference.
The local chamber and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce then picks 2-3 of the most promising projects for me and my Earth 2017 associates to supply additional one-on-one coaching to facilitate timely success measured by job creation, profitability and social/environmental results.
In Milwaukee we are working with two separate entrepreneurs on urban garden projects. One project targets developing a living roof that will deliver fresh herbs and produce to the restaurant located below. The other garden will be landscaping for an envisioned senior living center that will provide tenants with exercise, a community-experience and fresh food.
One of the two projects in Irving, Texas is a bakery owned by a wonderful mother of two with a husband overseas defending our nation. This bakery’s start-up will fulfill a long-standing community need for fresh and healthy baked goods. Earth 2017 is assisting in the design specifications for a green kitchen using energy and water-efficient appliances housed in a recycled retail location. We are also providing assistance in designing baked goods that use fresh, natural and organic ingredients. When completed, the bakery will have created new jobs and a healthier diet alternative for local citizens.
The other Texas project draws on the leadership of Irving Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Asusena Resendiz. Through her leadership, the Chamber is designing an outreach program to enable the Hispanic business community to promote recycling. This program is supportive of the City of Irving’s efforts to reduce costs by reducing waste streams. And it offers an innovative path for enhancing consumer and community awareness of the contributions being made by Irving’s growing Hispanic business community.
Two of the projects in Washington DC are focused on the retail beverage industry. One project is assisting a new wine and cheese store’s start-up. This effort will restore an existing location and I am helping the entrepreneur explore efficient lighting options, energy efficient HVAC designs and other energy/water conservation opportunities. Earth 2017 will also assist this entrepreneur in exploring merchandising opportunities to stock American-sourced organic wines, cheeses and olive oils. The project’s implementation will result in new jobs, a lower environmental footprint for the location and healthier food/beverage alternatives for the neighborhood.
Salt Lake City offered a first for me. A pair of entrepreneurs raised this question: “Is there such a thing as a green auto body shop?”
Impressively, these entrepreneurs then shared a list of actions they have already undertaken to make their business greener. But their challenge to me was whether there is a path to become even greener still. And my further challenge to them was whether we could grow their revenues with corporate clients like rental car companies by offering their greener service? I can’t wait to dig my teeth into this one.
The bottom line for Green Builds Business is that going smart, healthy and green is an immediate and doable path for businesses to make money and a difference even in today’s economy. These best practices will save money for existing businesses. The Green Builds Business program even provides product samples of lighting and water saving technologies to help participants get started saving energy, water and money. The result is businesses across the country that are now adopting these solutions for cutting their operating costs and their environmental footprint.
And most importantly for America’s economy is that these smart, healthy and green best practices generate revenues and jobs. Market research documents that 70% of consumers are searching for “in me, on me and around me” green, healthy and smart solutions. From the biggest companies like Apple to small entrepreneurs like Green Carpet Clean, the path to revenue growth is to align with the customer’s search for value and values. What is exciting for our future is how Green Builds Business participating companies are re-evaluating their pricing, marketing and branding to grow sale. And with growing sales comes business expansion and with business expansion comes jobs. American jobs. Local jobs. The jobs we need to restore our economy.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017, a company that has pioneered the development of business best practices to grow sales with customers searching for smart, healthy and green solutions. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles the best practices of businesses that are making money going smart, healthy and green.