One of the topics discussed was green marketing and best practices. These were the main outcomes:
– Companies should focus on improving their own energy efficiency, while emphasizing benefits to local communities. Look for the “low-hanging fruit” for quicker ROI.
– Companies should give customers reasons to adopt environmentally responsible behaviors.
– When it comes to green marketing, provide information about a product’s environmental benefits close to the point of purchase. Make the message personal by explaining how a consumer’s purchase has direct environmental results.
– When providing information to stakeholders, avoid a hard sell on environmental benefits. Instead, engage stakeholders in a dialogue.
– In green marketing, explain the benefits to the environment as part of a bigger value proposition.
– Consider how waste can be an opportunity, not a cost or liability.
– Get a double whammy by undertaking a project that will boost productivity at the same time as cutting emissions.
– When working with nongovernmental organizations, there must be a shared understanding of the goals and constraints of a partnership, with both sides understanding and respecting the rules of engagement.
– To get a project off the ground, consider new forms of financing, both public and private. For instance, it is possible to add solar panels at no upfront cost using a power purchase agreement (PPA).
What doesn’t work
– Participants suggested that the government should not be put in a position “to pick winners and losers” for any technology or business process. Instead, the government should help develop technology-neutral standards.
– Companies cannot use uncertainty over government action on climate change as an excuse to stop innovating.
– Firms cannot simply talk about being green. Sustainability must become part of a company’s DNA.
– Avoid politicizing sustainability. Instead, explain the economics behind adopting energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts.
– When working with nongovernmental organizations, do not strike a deal that has no substance. Be sure to carefully consider the people and resource needs of a partnership.
– For best results when financing energy efficiency or other environmental projects, the market requires more certainty in government policy.