Sustainable Landscapes, step-2: Grow Green (planet & profit) Market Share

Are you and your product or service a steward for the land? “Sustainability – the ultimate green,” says Green Industry colleague Ed Snodgrass “means we don't take more out of the Earth than we are able to put back.” Recognized nationally by media as the ‘2007 Green Roof Man of the Year’, Snodgrass, a committed conservationist, has supplied plants for over one million square feet of green roofs in 20 states and the District of Columbia. And, if you look behind his commercial commitment, you also see that it extends far beyond a business focus. He has applied his philosophy, ‘don’t take more out of the Earth than we are able to put back’, to all facets of his lifestyle; for additional details, link to web site

Similar to the concept of individual accountability, ‘growing green’ a product or service starts with measuring eco-foot prints, to determine how both you and/or your employees presently fall short related to ‘green’ choices. Then, the concept expands to measure overall impact of a product or service as it relates to creating carbon footprints, .


While it can appear difficult to identify ‘greening strategies’, in most cases it is simply applying core business strategies such as efficiency of scale: create maximum output from minimum input. So, related to the distribution of your product or service, think outside of the box.


For example, through reviewing delivery routes, United Parcel Service (UPS) saved millions of dollars in fuel cost, reduced employee overtime and improved their customer service. How did this event occur? By developing delivery routes that took advantage of ‘free right turn during red lights’, with little or no start up cost, the new routing system immediately reap reward.


In my book - The ABCs of Green Industry Communications: assess, brand & communicate,, - I share the ‘who, what, when, where, why, how and benefits of ‘growing green (profit/planet)’ market share’. I as well as other Industry professionals provide tips related to identifying a niche market, developing sustainable business strategies and implementing communication activities that enable market share - not simply the mechanics but examples of activities proven to create market presence.


Let me share a few ‘greening’ tips -

·        Become a steward of the land because ‘green matters’.

·        Be aware research reveals 8 of 10 consumers prefer a green product, service or information; regardless of age, green matters; so, consumers are willing to pay more (usually 5 to 10%); and, prefer to deal with a company that has an established ‘greening’ reputation.

  • Understand the P’s – product, publicity, promotion, people, planet & profit – as each influence ‘greening’ market share; and then, develop vision/mission statements and green initiatives which enable media formats that support brand recognition.


  • Provide ‘green’ products or services defined as ‘made/provided with little environmental harm’: goods or services produced in environmentally and ecologically friendly ways, e.g. by using renewable resources.


  • Strive to create ultimate ‘green’ products or services that meet present-day consumer demand without impacting future generation resources.


  • Use mechanics involved in creating branded images and identify communication formats that create a differentiated message, an industry appropriate image sustained by viable ‘green’ products or services.


  • inject the market place with a unique, consistent, desirable ‘green’ persona position that reigns over a consumer’s mind and is so highly valued you and/or your product are not simply seen as “a” product but “the” product.


  • Become the recognized niche product or service eco-brand, create a brand name - you!

So, considering the relationship of planet and profit, are you ‘growing green’ your business? Are you contributing to sustainability, ultimate green? As my colleague Ed Snodgrass says, “Don’t take more out of the Earth than we are able to put back.”

Author’s Note - In anticipation of the 2010 DC Green Festival, I’ve implemented a 5-step sustainable landscape program. A final step invites all to the DC Green Festival Saturday, October 23, from 12:30 to 1:15pm held at the Organic Gardening and Urban Farming Pavilion located in the DC Convention Center to hear my speech Gardening Green: the sustainable landscape. For details, see Green Festivals .


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