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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Gun to the Head?

By Keith R. Schmitz

Despite the screaming on the right wing blogs and among their pundits that environment issue is the sole province of the loonie left, the push for sustainability in response to the coming climate change crisis is a river that runs deeper than eco-fans and the left wing.

From manufacturing to supply chain to food processing to architecture, there is a growing embrace of sustainability by companies that can hardly be accused of being raving socialists. In many ways business is more eco-savvy than many on the left think it is. I have walked many plant floors in facilities where major bucks are being sunk into equipment and systems to make operations run more efficiently in the name of sustainability.

Evidence? There are already companies that are compelling their suppliers to go green, or the green ultimatum as Industry Week puts it. Bear in mind these initiatives are taking place despite the possibility of increased supply chain costs.

These companies right now are not in the majority, but there some major names among those that do. The lean/Six Sigma mind set is driving part of this in that companies are becoming more conscious of the concept of eliminating waste, and certainly wasting the environment is part of this.

Some of this of course can be window dressing, but in fact there are some long-range thinkers -- thank God -- possessing vision that runs past the current quarter. In many cases this is driven by customer demand by very often smart companies key in to the costs savings down the road. And yes, there are those who have an eye to what is happening. The recognize that the business climate won't be too good if our atmospheric climate is not.

Here in Wisconsin look no further than SC Johnson. And for them, this is no passing fad as the Johnson family has been been doing this for more than three generations.

Wondering how to kick in bi-partisanship or better yet non-partisanship? This is the place to start.

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