Recognizing the ‘Pull’ in Going Green

By Dan Hounsell  

Consider these TWO exchanges the next time you hit the wall in pursuing “green” initiatives in your organization.

First, the director of maintenance at a large Southern university, in discussing his interest in reflective roof coatings, says that among the most important supporters of such product applications at his organization are the university’s students. They all but demand that the school’s facilities use environmentally friendly products and technology whenever possible.

These kinds of measures in some cases help the university control costs, but the benefits go beyond that.

“There certainly are bottom-line cost savings, but it’s also really good PR,” he says.

Second, the marketing representative for a manufacturer of HVAC monitoring and control packages says the company’s products more often are finding their way into facilities when K-12 students order them in schools as part of classroom energy-awareness and -conservation projects.

What’s going on here? Well, for so long managers have heard manufacturers tell them about the benefits of green technology and products that they might not have been listening hard enough to hear calls from within facilities to investigate these efforts. In short, the “push” message might have overwhelmed the “pull” message in many organizations.

The real message here might be that many maintenance and engineering managers might have unrecognized yet essential allies within their organizations in their efforts to specify and install products and technology that minimize facilities’ impact on the environment.

Of course, managers first have to buy into the benefits of going green, and the benefits of these products must include real and dependable bottom-line savings.

Once these hurdles have been cleared, though, managers might want to spend more time considering whether the occupants of their facilities can play a role in helping products with environmental benefits find their ways into facilities.

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  posted on 2/1/2004   Article Use Policy

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