Going Green is a Win - Win choice for business and the
environment. It benefits business, employees, suppliers and
most importantly their customers. In other words it's good
for the earth!
Green makes good business sense. When a company acts
irresponsibly, it makes headlines. But when a company acts
responsibly and ethically, it builds positive relationships and
lasting trust. We believe that our company’s reputation is
strongly linked to our commitment to Corporate Responsibility
(CR), a commitment that begins in the workplace and extends to
our operations, local communities and customers.
CR is not simply about compliance or what a company
must do. It’s about what a company can do to
deliver greater business benefit while delivering
financial and environmental benefits to it's
employees and society. At AFIG Corporate
Responsibility has been adopted as an integrated business
strategy, supported by policies, practices and
communication that deliver social, environmental and
economic value to the company, its employees and
What is “Green” ?
Surprisingly, the most basic definition of “Green” is relatively
simple. It's basic theme is all about minimizing the
potential negative environmental impacts of your business and
using all of your resources as efficiently as possible.
Continually seeking to eliminate all types of waste, protect the
environment and increase operational efficiency to become more
sustainable, while reducing total costs.
In order to maneuver through the complexity and confusion that
creeps in when you start building in the details, every company
needs a clear vision of “Green,” along with specific, measurable
and achievable goals that maximize value. Start with the vision and the goals
to provide focus and motivation during the program development
It’s obviously easier to have an impact on things that you can
directly control, so we are starting with a vision and specific goals
tailored to our business first and then start looking toward our
supply and distribution distribution chain.
The Cone Inc. 2007 Environmental Survey shows what consumers
expect of themselves and from businesses that they patronize.
Consumers indicate that they are focusing on pro-environmental
actions in three areas:
- Conserving Energy (93%)
- Conserving Water (86%)
- Recycling (89%)
As for business, consumers expect them to take the following
steps to become more sustainable:
- Reducing pollution throughout office &
manufacturing operations (71%)
- Designing products/packaging with more
environmentally-friendly contents & minimal packaging (69%)
- Distributing & transporting goods more
- Communicate environmental efforts to
employees and customers, so they can support those efforts (69%)
- Donating money to environmental causes (59%)
- Lobbying for more
environmentally-friendly policies (57%)
ENERGY STAR for Small Business
Environmental Value Drivers
Every business and industry
has it's own unique issues to address in building a
environmental sustainability program, but there are several
common areas that all business
can examine in building it's approach.
Some of these common areas
Procurement – Are
there alternative materials that we can use that
are more environmentally friendly and provide no worse
than a cost-neutral comparison to current materials? Can
we use recycled materials in our business?
Energy Usage – How
can we reduce the energy required to produce our
products or services? Can alternative Green Energy
sources be used to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in a
cost-effective manner? Major energy centers
servers, heating and cooling, lighting, compressed air
and process equipment.
Water and Sewer Usage
– We are doing everything possible to minimize the use
of water in our business, along with the resulting
waste streams associated with water use? This includes
items as small as landscaping around buildings.
Packaging – We are reorganizing our printed materials
and packaging to eliminate all but the absolutely
necessary elements and utilize recycled materials?
We will try to use the internet and electronic data
transmission wherever possible.
Waste Minimization –
We have implemented
programs to recover and recycle or reuse
valuable commodities and reduce the solid waste streams
flowing from your offices and facilities.
Maintenance Services – We use non-toxic
materials/products and practicing preventative
maintenance on key systems to maximize
||Shipping – How can we
minimize the need to ship materials? We use pdf
electronic documents, web conferences and/or e-mail
When we do ship materials we try to use the most efficient containers and carriers. Are you recovering and
recycling your current shipping containers?
||Employee Commuting – We offer telecommuting options for appropriate job
classifications. AFIG offers programs and/or
incentives for employees to use public transportation,
carpools, bicycles or walking routes to get to and from
||Carbon Footprint – Is it
important that we quantify our existing carbon footprint
and develop greenhouse gas emission reduction plans and
Energy and Climate Change
the United States, as in other parts of the world, citizens are
increasingly concerned about the threats to our future posed by
climate change and our addiction to fossil fuels. In turn, many
US citizens recognize the need to take responsibility for
ourselves and our country in transforming the ways we produce
and consume energy in our households, communities, regions and
A good starting point is to adopt and endorse the
Citizen's 5 Step Action Plan
- Inform and educate
about the impacts of your energy choices
- Change your habits in consuming energy
in your household, at work and the rest of you daily life.
- Challenge and support
local and state
leaders to change the ways energy is produced
and distributed in and for your community.
- Elect and support
national leaders who
will take responsibility in developing and
implementing a National Sustainable Energy Strategy.
- Actively participate
in a public national dialogue on our energy future.