Guest Column: The ‘Green’ Company
Last year, Hachette Book Group (HBG) launched an aggressive sustainability policy. Working together with passionate colleagues and industry experts, we realized that we could create a policy that would have a measurable impact on our industry. Companies routinely use policies to drive action, and the area of sustainability is no exception.
Based upon our experience, I've written the following tips for those of you who may be thinking about putting together your own sustainability policy. Please consider taking the plunge. It will help create a healthier planet, and make your readers, authors, customers and employees happy. It also will encourage your suppliers to support your environmental efforts.
1. Familiarize yourself with other companies' sustainability policies. At HBG, we looked at not only other publishers' policies, but those of our customers and suppliers, as well as some in completely different industries. Knowing how other companies approach sustainability is an important first step and might help you figure out what's most important to you. Usually these policies are publicly available on companies' websites.
2. Learn what's important to your stakeholders. What kinds of environmental issues have your customers been asking about? What kinds of "green" ideas have your fellow employees been suggesting? What initiatives have you or your suppliers already taken to be more environmentally responsible?
3. Take a look at the bigger picture. How does this effort relate to your company's overall mission and strategy? Do you already have an initiative around corporate social responsibility? Companies are increasingly focused on the triple-bottom line (also known as "people, planet, profit"). At HBG, we are very proud of our reputation as being a great place to work (having recently won honors in Book Business and Crain's New York Business), and we saw developing a sustainability policy as being important to our employees.