Photo by Alex Osterwalder
IBM Consulting reminds us that a business is only as efficient as their entire process allows it to be. Every successful business should know how to process their product or service from "cradle to grave" with the best possible efficiency. This is referring to the actual design, production process, packaging, distribution, customer response, refurbishing, and final recycling.
Cradle to Grave Efficiency
This is important for just about any product or service you provide, including automobiles, farm equipment, computers, food, clothing, and construction. There are a number of materials to choose from these days, and some of them are more environmentally friendly than others. There are also packaging materials that are easily biodegradable, recyclable, and then those that once made, will sit on the earth for thousands of years.
Production and Distribution
There is the decision of which kind of energy to use during production, such as machines or human hands. Is there a way to make that source more efficient? Once you have a reasonably environmentally friendly product, you have to decide how to distribute it to stores. Traditionally manufacturers use diesel trucks, which could be replaced by hybrid diesels, electric delivery vans, or possible even a rail system.
Refurbish and Recycling
Once these products are getting out there into consumer hands, you are going to then have to consider their longevity on the market. Computers for instance have a very short shelf life, meaning that they can be outdated within just a couple of months. To improve on this, a company can create easy ways for these products to be upgraded, refurbished, and finally recycled once their useful life is up.
The thing to realize as a new business, is becoming more efficient, means saving money. So, saving the world does not mean costing you an arm and a leg in the process, but rather giving you extra arms and legs to help boost your productivity, as well as putting a lot of consumers on your side as a green company. A lot of people today focus their patronage on green, environmentally friendly companies rather than just the price points
You don't have to use a specific consultant (such as IBM) if you have your own set path of green from which to follow. The point here is to take the time to learn how to green your business... it will pay you back in more ways than one!