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Putting yourself in the Spotlight.
Making the choice to go green has definitely been an education so far. There is an undeniable truth that you cannot avoid. To live in the modern world is a way of life that does some form of harm to the environment in some way, probably every day.
Saying you are going green instantly puts you in the spotlight. It seems what people hear, or want to hear is that we are green. This is definitely NOT the same thing. So what I observe is that as soon as we make some progress, it is pointed out where we have not and the spotlight is shone on that aspect, rather than the progress made.
What I have learnt is that the difference between trying to improve performance and becoming going green is this: there is a well understood standard for green, i.e. how nature does it and a very vague but inspiring hope for performance, i.e. faster, more efficiently, cleans without the effort…and we all know it is easier to be held up to the standard of better than an absolute measure. But having the absolute measure provides a very clear compass that will still apply 50, 100, 150 years from now. So while the gap between where we are and where we want to go is great, it is really reassuring to know that the vision is very clear and not about to change anytime soon. That can provide tremendous stability and focus for a company.
Going Green is like trying to turn a giant tanker around! It is very difficult to get the vessel to start and then when it has; it is just as difficult to stop. That is what I like so much about the quest. There have been at least 3-4 attempts in the past 40 years to turn the modern world green and each has petered out. It definitely feels as if this time, we have the momentum to get that tanker turning in a way that will be difficult to stop. I know that for Baumgartens as a company we are getting close to the tipping point. Our top 9 new product sales are all green products and that says something in an industry that has traditionally not really been interested.
And so while progress feels glacially slow and the criticism has no end, we are committed and having fun in the process. At every decision point there is another unknown. A new standard to learn, a new effect that we had not considered, new materials to learn and a new challenge to our claims. How else can we learn to become more green if not through experience and challenge? Bring it on!
I would rather this than a slow death by more of the same!
Clive Roux, CMO Baumgartens