Volume 92, November 2008: Think Green

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

This is a monthly electronic magazine for anyone who wants to be a better leader, coach, facilitator, or simply, to tune up their people skills. It is a complimentary publication, devoted to the next evolution of Quality Thinking.

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2008 ISSN # 1545-8873

“The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost, for none now live who remember it.” — Galadriel

“Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it’s much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.” — Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

“(Tolkien) is a great enough magician to tap our most common nightmares, daydreams and twilight fancies, but he never invented them either: he found them a place to live, a green alternative to each day’s madness here in a poisoned world.” — Peter Beagle, Forward to The Fellowship of the Ring

“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.” — Wendell Berry


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications

What’s Hot in Leadership

  • Belief in corporate social responsibility.
  • Showing respect for all living things.
  • Fierce opposition to waste and non-value-adding activity.
  • Educating yourself and others about corporate renewal and wise stewardship of resources.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

“Going green” is not a political or fashion issue; it is a corporate and civic responsibility. The term “sustainable development” means a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs, while preserving the environment for future generations. Every corporate entity should be focused on how to reduce its environmental footprint.

There are so many simple things that can be done, it is inexcusable not to do them. In a recession-style economy, does it not make sense to go back to the old adage, Waste Not, Want Not? Get everyone involved in designing your green future.

Frequently Asked Questions

“What are the simple things to do?”
  • Recycle – seek multiple uses for everything.
  • Use recycled materials.
  • Turn off electronics when not in use. Unplug them.
  • Plant greenery.
  • Travel less. Use the Web/phone for meetings. Reward carpooling.
  • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.
  • Adjust your thermostats up or down 2 degrees.
  • Avoid lots of packaging and printing.
  • Decrease cycle times.
  • Streamline your processes and focus on efficiency. Seek single point-of-service solutions.
  • Stop “pushing” information on employees, contributing to overload, and use “pull” systems instead. Leverage technology.
  • Request that your employees and customers do the same – spread the change widely. Do business with other companies who are greening.
  • Donate to environmental causes and lobby for environmentally friendly legislation.
“Isn’t it going to cost more to implement all these changes?”
The benefits outweigh the costs, according to a report by Upstream Waste Management. Worker productivity increases in companies who care. Energy savings reduce the cost of operations. Buildings increase in value.
Companies with effective programs were on average 16% more profitable than competitors and had a share price that averaged 45% higher (“Doing Good: Business and the Sustainability Challenge,” The Economist Intelligence Unit Report in UWM’s report). There are also government incentives, such as tax breaks for solar power and grants for conservation.
“So who's watching anyway?”
The community, your employees, customers, potential customers, regulatory agencies, and stakeholders.
TheCRO.com (Corporate Responsibility Officer) gives visitors web access to the globe’s largest database of corporate responsibility and sustainability reports.
Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. For free access, check out: http://www.sustainability-index.com/. There are also organizations for social investing, like Ceres. Bankers, analysts, fund managers, and investors are staying on top of the “green wave.”
“So how do we get started?”
Have a look at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) website. They suggest these steps:
  • Clearly defining environmental goals for the organization
  • Involving staff at all levels in the process
  • Soliciting a strong commitment from senior executives
  • Emphasizing that real progress is made through long-term commitment
  • Educating staff
  • Measuring and documenting current environmental impacts, setting specific goals for reduction, and tracking progress toward meeting these goals.

Paul Hawken (1994), the entrepreneur behind the Smith & Hawken gardening supplies empire, is on a one-man crusade to reform our economic system by demanding that First World businesses reduce their consumption of energy and resources by 80 percent in the next 50 years. Want to join in?

  • Develop a corporate vision of “Green” and set stretch goals. In August, Dell met its much publicized goal to be carbon neutral ahead of schedule, lending some credibility to its quest of being the “greenest technology company on the planet.”
  • Calculate your existing carbon footprint: Carbon Calculator.
  • Examine the waste streams that go in and out of your office. Assess clutter (e.g., emails) and set about streamlining messaging, or count the number of steps to do a task and reduce them.


Ten ways to go green in the workplace: Going Green in the Workplace.

Al Gore's “An Inconvenient Truth” video study guide: An Inconvenient Truth Study Guide.

PowerPoint presentations making the case for green buildings: USGBC Presentations.

Key Associates offers green training and consultation: Contact us for more details.

Useful Websites & Newsletters

Explore potential products and improvements: Energy Star.

Pamphlet on “Bringing Your Green to Work”: Bring Your Green to Work with Energy Star.

A compendium of information on green from CNBC: Green Energy and Alternative Energy.

Keyzines on related topics: Lean Does Not Have to Be Mean, Picture of a Process, Changing Habits, Lean Organizations, Simplify, Constructive Confrontation, and Value Management



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