Every kid in the universe knows what’s it’s like to want to grow up and change the world. That innate desire to make a difference starts in us the moment we begin to figure out ambition, and sustainability puts that power into our hands.
That’s the message I hope attendees walked away with this morning after my talk at the National Facilities Management and Technology Conference in Baltimore. The power is in our hands, but the sustainability equation is a bit more complicated than expressing intent or simply cutting costs.
Instead, a sustainbility agenda starts with cost counting. We can’t just slash our budgets in certain places and call it sustainability. A true sustainability approach means starting from scratch. In every business in America, there is money lying on the table in the form of inefficiencies. Removing these inefficiencies will contribute directly and immediately, to your bottom line.
But let not jump ahead of ourselves. First, what is sustainability? One definition I like is, sustainability is meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations.
What motivates to me every day is there is a global sustainability movement growing across industries. When we first started ValleyCrest Takes On I was lucky to find a single article on smart water use. Now I can hardly count the number of reputable water management blogs on my fingers.
There is a new wave of action and engagement and we need to capture some of this for our organizations so we can move forward in a more profitable and positive manner. So what does sustainability entail? In terms of landscape maintenance, it means reducing inputs like water, fertilizer and fuel. It also means reducing outputs like green waste, water pollution, and air pollution.
Now is the time to use the momentum of this growth to accelerate our businesses in a way that drives us to become more profitable with better, more sustainable products. And you know what the really good news is? You don’t have to have a corner office to be a sustainability leader.
Every single one of us can influence and motivate those around us to be more sustainable. This will be good for business and for the environment. The only question remaining is, are you ready to lead?
Check out additional slides on my sustainable landscape practices board.