Special Topics in Safety Management

Going Green: Show Me the Money

Yesterday we explored the leading role that safety professionals can play in helping their workplaces “go green.” Today, we’ll give you the ammunition you need to approach upper management—the environmental, health, and, more important to some, economic benefits of going green.

Much like the unfortunate term “bailout package,” perhaps “going green” isn’t the greatest name for taking responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts of the services you provide and the businesses you operate (also called “environmental stewardship”).

Let’s face it—going green conjures up images of communes and tree hugging, and not everyone sees themselves in that light. Still, the environmental, health, and bottom-line benefits of greening cannot be ignored.


Corporate Sustainability and the Bottom Line: Why Being More Green Can Lead to Seeing More Green; Tips for Success—a very special BLR audio conference. Find out more.


From a health standpoint, the reduced exposure to toxic chemicals in our daily lives results in a significant decrease in asthma; skin problems; eye, nose, and throat irritation; migraines; and many other health-related problems.

The environmental benefits are too numerous to detail, but a very short list might include:

  • Greenhouse gas reduction
  • Improved water quality
  • Water conservation
  • Solid waste reduction
  • Improved air quality

That sounds great, you say, very people- and Earth-friendly. But suppose upper management wants to see hard evidence that going green will yield economic benefits? A white paper produced by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)—“Safety Implications of Greening: Hospitality Executive Leadership Opportunities”—contains some very persuasive examples, including:

  • Philadelphia’s Sheraton Rittenhouse Square installed compact fluorescents and saved 78 percent in energy costs, with a payback in 2 years.
  • The Travel Industry Association of America reports that 43 million travelers say they prefer to do business with companies that share their concern about the environment.
  • EPA statistics indicate that for every dollar invested in making a lodging facility greener through energy-efficient lighting upgrades, the facility reaps $6.27.
  • The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa saved approximately $2,500 per month by changing 4,400 incandescent lightbulbs. That resulted in a savings of $61,000 a year in electricity costs, which equals 203,000 kilowatt hours and 300,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

You might also point out that DuPont, the giant chemical maker that once was considered among America’s worst polluters, estimates that it has saved $3 billion from a nearly 2-decade effort to dramatically reduce carbon emissions. Not surprisingly, according to an article on MSNBC, the company is pushing for even more cuts.

“America is shifting to a ‘green culture,’ with more and more businesses understanding that environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility,” EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock is quoted as saying in the ASSE white paper. “EPA commends the leading Green Power Partners for making a long-term commitment to protecting the environment.”


Safety professionals have a leading role to play in workplace greening and sustainability. Find out more about our special BLR audio conference.


Make no mistake, “sustainability”—meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs—is becoming the premier buzzword for business. To gain a competitive advantage, companies know they must pay attention to their environmental and social responsibilities. Are you ready to grab your advantage and make your corporate responsibility a corporate opportunity?

If so, join us November 17 for a special 90-minute webinar, “Corporate Sustainability and the Bottom Line: Why Being More Green Can Lead to Seeing More Green; Tips for Success.” You’ll learn:

  • The benefits and importance of greening your company
  • The challenges and opportunities of a sustainable workplace
  • Real-life examples of companies that have made it work—and how they did it
  • How to develop a conservation/sustainability management program
  • The most effective ways to set goals and measure your progress
  • Tips for saving money and increasing your ROI

Your speakers will be BLR’s Ana-Mari Ellington and Amanda Czepiel, J.D. Ellington is a senior editor for BLR’s environmental publications, focusing primarily on environmental news as it affects national and international clients. She is an expert concerning the ISO 14000 series and has written about its relationship to other ISO series. Ellington is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Connecticut Environmental Forum, the Rhode Island Association of Environmental Professionals, the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, and the American Translators Association.

Czepiel is a legal editor for BLR’s environmental publications, for which she is an expert on water-related issues, pollution prevention, and recycling. She clerked in the Environmental Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and with the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. Czepiel is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the Connecticut Environmental Forum, the Rhode Island Society for Environmental Professionals, the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, and the American Bar Association.

If you want to help your organization become a leader in the going green movement, we recommend you attend. If you can’t, we urge you to preorder the conference CD. Either way, your satisfaction is assured or you get a full refund.