St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and with it comes a cavalcade of parades, floats, shamrocks and people bedecked in green hats to celebrate.
At Clairemont, we love to celebrate in every shade of green while we search for the gold at the end of the rainbow. But we also use the occasion to reconnect with a different “green” side — the kind that decreases our footprint on the planet while bolstering a sustainable legacy.
Why Go Green? (From a PR Viewpoint)
As the impact on our environment is increasingly felt, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is taking on a deeper hue of green. Companies have redefined their CSR policies to prioritize sustainability, which until a few years ago was considered by many simply a “nice to have,” feel-good factor.
Authentic CSR efforts can support innovation, boost cost savings and increase brand differentiation as well as build authentic, transparent bonds with fans. As Freya Williams states in her book “Green Giants,” some of the most respected billion-dollar companies have achieved success from a business plan built on sustainability and social good. For example, Briar Chapel and Wendell Falls, two Clairemont Communications clients, were founded on principles of sustainability — from the initial land plan to the green-built homes. The foundational positioning and commitment to a long-term legacy, coupled with quality lifestyles and homes, have helped position these master-planned communities as the top-selling areas in the Triangle. Companies from all sectors have been integrating an authentic wider purpose into their brand which, in turn, supports an enriched relationship with their audiences and, on occasion, long-term profitability
Whether a small business, a large corporation or just you, there’s no better (or more color-appropriate) time to consider your sustainability commitment than St. Patricks Day. For fun, we gathered easy tips on how to celebrate your Irish side in the greenest of ways.
Here are four easy ways to encourage your business with a few green practices:
1. Make it Fun
Add a little extra encouragement for employees to go green by implementing an office challenge. Give “points” to those that walk, bike (or scoot!) to work, participate in a carpool, abandon the elevator for stairs and cut down on their printing. Each week, reward the employee with the most points with a treat such as a gift card to their favorite coffee shop or lunch on the company. Incentives work, and if the office is consistent about hosting and promoting the challenge throughout the year, these employee efforts – no matter how small – have the chance to become real habits which can make a big difference over time.
2. Flex Your Green Thumb
Encourage employees to bring in a desk plant. Not only is the greenery appealing to the eye, but it will purify the air and liven things up a bit around the office. Plus, it’s fun to watch something that you’re responsible for grow. There are many plants that thrive indoors easily, needing little to no care. Have even more space? How about grow some window tomatoes (yes, inside) or plant a small garden of herbs (even if only for the smell)? Have some outdoor space? Get crazy and plant a whole bed of seasonal veggies, which is sure to get a cluster of people involved. A bonus: offer up those “points” to those that help care for the garden.
3. Walk the Walk
It’s very important that owners, managers and senior staff set the example for the rest of the company. Make sure company-wide policies are in place that cover the basics, like keeping the thermostat at a certain temperature, initiating a recycling program, going paperless and turning off the lights when employees leave their offices.
4. Go Local
Try to find local suppliers to cut down on transportation time and greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately help your community. Browse business directories, attend small business meetups in your area and, if need be, ask your local officials for help.
To learn more about our CEO’s journey in launching Clairemont Communications as an agency that is sustainbly aware, read our blog “Doing Our Best at Doing our Part.”
Written by Clairemont Intern Ru Wolle, a senior at NCSU.
Photos from Canva