Magazine Article | August 20, 2008

We Know Why You're Green

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

Next month’s report to shed light on the motivation for the greening of retail.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, September 2008

Next month, we'll publish a report on the state of the green mentality among retail technology and operations professionals. We've been talking the project up quite a bit and pushing the survey hard to our readers. Some of my colleagues have recently asked, "Isn't this green stuff a bit over-hyped?" A look at the responses to our survey at the halfway mark tells me that no, it's not. In fact, this survey has garnered a response from our readers like no other that I've ever seen. We offered no gimmicks, no vacation giveaways, and no drawings for iPods. We simply asked for 10 minutes of your time and a few of your opinions, and hundreds upon hundreds of you gladly gave us both.

Greening Your Company:Any Motivation Is Positive Motivation
Next month's report will be authored by Integrated Solutions For Retailers Editor Erin Harris, and it will be comprehensive and enlightening. I'm not going to give away too much of the store here, but I will tell you that we're asking lots of questions about the motivation for the greening of your retail enterprises, and the responses we're getting are as varied as they are intriguing. Does public perception motivate you to take image-improving action? Are you driven by regulatory compliance? Are you simply a hardcore environmentalist on a mission to save the planet?

I've read many articles on corporate motivation for greening up. "Greenwashing" is a relatively new term that pundits are using to call out companies whose motivation for projecting a green image is suspect. I'll not pass judgment on the responses I've seen from our readers — in my opinion, just about any motivation for achieving sustainability is positive motivation. If you're doing something sustainable for the environment and your company, I say let people know about it. And if the why behind it is important, let them know that, too.

When we asked our readers about their motivation for conveying a green image, one regional sporting goods chain CIO gave a great response that illustrates my point.  We gave respondents the following choices:
n Target audience requirement
nConveys efficient operations
n Shareholder requirement
n Social responsibility
n Public relations
n All of the above
n Other; please elaborate

 More Info

 On The Web: Read Editor Erin Harris' take on retail sustainability at


This sporting goods store CIO chose social responsibility, as did most, but he also chose target audience requirement. His store sells hunting, fishing, and outdoors equipment. He's in tune with his customers, and what's important to them is important to him. But it's his response in the 'other' column that I admire most. In that field he typed, "Nothing to hunt, no hunting. No clean water, no ducks."

I love that. It's personal for this guy, and that's a great source of motivation. Look for the report next month, and thanks for weighing in on the subject.