Automotive Environment Annual 2013

EnvironmentThe True Cost of Green

Some argue that making green choices costs money. But is that really true? 

During a recent fleet conference (NAFA’s 2013 I&E in Atlantic City), one of the speakers reminded the audience that the environment is no longer top of mind for consumers. The environment, argued the speaker, is currently playing second fiddle to a more pressing prior­ity – the economy.

It’s easy to see why that might be the case. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to make the environment a priority when you’re unemployed, or simply unable to make ends meet. Green products have often been criticized for costing more than their “non-green” counterparts, which means the unem­ployed, or the under-employed, are more likely to think of products in terms of dollars-and-cents when times are tough, rather than in terms of green vs. not green.

Fact vs. fiction

But saving the environment doesn’t always have to cost more. In fact, making green choices can actually save consumers, and businesses, money. Take as an example, vehicle choice. Does it cost more to buy a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle? Does it cost more to fill up a tank when driving a smaller vehicle, or a vehicle with a smaller displacement engine, or with less cylinders (I4 vs V6 or a V8)? The answer in all cases is no. So the idea that making green decisions has to cost more, isn’t true.

Getting back to our original point, although it’s true that some organizations don’t have the luxury of being green 100% of the time, we all likely have windows of opportunity where we can take steps to green our business practices.

In other words, although there may be times when an orga­nization is busy surviving, there are other occasions when business is good and when profits are healthy, making it possible to pursue a greener agenda.

So don’t feel guilty when you simply can’t focus on green. But on the flip side of that coin, when you have the op­portunity and the circumstances to go green, we encourage you to embrace it!

Set the example

If enough of us make responsible decisions, whenever it is possible for us to do so, then collectively, and over time, we can certainly make a difference, and we can certainly hope that our fine examples will inspire others.

That’s what our Environment Annual is all about – inspiring Canadian businesses to make environmentally-responsible decisions. We won’t necessarily save the world in a single issue, but we hope we can inspire you, and other business leaders, to think green.


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