• Project Social Green HR Making Money

    Project Social continues to turns green and rolls on.  This week Laura and I discussed greening of HR and how to interest people in making HR more accountable for Green issues.   For those of us in the private sector we find profit margin most rewarding.  How can green make money for our Company? Another way to look at that is ([Current Cost] – [Improved Process}=> 0) = PROFIT. Profit, this is the main reason American business recycle is because there is economic gain to be had.  We are Capitalists. 

    Having said that let me carve out exclusion, some businesses recycle because it is the right thing to do.  Not for Profits may recycle because it is the right thing to do, but they too should be or are looking for economic gain out of recycling.  How can an HR department get something like this going? Well paper is a pretty easy target for the gain formula, while some of the other landfill destined items are a little more challenging.   Paper may require some handling or storage but it usually work easily if you are looking for the old ROI.

    This compactor creates 1000 lb bales of used paper.

    And remember if it is cheaper to dispose of via an alternate means than sending it off to the old dump, it is still a winner and a green alternative. This is another winner for the HR leader looking to do a little green HR.

    Through our discussion on the issues Laura has enlightened me as to how in most European countries there are significant regulations mandating Green Initiatives as well as tax incentives to reward those compliant businesses. While I am not a tax expert it would seem to me that if the U.S. government would make more Green initiatives more financially rewarding, businesses would  rapidly move in that direction.

    Over the years we have seen how tax law drives investment in and out of different areas.  Europe has already figured this formula out [New Tax incentive] + [New investment] = Innovation.

    So Congress needs to come up with the tax rewards for business – or the mandates to bring  green change to business!

     
  • Project Social Seeing Green

    Another week has gone by and Laura and I are striving to be the best Project Social students- yeah we’re both overachievers.  While we have made reference to our super secret project, we have to be honest.  It has changed a couple of times because we got beat on the draw. 

    One of the things that the two of wanted to do as a pair is create some body of work that would be interesting and useful to those in the hr blogosphere.   We have kicked around several ideas during our various conversations. One topic that seems to return is what we call green HR.  This would include jobs that directly or indirectly relate to environmental sensitive matters, and practices that are designed to reduce waste and improve recycling. 

    In our dialogue I was pontificating to Laura how we are scarring the landscape here in the Mid-West.  My brother-in-law, who is an Arizona native disparagingly refers to me as a flat-lander, well we are changing that.  In my travels over the summer I have seen three what I will call Garbage Mountains.  They are all within about 100 miles of Chicago.  There are literally mountains of garbage that are from the waste hauled of ht urban area.  The one pictured  here is near Pontiac, IL, just to the west of I-55.  If you have driven this stretch of road you have no doubt seen this and hopefully wondered – what in the hell is that? 

    Garbage Mountain - Near Pontiac, IL (I-55 mile post 200)

    I shared this story with Laura and she began to tell me how most European countries are much more forth right about dealing with environmental matters.  In Europe there is much more regulation around the matter than in the states. I told Laura it was interesting to met because at my employer we are diligent about recycling – but only because it makes good business sense – it cheaper to recycle than dump!  We segregate paper, metal, wood and food products and push them to the approriate recycling stream. While we don’t actually make money doing this, it does cost less than sending it to a dump, therefore we have ROI! 

    We both thought Green HR is good direction for our contibutions to Project Social.  At lease in this country, it has to make good business sense ($$$) to get American businesses to be on-board.  We seem to lack the social responsibility held by our European partners.

    So the on-going conversation got us to thinking we need to begin to create a body of resources for HR on  green issues.  We need to learn about green jobs –  jobs that specifically helping address environmental matters. We want to learn about Companies that genuinely care about their carbon foot print, why they care and what they are doing about it.  We are going to  be looking for help and assistance from our fellow bloggers and tweeps as well.  We are going use the simple formula exspoused by fellow Project Social betaite Lisa Rosendahl– tweet out an idea, build on it, look for feedback and blog about it. 

    My Project Social partner Laura Schroeder feels the same way and has posted similarly on this topic over at Working Girl and we want to do our part to encourage the growing movement toward corporate social responsibility. So if you have some knowledge about Green HR that you could share please contact Laura or me.