by Mike Ferguson
(St. Charles, MO) – Can the motivation to make a profit coincide with efforts to preserve natural resources and take better care of the environment?
Increasingly, the answer to that question is “yes”.
While many businesses have some kind of green initiative, large corporations are starting to look at conservation as a business strategy. AT&T Missouri Vice President Debra Hollingworth is among the corporate executives who like the fact that green is included in the business plan along with red and black.
The company’s fleet of service vehicles that is based in the St. Louis area is one example of a large-scale environmental effort.
The company has around 5,700 vehicles in use right now that are powered by compressed natural gas. Their goal is to have 15,000 compressed natural gas vehicles in use by 2018. The effort began in 2009.
Hollingsworth says other kinds of green technology, including electric and hybrid vehicles, are also being used by AT&T, bringing the total number of their green technology-powered vehicles on the road now to around 7,900.
The benefits of using compressed natural gas, according to Hollingsworth, are that it means low emissions from the vehicles, it’s efficient and an abundance of natural gas in the US mean a likely cheap source of fuel for many years. One of the challenges of that kind of power is a low number of fueling stations currently.
AT&T, along with other technology companies, also provide ratings that show how eco-friendly wireless and other electronic devices are. Those ratings are based on the energy efficiency or the item and on the ability to recycle it later.
The effort to increase conservation in business doesn’t just rely on the businesses, though. Customers can be a part of that. Hollingsworth suggests taking advantage of digital options when doing business.
“If you can get your bill without it coming in the mail and on paper, please do so. It saves so much [in terms of] work on the environment, not to mention all the trees, and it’s quicker and more efficient all the way around.”
Other ways customers can take the lead in making business more green is to take advantage of recycling programs offered in stores of many different companies, checking the energy and environmental ratings of products before you buy and using mobile apps to manage accounts.
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Commentaries in this week’s “Missouri Viewpoints are provided and sponsored by:
Progress Missouri: www.ProgressMissouri.org
Associated Industries of Missouri: www.AIMO.com