There’s a lot of talk these days in marketing circles about “green business” practices and marketing. I spent some time talking about this very thing with Tim Sanders whose upcoming release – Saving the World at Work – dives into the topic in a very smart way. (Look for our chat on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast)

Being green isn’t just about recycling, it’s about nurturing, growing things, instead of just using them. In fact, being green has as much to do with purpose and people as it does plastic and paper.

Companies that want to lean on their greeness as a marketing advantage need to do three things, in this order:
1) Grow and nurture their people – hire people who think green, empower and inspire them to make wise choices
2) Grow and nurture their community – involve the purpose of the business in the local community
3) Grow and nurture their planet – only now does recycling and carbon exchanging make a true difference

The beauty of this somewhat expanded view is that even the smallest business can do this and make a meaningful difference.;

Join Our Content Community
Please leave this field empty.

First Name

Last Name

Your Email (this will be your username)

Password (at least 8 characters, 1 number, 1 upper and lowercase letter)

Already a member? Log In

John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • What Makes a Business Green?

    Clearly, the perceptions of it’s patrons.

  • I love the way you look at this – that is so very true! There are so many ‘fancy’ people going green, because, it’s the ‘fancy’ thing to do. The true nature of going green, however, goes so much deeper than that! Thank you for putting it so succinctly! Keeping it simple! Love it! 🙂

  • John Jantsch

    @Lisa Marie – thanks – just had to tell you I love your domain name!

  • Hmmmmmm… How does one go about determining if a potential job applicant “thinks green”?

  • John Jantsch

    @Mike – just ask – the EEOC regulates a lot of what you can ask a potential applicant, but “do you recycle at home?” is not one of them. With a little thought I’m sure you could formulate some questions that would hint at how they feel about green related topics without really even tipping your hand that you were doing it.

  • This is so timely…yesterday’s newspaper had a story about Clorox and it’s green products…I was thinking, well, just because a product has coconut oil in it, was it’s manufacturing done “green?” As a home-based business person I wonder if I’m being green. I don’t travel much so my carbon footprint isn’t too bad; I recylce in my home and have even stopped purchasing aluminum foil. I like your post, it addresses the growing, nurturing of not just green thinking, but interpersonal relationships in our business environment.

  • Thank you, John! 🙂

  • Because there is no standard for a green business, the truth is any business can call themselves green. How will they prove it? They really do not have to. At some point people are going to have GREEN Fatigue. They are going to be tired of hearing about it and tired of being fooled by companies that are really NOT green.

    Dr. Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show

  • This is a good perspective. As a business owner or consumer, it’s often hard to really evaluate the environmental impact of our daily choices. Taking a holistic approach that includes a focus on the local community (rather than focusing on specific actions because everyone else is) is a great way to start. For example, when faced with a choice between non-organic, locally grown food from a small farm and organic food from 2000 miles away, which is better? Or this – we know that lots of fossil fuels and anti-biotics go into the production and shipping of most (factory farmed) beef. But is better not to eat any meat or to eat local, grass-fed beef? It’s often hard to know what the best answer is, but I think if we start with a philosophy of trying our best to take care of the planet and reduce our impact, then we’re on the right path. By the way, I recently blogged about one way that our company trying to become greener – green Web hosting.

  • Jon Watson

    Taking my company in the green direction has been a very challenging process; not only do I have to convince our employees to begin “thinking green”, but I need to make sure we’re doing it for the right reason! In a small company with twelve employees it’s important (in my opinion) to maintain our integrity in this matter. We need to be doing it because it’s the right thing to do, and if it brings us more business…well, that’s just a benefit! It is certainly a process though. It takes more than just paying some company money to theoretically offset your carbon footprint… you really have to adopt a new corporate lifestyle.

  • Kim

    It’s good that you bring this up, because we always learn a little more in the follow-up comments.

    I hadn’t even thought about aluminum foil; what else am I missing, LOL?

  • You are so right when you describe this. I have found the business that does exactly what you describe. When I read your blog, I thought you were advertising that business! I was surprised when I couldn’t find the advertisment. Excellent post. It is more than just building houses, or what we eat, or in whether we use paper or plastic or neither. It is also in what types of chemicals we choose to put in our house, how we treat each other and build each other up or tear each other down. If a corporation can achieve that, they are really doing something to help to planet and people’s lives in general. What I don’t understand is when there is a company doing that why it is not bigger news! Check out and my website for more information.

  • 3/4 of the companies that say their green are full of it. Most of it is PR bull.

  • I have to agree with ZaggedEdge. Most companies market themselves as being green, but are usually not. Organic is one of those terms now that is just thrown around and not really used properly. I would rather buy locally grown produce that may not fully be organic and know how they grew it, than buy something at the grocery store just because it says organic.

  • This was a GREAT article, and it certainly deserves to be shared. It’s too easy to capitalize on a fad and turn a profit. The companines that live the message AND sell resources to share in the message are the ones that are valuable.

    I hope you won’t object that I directed my readers to this blog post in my recent entry:

    I’d like everyone to hear your message and see your website.

  • I love your article and the spin you put on green,I totally agree. Emothional environment is huge. I think the green concepts in many ways is top of the period, Maslow, I mean. I’ve owned and ran two companies that had terrible emotional environment or whatever a guy could call it. Being part of the solution is green whether it is green or not.

  • I think it pretty much goes hand in hand with Public Relations. But nice post, thanks for posting.