The Global View

Author believes that 2007 is the dawn of sustainable, eco-friendly businesses

Author Bill Blackburn believes that in years to come, people will look back on this era and see 2007 as the dawn of sustainable yet eco-friendly business practices, Greenbay Press Gazette reports

His book, ‘The Sustainability Handbook’, is geared towards achieving social, economic and environmental responsibility in business management.

“You don’t have to sit back helplessly and say, ‘This is too big for me to do anything about,'” Blackburn said after speaking at the summit. “It’s like any other movement. It starts with a small group of dedicated people, and then it slowly grows.”

He cautions against trying to make myriad sweeping changes at once.

“What I’ve seen in some schools and some companies is people get so fired up that they try to do everything,” Blackburn said. “They try to do too much, too fast, so the real challenge is to find a way of prioritizing and pacing yourself.”

American Foods Group in Green Bay has been working with Wisconsin Public Service and Wisconsin Focus on Energy to find ways to curb the amount of power and water they use in their operation. For instance, last year the company began using hose nozzles that work at a higher pressure but a lower volume as a way of reducing water usage. The move was expected to save AFG $400,000 and 22 million gallons of water.

They put equipment in place to recover heat off air compressors for an annual savings of about $9,700 while at the same time adding controls to their boilers for increased fuel efficiency with an annual savings of about $15,000 a year, Derouin said.

“It’s ongoing,” he said. “It was a business decision … to have a better bottom line and one of the easier ways was to capture some energy savings.”

Greenbang can’t help but think of Bill Bailey, and wonders if Blackburn looks similar. He hopes so.