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Has business hit a green tipping point?

joelThere’s such a thick fog of sustainability, environmental, green and other buzzwords in the air right now, that it’s hard to tell for sure if genuine change is happening within businesses–or whether they’re just talking about change.

One green consultant and expert, Joel Makower, doesn’t think it’s quite there yet. As he argues in his blog:

From where I sit, it seems as if nearly every company is asking some form of the question, “What’s our green strategy?” They don’t necessarily understand what that means, but they know they need one. And that’s a sea change.

But for the most part, the answers they’re coming up with are more programmatic than strategic — a few noteworthy changes here and there, but mostly business as usual.

And small and midsized companies — 98 percent of all firms in the U.S. (and probably most other countries) have fewer than 100 employees — remain largely uninvolved. Look around your community and you’ll find that most local business haven’t changed much: dry cleaners, auto mechanics, small parts manufacturers, metal finishers, printers, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers have largely been AWOL from this conversation, except in rare instances. They represent a large chunk of the economy that hasn’t yet discovered “green.”

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