In Rick Fredrizzi’s new book, ‘Greenthink: How Profit can Save the Planet‘, the president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council makes the case for sustainability as an incredible business opportunity. He argues that in the 21st century, “developers, owners and tenants see significant savings and environmental benefits from green buildings, while USGBC members see significant financial returns.”
Globally, some enlightened companies are ‘leveraging the power of sustainability to drive profits’. However, the ongoing battle between some people in the business world and environmentalists continues.
It is common knowledge that in order for our planet to continue to thrive, it is necessary to live and work with the planet. LEED professionals around the world working for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses or blue-collar contractors, are working together in what they believe is a ‘win-win for the economy and the environment.’
These beliefs frequently meet opposition. Often environmental leaders find themselves in disagreement with business leaders. But both sides can work together. An environmental group will monitor carbon emissions for a business in order for it to be perceived as green. However, none of this would happen without the force of law. Without laws, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water act, and incentives offered by the government, many businesses do not see the benefit in spending the time and money to focus on the environment and public health.
This battle has brought on many difficult choices. Which is why it is no surprise that lawmakers cannot balance –competing priorities. What does need to change is the old saying, ‘What’s bad for the environment is good for the economy, and vice versa.’ There are many examples of environmental disasters impacting the private sector: increased storms, pollution, and droughts. Did you know air pollution is an economic health risk?
Fedrizzi states, “It is painfully clear to me that we’re in the midst of a global environmental depression.” If the world’s antiquated way of thinking doesn’t change, this will continue to worsen. Both worlds can come together to fight against their common enemies: waste, inefficiency, pollution, climate change, resource scarcity, and environmental degradation. This common outlook, referred to as greenthink, occurs when businesses, environmentalist and others combine environmental and economic principles so all will benefit.