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A CEO's Seven Personal Inputs for Making an Environmentally Sustainable Business

Chief executive officers are responsible for creating corporate culture, environment and strategy. An environmentally sustainable business requires a top leader who shows his commitment to green energy solutions with his actions. Here are seven personal inputs of the CEO that can make a business more environmentally friendly.

Employees need a leader who integrates sustainable solutions into the company's mindset, focus, and strategy and every-day culture with consistent, coherent actions. Staff members want to work for a leader with a personal commitment to making the company eco-friendly. Workers will follow the lead of the CEO in adopting sustainable methods, techniques, and technology.

1. Use Green Gadgets
CEOs who use sustainable watches, cell phones, and laptops are more likely to become spokesmen for these environmentally conscious gadgets and sustainable technology. There are many solar-, water-, and wind-powered devices that are available; these not only save energy, but also save time. These creative gadgets also make sustainable business solutions more fun.

Installing more efficient printers and printing less can save on paper costs. A clever CEO could find synergies between his corporate brand and the equipment manufacturer. Just as car companies provide free vehicles to high-profile athletes for endorsements, the gadget makers might offer their devices for free. This is a great marketing opportunity for all parties.

2. Secure Sustainability Memberships
There are many organizations that are encouraging governments, businesses, and society to support sustainable energy. Corporate leaders should be members of these organizations, such as the American Sustainable Business Council. Executives can spread the word and remain on top of the latest developments.

3. Hire a Sustainability Executive Officer (SEO)
Hire a full-time Sustainability Executive Officer (SEO) to oversee the company's efforts toward becoming more eco-friendly. This allows workers to have a good contact person. CEOs can delegate different functions and have the SEO provide annual reports on progress.

4. Provide Eco-Friendly Rewards
Business leaders understand that the best way to encourage positive action is to offer incentives. CEOs should set goals for increasing the sustainable energy features of buildings by 5 percent every year, or whatever they think is doable.

Executives could create a chart documenting the ongoing progress towards the goal and have a party if the company achieves said goal. Also, businesses should create a dedicated sustainable energy hotline where people can get their questions answered.

5. Replace Inefficient Lights
Nearly 18 percent of commercial building energy usage is devoted to lighting. A 2008 U.S. Department of Energy study noted that light emitting diodes (LEDs) could drastically reduce electricity bills. Executives could upgrade one room per month to more-efficient lighting.

6. Use Eco-Friendly Vehicles
The corporate limousine and jet could also use environmentally friendly energy for power. Every time the CEO travels to another location, he would be depending on these green energy solutions. This helps him understand how the technology can be incorporated into the entire corporate fleet.

The media love "personal stories." The CEO can offer his own personal perspective and experience when comparing the advantages or disadvantages of sustainable technology. This lends credibility to his opinion and the green energy cause.

7. Create a Green Headquarters
Use recycled, sustainable, natural materials in the corporate headquarters. You will be saving the environment and showing all visitors your "Green Badge of Honor." Everyone will naturally feel more comfortable with these earth-friendly materials.

Solar panels, energy-efficient water heating, and wind turbines can lower your building costs dramatically. Employees and managers will naturally follow the lead of the CEO. Document your cost savings and display them in a prominent space.

CEOs understand how humans operate. By offering the right incentives, individuals will follow the path set by the leaders. CEOs can use any of these seven ideas to lead their organization to a brighter future.

Michael Rogers is the Operations Director of With more than five years of experience and knowledge in the insurance industry, he contributes his level of expertise as a leader and an agent to educate and secure coverage for thousands of clients. US Insurance Agents works hard to provide our users with a fast and simple way to get and compare insurance rates for multiple lines of insurance, including car insurance, homeowners' insurance, renter's insurance, life insurance, and health insurance. Visit for information.

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