SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY (OUR SS)
By: Ron Benjamin.
To many of us in our older years, SS stands for Social Security. And for those of you who are younger, it may mean the Selective Service!
But for GreenEarth, SS is our code for Sustainability Strategy. And it’s what we think about a lot.
Quite simply, we have tried — and continue to try — to be concerned about where our garment after care industry will be in 5 to 10 years. And what we need to be doing to remain relevant to our customers then. Since our initial days in 1999, our view has been less about the short term “survival” view and more about the longer term “sustainable” view.
In the April 14th 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal, I noticed a statistic citing that 46% of the submittals of all shareholders regarding their company’s annual meeting had to do with concerns about treating their employees and the environment better. According to Ernst & Young, this 46% statistic compares with 37% the year before.
GreenEarth was formed 16 years ago by three dry cleaners who believed there was a better way than perc when considering employees in our industry and the environment in which we all live. And so we defined our goal as finding a solution for the aftercare of garments which is best for people, the planet, and profits. In other words, optimal sustainability.
And of course, this is right in keeping with the 46% of the shareholders of publicly traded companies who are now demanding the same treatment by the companies in which they own stock. We also believe it indicates what’s on the minds of our industry’s customers – the folks who have the money to spend on garment after care and who are generally in the upper demographics of education and income.
Given the concerns of the customers who our GreenEarth licensed dry cleaners serve, we are proud that our GreenEarth liquid silicone dry cleaning process is the most sustainable method to provide garment after care – period. Why can we say that? Because recent scientific studies reach that conclusion. The most notable was an independent 83-page scientific report published in 2012 by the Canadian Minister of the Environment, where the conclusion of the report states that our silicone dry cleaning fluid is “environmentally non-toxic”.
No other dry cleaning process has the scientific basis to make this claim honestly. In this age, where business transparency and honesty is often questioned, let’s all commit to providing our customers with the facts they are demanding. Let’s communicate our commitment to sustainability. Let’s live that commitment. And let’s find additional ways to enhance it. For if we do, we will continue to be relevant to our customers, our employees, and the planet in the years ahead.