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It's Not Easy Being Green--Just Ask Kermit

24 November 2008  |  3645 views  |  0

“It’s not easy being green.”  When this tune started floating around my head for this post, I thought Kermit the Frog had first sung these words about twenty years ago.  Imagine my surprise when I checked Wikipedia and found out the song is really almost forty years old.  And what was once a frog’s simple lament about growing comfortable in his own somewhat hunter green skin, has over the years been co-opted by the green movement as a reminder of the difficulties of living green with Kermit’s blessing of course.    

Kermit the Frog and the Ad Council's anti-pollution ad that featured the Crying Native American guy (it was actually called the “Crying Indian” because it was created in the 1970’s) made a big impression on me and I’m not the only one.  For many people of my generation, these impressions spurred us to action both then and now.  

I’ve been an avid recycler for more than a decade and I remember organizing a neighborhood clean-up when I was still watching the Frog on a daily basis.    Somehow I think some of the banking decision makers who are helping to implement green initiatives have these same cultural references working in their subconscious too.  This fact might help to explain why, despite the economic upheaval, so many financial institutions and banks are moving forward with their green initiatives. 

Two weeks ago, Citi announced the opening of a new 305,000-square-foot facility to house its computer systems and components in Georgetown, Texas.  This new facility will employ about 50 people and is only the first step that Citi is taking toward more environmentally friendly data centers. Other organizations are taking similar steps to help eliminate paper waste and reduce their carbon footprint.  While it would be great to think that the focus on eco-friendly is only driven by altruism, the truth is that it makes good business sense as well. 

Let’s take a look at my own employer, GXS which recently formed an alliance with Verizon Business targeting transactions among vendors, partners and customers. I won’t give the press pitch but the companies said that by automating annual business-to-business transactions worldwide, estimated at about 40 billion transactions, companies would cut 2.3 billion pounds of CO2, or the equivalent of removing about 200,000 cars of the road for a year.[i]   

Good business return and good press are compelling reasons for any company to go green.  And I’d like to think that the little green frog is playing a part in these decisions.

What about you?  Did Kermit influence you to take some green action?  If not Kermit, then who and what type of action are you taking?

[i] Big companies weaving green initiatives into corporate culture Houston Business Journal - by Leo Espinoza, Shelly Fust and Lisa L. Walker Special to Houston Business Journal November 2007

TagsWholesale banking

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