New Outreach course teaches green business is good business
Glenn Bachman, president of Raven Business Group, LLC, in Massachusetts, will begin training businesses to become green enterprises on Jan. 12, 2010, through RIC’s Office of Outreach Programs. Employees from a wide range of Rhode Island industries have registered for the course to earn a certificate in green business management.
Though Bachman, a certified management consultant and planner, has spent over 30 years helping industries reduce their impact on the planet, he doesn’t open his training with a hypothetical lecture titled “This is Your Earth O.D.ing on Toxic Waste,” nor does he reprimand the business sector on their mismanagement of the Earth’s resources. Rather, he opens with how businesses will save money by going green.
“The driving force behind businesses going green is not the ecologically responsible reasons. It’s dollars,” Bachman said. “Going green reduces operating costs. It makes a business more competitive.”
Bachman teaches business people how to measure their company’s energy use, water use, and use of toxins and wastes. The objective is to use resources efficiently by making technological and behavioral changes. He also teaches them how to implement those changes.
“When a business goes green,” Bachman said, “it generates team building and joint problem solving because environmentally friendly business practices affects everything that business does—customer needs, operational needs, financial needs and marketing.”
Bachman, who authored the book “The Green Business Guide,” provides marketing strategies and state and federal guidelines for certification as a green business. At the conclusion of his course, he asks participants to continue to communicate with each other and report on their challenges and successes. “It’s important to capitalize on the experiences of your colleagues,” he said, “and become a network of practitioners sharing a knowledge base.”
Working with others as a “green team” is one of the benefits of greening the planet. “With industrialization came a loss of community and a decrease in the ability to problem solve,” Bachman said. “The more we are able to work with others, the more adept we become at problem solving.”
Man’s relationship with nature will also be re-established. “We’ve brutalized our natural systems and lost touch with nature. The result of greening the Earth is a spiritual reconnection with nature,” said Bachman.
He will also train two Outreach staff members in green business management, said Jenifer Giroux, interim director of Outreach Programs. Her office will develop eco-friendly business practices and act as a pilot green business for the rest of the campus.
Bachman proffered three green initiatives for RIC as an institution: 1) become a green institution, 2) build a green curriculum and 3) train RIC students to become ambassadors of green issues.
The greening process is ongoing, he said. And it’s a process that takes time. He hopes that one day we’ll be able tell the story to our grandchildren of how we pulled back from the edge of planetary destruction to leave a more livable planet for them.
To enroll employees in this training, contact Jenifer Giroux at (401) 456-9762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about green initiatives at RIC, go to www.ric.edu/green.