On a scale of 1 to 5, how environmentally conscious would you rank your company? 1 being “not conscious of the environment” and 5 being “very conscious.” This question was asked to our netgreen members during the first month of our baseline survey. This question elicited a variety of responses.

Only one person ranked their company at 1. However, throughout the conversation, she also acknowledged a variety of green policies the company had in place. During the interview, we talked about a number of things the company wanted to do to become more environmentally friendly, but I probably wouldn’t have ranked them at a 1. The decision-makers at the company were certainly conscious of the environment even if their background knowledge was limited.

The most common response given by half of those questioned was a 4. In reality, what does it mean for a company to be at 4 out of 5? Each of the companies that reported a 4 listed a variety of eco-conscious actions and policies they had in place and pointed out areas for improvement.  This would indicate significant environmental consciousness on the part of the decision makers. However, having a corporate culture that is “conscious” of the environment does not always translate to environmentally friendly actions by the company.

Dobra Tearoom Photo: Dobra Tea – Dobra was one of the companies that participated in the survey.

None of those questioned reported a 5 for their company. In many cases, it seemed that the people questioned ranked their “consciousness” based on environmental actions or policies that have or have not yet been implemented. Fewer actions in place often resulted in lower rank numbers whether or not the decision makers were aware of environmental trends.

Policy into Action

The reason we asked this question was not to specifically rank companies or their green actions or policies. Instead, our goal was to gauge two things: First, we wanted to see how companies perceived themselves in terms of sustainability and environmental awareness. We were curious to see where different companies might place themselves on a simple 1 to 5 chart in comparison to what greener products, services, or actions were currently in place. The second reason we asked this question was based on our primary goal of helping companies forge a path to sustainability. To do this, we need to know where companies currently stand. In basic terms, how can we take your company from a four to a five out of five? Before we can forge a path ahead, we need to know where the business is and how is viewed internally.

Forge a path to sustainability.

As DECO wraps up the second month of the first netgreen beta test, we want your input on how to best characterize sustainability and environmental awareness within corporate culture. What are local Pittsburgh businesses doing to grow environmental consciousness among decision makers, staff, suppliers, and their customers? As always, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to share stories on what your company is doing or should be doing to raise environmental awareness.

How does your company rank? Fill out the form HERE to provide your answer.