Friday, January 8, 2010

KPMG Survey Suggests Green Shift in Car Buying

It appears the Auto industry is finally starting to focus on more fuel efficient vehicles. This according to a new global survey of 200 auto executives recently published by KPMG. Could it be they are finally listening to the public?

Hybrid vehicles placed at the very top of their list of alternative fuel technologies for the next five years, followed by battery electric, fuel cell electric and bio-diesel respectively.

Biodiesel technology is low on the list of priorities for auto industry research, according to the survey that was released Thursday.

When asked to rate which were the most important alternative fuel technologies to the auto industry over the next five years, hybrid systems were ranked first followed by battery electric power, fuel cell electric power, and biodiesel, respectively.

In the past, styling was ranked as major feature. No more though. The feature auto executives believed makes the biggest impact on customers' purchasing decisions is fuel efficiency, which was ranked the highest, while the "environmental friendliness" of a vehicle ranked second, followed by safety innovation in third. Styling did not even make it into the survey results.

"Automotive manufacturers are in the challenging position of being asked to compete on both technology and cost. With global consumers still feeling the pinch of the recession, those OEMs who can deliver on this equation will be in the driver's seat," Gary Silberg, national automotive industry leader for KPMG, said in a statement.The survey was conducted September through November 2009.

Now, let's see how they can make those large suv's and trucks truly more fuel efficient. A listing of fuel efficiency and emissions and interactive chart can be found at the EPA's Green Vehicles website.

The survey was conducted September through November 2009.

Keith Winn is the VP Marketing/COO of GreenProfit Solutions, Inc. which assists businesses in becoming environmentally responsible. You may view their website at or e-mail Keith at [email protected] .

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolution

Traditionally, at the start of a new year, resolutions are tossed about promising exercise or eating habit modifications. There’s nothing wrong with these, but, honestly, how many are forgotten by January 3rd? This year, why not make a resolution that’s truly achievable, and can also benefit yourself, your community, and the planet?

My New Year’s resolution is to engage in a variety of sustainable practices throughout the year.

Ok, so what does that mean? Sure, I’ll recycle what I can, compost foodstuffs, and work to save energy, paper, and other resources, but is that really what the resolution is aiming to achieve? Sustainability is about more than just saving energy or recycling; it’s a state of mind. Now before you run off thinking this writer is off his rocker, take a moment to think about that claim. As a company, our efforts to help businesses become more sustainable encompasses office conservation practices, yes, but it also envelops a comprehensive strategy including business development, marketing, hiring, and nearly every other department within the enterprise. Only by incorporating a “triple bottom line” (People, Planet, Profit) mindset into the core decisions of a company can they aim to become truly sustainable members of society.

How can this concept be transposed into a New Year’s resolution? Simply engage in the same activities you’re used to (at home, in the office, out with friends, namely, wherever you may be), only now, consider how each affects society (both as individuals and a group), financial stability (locally and abroad), and the environment. Remember the phrase, “You can have it good, fast, or cheap, but you can only pick two”? Well, the triple bottom line seeks to provide all three of its pillars simultaneously. While good, fast, and cheap are traditionally difficult to combine, sustainable approaches benefiting society, the financial well-being of all producers/sellers, and the environment from production site to sales location are achievable.

Consider a company’s sustainability policies when making a purchase: Do they support fair wages and social programs throughout the production chain? Are their environmental impacts documented and in the process of being minimized? Does their profit in one location damage the community in another? Questions along this line can give consumers a strong idea of how a company views true sustainability.

Along with a quality product/service, a company with a strong commitment towards sustainability is likely to thrive.

For the new year, take these ideas to heart, spread them to your friends and family, and help create a world where the principles of sustainability are automatically considered in all aspects of life. Now that’s a New Year’s resolution worth keeping. Sure beats that exercise machine you (be honest) won’t use again!

At least until January 2nd, 2011.