Selling The C-Suite on the Benefits of a Circular Economy

A circular economy for personal lifestyle, and a circular economy for small businesses – they’re all easy to enter and easy to convince the boss on (especially if you are the boss). But do you work for a corporate giant? (Or even an average-sized corporate entity?) How do you convince them to cut out the massive waste you probably see around you? It’s a process, but it’s possible. Here’s how to sell circular economy benefits!

  1. Start with your department. Set out recycling bins and create a slowly spreading movement. Once your office is recycling, work on other endeavors. Recruit your coworkers to the cause, too.
  2. Work with the small vendors. Believe it or not, giant corporations use local vendors sometimes. The local vendors tend to provide more customized personal service. If you feel like local vendors could be doing a better job in a particular area, talk to them about it. You’ll likely find them receptive, especially if it’s a simple solution that just wasn’t on their radar, like placing a recycling bin in their facility.
  3. Before you meet with your C-Suite Executives, do your homework. Put together a presentation on WHY particular actions are problematic. Find the solutions for them. For example, if a particular vendor is problematic, find a new one. Crunch the numbers – ultimately it’s about the bottom line.
  4. Green isn’t about the environment. It’s about the profit. Find the most cost-effective measures and speak in the language they want, even need, to hear. Ultimately they won’t and perhaps can’t make changes unless they’ve eliminated the problems of cost and convenience before they get to customer and employee opinion.
  5. Observe your clientele; don’t risk alienating them. If clients are very clearly asking for change or are from a demographic that would request a change if they knew about the issue, bring it to the attention of supervisors. Customers are the bottom line and if customers are speaking loud enough for the executives to hear and be concerned, the company will make changes.
  6. Remember that it’s a process. It can take years to change the big organizations, but it won’t happen unless you start. Don’t worry if you feel like it’s moving too slow. Most people say that’s how you win the race. If you get frustrated with the pace, you’ll find the whole project in the recycle bin.

Selling to the C-Suite and taking on the bosses is a challenge! Bigger challenges have been won. Even corporate behemoths like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s have responded to green pressure – your company can, too.