Businesses that do not have a sustainability program in place may wonder where to start. Matthew Ladd, president and chief operating officer of The Protection Bureau, Exton, Pa., offers a few starting points for CEOs, presidents and owners of companies who are ready to begin or improve their journeys.


  1. Invest in a good business management and estimating system and use those systems to generate as little paper as possible.
  2. Examine the efficiencies of your vehicles or fleet. Next to payroll, it is highly likely that your next biggest expense is gas. Efficient vehicles save money and time and they are better for the environment.
  3. Lead by example. Your company will not go paperless or save on waste if the owner is still printing everything he needs to read or does not recycle the things he uses.
  4. Inform your staff about the overall goals of your sustainability program. Make sure they understand that you are not trying to make them miserable or bored. Let them know you want the company to be environmentally alert and efficient.
  5. Always push efficiency. Every quarter hold a state-of-the-company address for all employees that concentrates on efficiencies in different areas of the business, and recognize the people who are helping to create and drive efficiencies.
  6. Listen to your employees. Sometimes people in the field can come up with unique ideas or perspectives that owners or executives who sit at their desks may not.
  7. Organize an employee-driven committee to review company processes and procedures and suggest changes and improvements that are not just change for change’s sake.