Green buildings! Green houses! Green hospitals! It seems like everything is going green without having any connection to the Irish! Well, building "green" has become a 21st century requirement for many industries. It only seemed right that in time the green phenomenon would invade the contractor.
With more and more clients considering their green options in every facet of their lives, it would be beneficial for you to incorporate a few of the following "green" initiatives into your company to show your clients that you're not only considerate of Mother Nature, but considerate of your customers, too.
1. 'Green' equipment and vehicles. This requires you to ensure that all of your powered equipment is tuned, burning fuels as clean as possible and meeting all local or national standards. Not only does this effort help you to minimize any more pollutants than necessary, it also makes financial sense. Poorly running equipment due to little to no regular maintenance normally leads to excessive costs.
2. Clean means 'green.' There is nothing more upsetting to customers than to see dirty trucks hauling even dirtier trailers while sending a never-ending supply of black smoke out its exhaust. Certainly dirty vehicles due to oil and grease leaks do eventually drop onto the ground or pavement. While the actual damage done to our environment might be over-exaggerated, the appearance nonetheless sends a less than clean and quality signal to our customers.
3. Organize storage vehicles and work sites. All tools and equipment should be organized when in storage or on a jobsite. Not only does this send a signal to customers that your company is "neat" and quality based, it also drives greater respect among your workers to handle your tools and equipment with greater respect and care.
4. Considerate parking. You want to drive customers crazy? Just try parking your vehicles on their lawn (if you perform residential work) or in no-parking areas. Doing so can not only turn customers against you, it sends a signal that your company doesn't care about the property of others, which reinforces the image that you might be willing to do other not-so-considerate things.
5. Clean jobsites every day. This can be tough for contractors who might spend days, weeks, even months on the same project. However, if you want to win the hearts of customers then place trash bins in more than one location, and hold your workers accountable to using the bins.
Additionally, go the extra step to have your crews do a thorough clean-up at the end of each work day. This will not be easy to sell, but you've got to remember that image is almost everything. No matter who contributes the trash, have your crews pick it up each day. Invest in extra trash sacks and pay one or more of your workers to be the "clean-up czars."
6. Identify and document loading and unloading areas. If you are a commercial contractor you are normally aware of drawings that have identified areas on the prints where loading/unloading is to be conducted. Remember, if there is no designation where to load or unload then ask your customer where such efforts should or need to be done.
7. Keep containers closed and secured. It is important to keep any container, chemical additives, oil drums, etc. all closed. Even if the material in a container is not toxic or hazardous, passersby don't know the difference and often assume the worst.
8. Maintain up-to-date and legal 'certification.' This challenges us to be sure to have all of our registrations and certifications for our vehicles, tools, materials, etc. to be legal, properly tagged, and every other requirement that we might need to meet. Remember, out-of-date tags and licenses send the message that you may not manage your resources close enough to comply with mandatory and protective laws.