Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sustainability Talk

The word "sustainability" can be a daunting one. Growers tend to approach sustainability as a major overhaul to greenhouse operations, but maybe sustainability simply requires an overhaul in mindset. Paul Thomas of the University of Georgia, for one, says many growers are already embracing sustainability – they just might not know it, and now is the time to document their actions.

Thomas suggests growers write one-page whitepapers that outline sustainable practices with facts, figures and photographs. If you're a wholesale grower, fax that whitepaper to customers as the last sheet in your availability report. If you're a grower-retailer, include a copy in your customer's bag.

"Maybe you publicize the fact you attended this sustainability session at OFA Short Course," Thomas says. "Maybe you share the fact you took a sustainability course."

Just as important, Thomas says, is making employees and management accountable. Growers should make it their jobs to have employees live up to their sustainability standards. And employees who help the boss implement new sustainable ideas should be rewarded.

"Reward employees if they come up with a good idea that helps you enhance your sustainability story," Thomas says. "Give them a day off."

No comments: