The business of 'sustainability'

December 04, 2009
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Dec. 4, 2009 – The issue of sustainability is continuing to evolve, and the greenhouse industry will be challenged to keep up with consumer expectations.

Or will it?

We’re about as green as any other industry, and that’s a huge consideration at retail.

Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) is an organization that describes an estimated $209 billion U.S. marketplace for sustainable goods and services. “The consumers attracted to this market represent a sizable group in this country,” notes the web site ( “Approximately 19 per cent of the adults in the U.S., or 41 million people, are currently considered LOHAS Consumers.”

Walmart recently announced its Sustainability Index. The company says its customers “want to know the product’s entire lifecycle. They want to know the materials in the product are safe, that it is made well and is produced in a responsible way.”

When Walmart talks, consumers listen. Competitors, too.

• Compared to five years ago, are you incorporating more “sustainability” measures into your operations, into your marketing, and into your lifestyle?

• If not, are you planning a New Year’s resolution to boost your “green” initiatives? Do you think it really is good for business ... or is it only media hype?

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