Turn the dial back a couple of years and the notion that a mainstream company (as opposed to an obvious polluter) would make modifications to the way they operate their business, in an effort to become increasingly sensitive to the environment would have seemed like a far-fetched idea.
With similar hindsight, the concept that purchasers (be they consumers or businesses) would factor the "greenness" of a company into their decision-making process would have been equally outlandish.
In just a few short years, the recognition of the importance of Going Green has been significant, yet it's still in its infancy. Trying to make heads or tails of what it means to become Green remains fuzzy for many people, including grasping the proper perspective to embrace the costs involved. Are they actually costs or are they part of a branding process to help define a company (i.e. marketing)? Please refer back to our blog post from last Monday regarding Whole Foods.
At the end of the day, Going Green is all good. Most importantly, it is the right thing to do from an "eco" perspective, but it may also be beneficial to the business in a number of other ways. So although Going Green may result in some incremental costs, those funds could plausibly be viewed as an investment rather than an expense.