This Earth Day: Find Cracks in the Corporate Armor

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This Earth Day: Find Cracks in the Corporate Armor

By Carol Baroudi
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Find cracks in the #corporate armor to improve #sustainability and bottom line @Carol_Baroudi @ArrowGlobal
Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 9:35am


Find Cracks in the Corporate Armor to Improve Sustainability and Bottom Line.

There seem to be, in my overly simplistic view of the world, two kinds of companies:

– companies that use their sustainability values to inform their business practices, and

– those who resist or don’t recognize the s-word.

But regardless of their external stance (or lack thereof) you can find “cracks in the armor” of even the most oblivious and obdurate. The trick is figuring out where, and exploiting those cracks persistently, patiently and unflappably. And like the proverbial water wearing down rock, cracks will expand and opportunities will emerge.

So where to look? You start with what a company has to say about itself both internally and externally, as well as what its customers, shareholders and employees have to say. Is your company always looking to cut costs? Sustainability is a surefire route to the efficiencies that save money. Cutting energy consumption, for example, lowers the energy bill and, of course, is a sustainability win. What are you doing with your computers and your mobile devices? Using managed deployment services to approach your electronics from a full-lifecycle perspective can help you make smarter purchases, optimize use and know that you have an environmentally sound way to handle them when you don’t need them any longer. Could you extend the life of your data center assets with the right spare parts? Arrow’s Reverse Supply Chain spare parts management could be a win for sustainability and your pocketbook. Are there places where you could deploy used equipment instead of new? Save money and make an ecologically preferable choice with refurbished data center equipment or refurbished computers and mobile devices.

Take a look at what your best customers have to say. If they have sustainability goals proudly posted on their website, they may ultimately be asking you for yours. It’s much better to start the journey without having to be told to by your customers.

Is your company trying to attract the best talent? According to the Guardian (US), “Sustainability gives HR teams an edge in attracting and retaining talent.”

This Earth Day, begin your quest. If you have other ideas about how to initiate change from the grass roots, please drop me a line at I’d like to share them here and with others in my panel, “Embedding Sustainability Within Your Organization’s DNA,” at the upcoming Sustainatopia conference in San Francisco, May 1-4. It’d be great to see you there too!

Carol Baroudi works for Arrow’s Value Recovery business promoting sustainability awareness and action. She is the lead author of Green IT for Dummies. Her particular focus is on electronics at the IT asset disposition stage, e-waste and everything connected. Follow her on Twitter @carol_baroudi and connect with her on LinkedIn at

Keywords: Ethical Production & Consumption | Arrow Electronics | Carol Baroudi | Corporate Social Responsibility | Diversity & Human Resources | Energy | Environment & Climate Change | sustainability