To find smart solutions, CPG and energy companies should cross-pollinate

To find smart solutions, CPG and energy companies should cross-pollinate

As consumer packaged goods and energy companies tackle overlapping aspects of the same problems, there’s a lot they can learn from each other.

Silos. I’m sure you see them in your company. We see them throughout the field of sustainability. Energy companies are off doing their thing to encourage energy efficiency while consumer packaged goods makers are rolling out greener formulas with reduced packaging. But they could actually learn a lot from each other, if they’d start talking together.

Here’s what I mean:

The energy efficiency space is all about tighter building envelopes. In fact, over the last five years, there’s been an explosion in the training and certifying of people who can come into an existing home and air seal/tighten up the overall envelope of the home to keep cold/hot outside air from entering the home, and to keep the conditioned air inside the home. Utility companies, ENERGY STAR®, production builders and manufacturers of insulation and caulking products are pushing this as “low hanging fruit,” the low cost way to get the most bang for your energy efficiency buck.

But a tighter envelope means all the air inside the home stays inside the home. So the chemicals we use in our homes to clean or kill bugs, for instance, stay inside the home, too. And we breathe them in. That’s not good for people with asthma or other pulmonary issues. So there’s an opportunity for the people tightening building envelopes to work with the people who make cleaning products to create a win for themselves and Americans.

Our latest polling data shows that most Americans don’t really know they should be concerned about the air quality inside their homes, and if they are concerned, they don’t really know what to be concerned about.

As we continue to push energy efficiency in this country, we really do need to get this air quality issue on consumers’ radar screens. And for the makers of products used inside the home, this is an excellent channel through which to market and sell your products. Imagine if every home that was “tightened” or built to new, tighter standards came with a kit of recommended products to use in the home.

Don’t you think the homeowner would continue to buy those products, especially if the builder or contractor talked with the homeowner about the importance of air quality?

This is just one example. Since we work on both the energy and environmental sides of the sustainability spectrum, we see examples like this all the time. In fact, the impetus behind the creation of our Inner Circle group was to create exactly this kind of conversation and cross-pollination.

So break down those silos and start talking! I can’t wait to see what you all create together.


Posted on

September 3, 2013

About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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