Every so often the winds of change blow across the industrial landscape with a variable, albeit undeniable strength. The industrial revolution was a clear example. Proliferation of computer technology might be another. But what our present generation will see as the most important challenge and change of their lifetime, will likely have something to do with the environment and being “green.” 

There is no denying that the worldwide trend is a move in this direction. Whether it’s recycling plastics, repurposing clothing, or reducing carbon footprints, the effort is on the news, in the workplace, and already an aspect of everyday life. Nonetheless, there remain pockets of resistance that believe that green technology and practices are incompatible with profitable business models. The question for the polished concrete industry is, how will we measure up when judged by these diametrically opposed philosophies?

The answer is that a growing number of companies across our industry are not only talking about sustainability, but they are making a concerted effort to incorporate “green” business practices into everyday operations. Take Metabo, for instance. A quick visit to the social responsibility/environmental protection links on their website will reveal the following statement: “Our products, services and processes are designed to ensure environmentally-friendly practices. We respect environmental requirements at all of our sites and handle natural resources responsibly.” Endurable, a forward-thinking chemical manufacturer, is also working toward balancing business with the environment. Their slogan strikes straight to the point—”Bridging Green technology and high performance.” And then there’s Runyon Surface Prep, a family-owned distributor who has dedicated themselves to positive change. Their website clearly illustrates how they’ve embraced a sustainability mandate and are making great strides in reducing, repurposing, retrofitting, and recycling. Their quest, like a growing number of others, is relatively simple: preserve our resources while running a successful business. Not only has this proven possible, but it seems to be catching on.

As a core activity that lays the foundation for so many others, it is important that the concrete and polished concrete industries stay proactive regarding green technology. One of the more effective ways to do this would be to lead by example. And such an effort does not always require a monumental investment. Switch out some old lights with LEDs. Try to use less paper. Focus on efficiency. It’s a start, and companies will save money in the long run. For preserving resources is not only beneficial to the environment, it is in our industry’s own best interests. And if we should ever find ourselves pondering that climate storm on the horizon, we might be thankful that we’d done our part to lessen the tempest.