Not Easy Being Green
The NWRA held one of its most thought-provoking sessions ever
during its annual conference. NWRA: The Green Initiative
was presented by Mike Boyle, president of GlasWeld of Bend, Ore.
Boyle also chairs the associations Green Committee.
The two-hour session looked deeply into the green phenomena
and windshield repairs role in environmental stewardship.
Boyle is an expert in the theoretical, having done extensive research
on the subject, as well as the practical, having just completed
a major company-wide effort to become more green.
He first led participants through the development of the green
movement and explained the different types of consumers and how
To some people, the green movement is a result of a modern-day
tree hugger, Boyle said. But to all people, the desire
for a healthy and robust earth for their children is a valiant goal.
Boyles research also showed how important the future health
of the earth is to each type of consumer, but also how the message
has to be crafted carefully.
You cant use scare tactics and attract most consumers,
he said. Instead you want to appeal to consumers desire to
improve the world.
Citing statistics from almost every major source, Boyle, explained
how the shift in consumer spending to green products
that has occurred and is expected to grow even more in the next
ten years. Everyone, everyone, is interested in a green culture,
he said, citing as examples everything from television networks
to Pope Benedicts recent appearance in green vestments to
honor the earth.
Windshield repair is one of the original green processes,
he said. It keeps glass in use and the cost of producing one
repair is miniscule compared to the cost of producing a new windshield.
I expect it will become even more important in coming years.
But, Boyle cautioned, there is a danger as everyone jumps on the
green bandwagon. Every company in every industry
wants to say its green now. Everyone is flying a green banner,
he said. But realize this, being green is way more than a
marketing campaign. It is a deep and fundamental commitment to changing
the way you do business in order to benefit the environment.
Boyle said that GlasWeld has gone through a major transformation
to become a truly green company. We had an environmental audit,
he said, and we changed a lot of things, from how we schedule
to the light bulbs we use in our office. We looked at recycling
paperlooked at everything and we changed a lot of things.
It wasnt easy; people dont like change. But we got it
done and we are actually saving money with the new systems in place
and we got a couple of side benefits like better lighting
in the process.
We, as the windshield repair industry, need to help convince
the whole industry of the need to be green in their own businesses
and the role that windshield repair has in it. We need to convince
glass replacement retailers, insurance companies, everyone that
we our industry is committed to this effort. And the first step
toward that is making sure that the industry really is committed.
Boyle said the NWRA will introduce a number of new services designed
to help companies as part of the green initiative. Also at the seminar,
the NWRA introduced rough drafts of ad slicks, radio spots and other
marketing tools that will be refined and available for the membership.
Boyle is committed to the process and uses the polar bear as a
symbol of the effects of global climate change. This,
he said showing a photo of a mother polar bear with her three playful
cubs all around, this is what it is all about, no matter what
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