SUSTAINABLE HUNTINGTON BEACH ENVIRONMENT, ECONOMY, COMMUNITY
GREEN BUSINESS HIGHLIGHT:
Quarterly Report Issue 1, Summer 2015
Home Run Media Group How a local business balances cost cutting with environmental responsibility.
Mayor Jill Hardy answers: What is sustainability? What does it mean to Huntington Beach?
GREEN BUSINESS HIGHLIGHT
Local Huntington Beach business, Home Run Media Group shows that operating with environmental responsibilty and community in mind is both feasible and financially beneficial. In business since 1992 and operating in Huntington Beach since 1996, Home Run Media Group has managed, like many businesses, to keep their operations strong through innovative incorporation of environmental sustainability to both save money and appeal to a broader customer base. We sat down with owner, Patrick Brenden to find out more about his take on sustainability as it fits into the marketplace: Huntington Beach: Tell us a little about your business and what you do. Patrick Brenden: We offer printing, signs, displays and promotional products along with graphic design services and fulfillment support, all under one roof. Our goal is to simplify the lives of our customers by giving them one place to go for all their marketing collateral and signage needs. HB: What compelled you to begin making efforts toward a more environmentally conscious existence? PB: I was inspired by the HB Green Forum and Expo hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. Our sustainability journey started at home where we found projects that could help us reduce our consumption while saving money at the same time. Projects like installing rain capturing barrels, installing solar panels to our roof and switching to electric vehicles made a big impact on our wallets. Then, at another Chamber event, we heard the representatives from
the Hyatt and Slapfish describe how they had created competitive advantage through their adoption of sustainable business practices. That lead us to consider what could be done in our own business. We started with conservation of resources, which later led into product innovation, which is where most of our focus is at the moment. HB: What are some of the ways you’ve incorporated conservation and product innovation into your operations? PB: We’ve begun embracing the “3 R’s” of conservation: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Like many businesses, we’ve started cutting back on paper usage, specifically in the ways we advertise and in our customer billing while also switching to natural ventilation systems and motion sensor lights. We’ve also begun switching from toxic cleaning products to more environmentally friendly alternatives and diverting used toner cartridges to a recycler. Our biggest efforts, however, have been in the form of
“...Every journey begins with a single step. Do something.”
(Cont.): segregating materials like aluminum, acrylic and other scrap from our fabrication shop out of the waste stream to maximize diversion from landfill to recycling streams. HB: What benefits have you noticed from these changes? Have they been financially beneficial? PB: Many of the changes we’ve made at home and in the business have lead to appreciable reductions in our utility bills, our cost of goods made, and the cost of deliveries to us and from us. Although we have not had the chance yet to put a dollar figure on these savings, we are confident that it is a significant financial benefit that falls directly to the bottom line. HB: What has been your customers’s general response to changes in the way you operate? PB: Most customers are unaware of the extent to which we have pursued sustainability but those who work with us on a frequent basis have made many comments about the visible signs of change they’ve seen. These are our most important customers and we have made a lasting impression with them; an impression of a corporate culture that is striving to help the world around it by minimizing its impact on
that world around it. We have received several awards and recognition for our efforts and these help to reinforce that impression as well. HB: Is this movement toward minimal impact something you see as feasible in the long run? PB: Not only feasible but imperative. Now that we have discovered the hidden advantages of sustainable business practices, we have established a competitive advantage in the marketplace that is helping us to gain market share and increase profitability. HB: Do you have any words of advice for other businesses attempting to operate with less of an environmental impact? PB: Just do it! Get everyone involved and document what you do and how it relates to sustainability. Publicize your actions and results for your staff, your suppliers, your customers and your community. Measure the savings and be sure to share the progress with everyone you can. We’re in the branding business ourselves and all of these things are part of creating a brand that people will respect and admire. That’s a great impression that will cause customers to want to work with you. And, remember, every journey begins with a single step. Do something. Start today!
WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY? Today the term sustainable typically lends itself to the corporate behavior called greenwashing. Phrases like sustainable design, sustainable cars, and even sustainable dentists and dry cleaners, litter the media. In 2012, the United Kingdom even declared that they would hold the first “Sustainable Olympics!” Huntington Beach prides itself on the work it does toward promoting sustainability, while never forgetting that the health of the business community is an equal priority.Sustainability in Huntington Beach is equal parts economy, community, and organization.
DID YOU KNOW? The California Green Business Program has saved $3,083,277 this year alone, with expansion of the program likely to continue in the coming years. To find out more, visit www.GreenBusinessCA.org
WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN TO HB? “The environment has always been important to the residents and leaders of Huntington Beach. The beautiful coastline and natural wetlands attract thousands of visitors each year and close to 200,000 people call Huntington Beach home. The City understands the need to protect the environment and has initiated a variety of programs aimed to educate residents and businesses alike.” - Mayor Jill Hardy
Profitability through sustainability.