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In preparing for a previous webinar on New Green Marketing Strategies with Jordan Darragh of PrintReleaf, I’ve uncovered some very interesting data about the market for green solutions. I’ll have to admit that until yesterday, I thought that “green” was nice window dressing on the real meat of the value proposition to a prospect. However, my eyes are being opened to the reality that there is a growing market demand for green business solutions. 

The Green Tipping Point

Malcom Gladwell is famous for his book, The Tipping Point. Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have demonstrated that “when just 10% of a population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.”

According to Denise Hamler, who has led green business development at Green America since its founding in 1983, the green economy appears to be approaching that tipping point.

What does this mean? It means that being environmentally-conscious is quickly becoming mainstream.

Copier dealers that latch on to this trend have an opportunity for growth. Conversely, copier dealers that don’t develop green solutions may be at a disadvantage in the years to come.

Check Out the Stats

The 2013 Small Business Sustainability Report is worth your time to read. Here are a few of the stats that stood out to me:

  • From 2006-2011, the green building segment grew 1,700% while the overall construction market contracted 17%
  • The number of U.S. green certifications has grown 180% since 2001
  • 75% of of all survey respondents planned to expand their portfolios of green product and service offerings

The growth in green market segments is impressive. Check out the chart from the Small Business Sustainability Report.

The green segments are growing across all industries, and gaining market share from conventional markets.The Opportunity for Copier Dealers and MPS Companies

Let’s face it: printers and copiers are known as the villain when it comes to paper consumption. How many emails have you seen recently that say, “Consider the environment before you print this.”

It would be interesting to see research on market perception of copier dealers when it comes to the environment. My guess is that it isn’t positive. Yet, there are many things a copier dealer can do to implement green strategies:

  • Reforestation projects that plant a tree for every tree an office uses
  • Rules-based printing to force duplexing and limit usage
  • Remanufactured cartridges
  • Cartridge recycling programs
  • Document management

*This article originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse in August 2015.