When it comes to the green movement, at least within the building industry, there is no argument environmentally friendly companies and sustainable products will win out over those that aren’t.
From local and federal mandates to corporations seeking to “do the right thing” by showing they care for the environment, the green movement is alive and well in the specified contract world. In fact, the difference between getting a particular product used is largely based on how it and the company stack up to a myriad of sustainable criteria when compared to others competing for the same job.
Yes, price, performance and style are still among the most important aspects but, nowadays, you need to add sustainability into the equation as it has become equally important—and, in some segments, such as healthcare, even more so. That’s right, there are instances where the greenness of a product or system will overrule the cost of something not as eco-friendly.
While everyone will agree green is important for the commercial sector, there is still a debate regarding its importance in residential. Though it might not seem very important at the moment, I wouldn’t discount it out of the equation, because truth be told, sustainability is a very important topic among consumers—they just don’t realize it extends to their flooring.
Think about it, just prior to the Great Recession, consumers were starting to purchase more and more eco-friendly floors. Once the economy crashed, that stopped. Interestingly, the recession may have actually helped get the average person to start thinking more about sustainability.
Granted, it has mostly revolved around energy savings—such as hybrid or high mileage cars or long lasting, energy efficient bulbs—but the point is, this can easily translate into helping you make a sale.
Here’s the thing: Mrs. Consumer’s children are learning in school about being sustainable. So, when she walks in your store and her child sees a display discussing recycling, for example, and mentions how they were just learning about that in school, where do you think she walks to and what kind of information will she want to know?
The good news is, there is so much for salespeople to talk about regarding how today’s flooring products are sustainable and can help better a home. It just takes a little knowledge to truly understand these points and convey them to Mrs. Consumer.
As this edition of Floor Trendspoints out, every flooring category has numerous environmental benefits, much of them third-party certified and recognized around the world by government and non-government agencies.
For example, you can help her understand how a certain product is not only made with recycled content, when she is ready to redecorate again, you can collect the floor so it can be recycled back into the same product or into some other useful item.
Times are still tough and she is seeking the best deal for her money but by selling her a truly green product, it is another way where you can both win. Generally speaking, these are better goods, with better profit margins so you win; and because they are better goods, they feature the styling and performance benefits she wants and needs for her family’s lifestyle, so she wins. Throw in the added benefit of being green and everyone wins.