Sustainability Practice in Business

Virginia businesses celebrated Earth Week by sharing ideas to make their companies more eco-friendly. The entrepreneurs say they would like to save money and also please customers at the same time.

Business leaders gathered in Richmond to talk sustainable practices. Smithfield Foods was among the participants. The company was once a serious polluter but over the past decade, it has incorporated sustainable practices from the board room to its processing plants. Dennis Treacy leads the meat processor’s efforts and says the changes can improve a company’s bottom line.

“Projects that both make the environment better and save our company money. I’m pleased to say that we have done an extraordinary job there and saved the company more than $200 million over eight years,” says Treacy.

Environmentalists like Bill Street with the James River Association say that just holding the business roundtable is evidence that going green has gone mainstream.

“And now we see it moving into the mainstream. It’s really being driven by the public and by customers and consumers. These issues are really getting a lot more attention and focus. And I think that’s really a positive thing,” says Smith.

Business leaders who attended the roundtable also said that more regulations aren’t the answer.

–Amanda Iacone

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