Are more distributors creating internal sustainability initiatives? If yes, why is this happening now?

Brady has had a sustainability initiative for over nine years. The truth is that more and more distributors are looking to create internal sustainability initiatives now, because they are seeing that customers are now asking about it on RFPs and bids. There has been an influx of new sustainability managers being hired out of college into larger companies. Sadly, many traditional jan/san distributors will only mold their organization to deliver to what the customer is currently asking for today. Today, customers are simply asking for more information now than they have in the past, and distribution is trying to adjust to the new requests. — Ryan Banks, vice president of sales and marketing, Brady Industries, Las Vegas

Yes, because if you are going to sell it you better believe in it. — Jennifer Rosenberg, president, Acorn Distributors, Indianapolis

We have not witnessed a movement of distributors creating internal sustainability initiatives. — Linda Silverman, president, Maintex, City of Industry, California

A lot of distributors realize that it is good for their business, recruiting, financially and the environment. It has been looked at in the past as expensive and not worthwhile; however, education has changed that mentality. It is profitable for your company, and you are doing the right thing. — Mercer Stanfield, president, Brame Specialty Supply Co., Inc., Durham, North Carolina

I’ll have to admit, I’ve had clients call asking me to bring out a catalog, because the corporate office is “making” them start a recycling program and they needed to order the proper containers. It may have seemed like that “recycling thing” was more like a publicity stunt from the corporate office, but along the way, the idea of sustainability started to sink in a bit. People are becoming more and more mindful of sustainability and their personal impact on the environment, distributors included. Having initiatives in place and choosing green products is really just doing the right thing. Maybe what started out as wanting to make a buck on the heels of “the green movement” years ago became a call to get involved on a personal basis. — Scott Uselman, manager and director of sales, High Point Sanitary Solutions, Houston