The Hondo Group Launches Powerful Tool To Take The Guesswork Out Of Going Green

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First Commercially-Available Turnkey Assessment Tool Helps Companies Measure, Manage and Report Key Environmental Footprint Metrics. Over the last five years, the term ‘green’ has transitioned from an over-used buzzword to a business imperative. But going green has taken on an unfortunate meaning: complexity. To simplify and standardize the process, The Hondo Group in Austin, Texas developed a web-based information management system that provides an easy and affordable way for businesses to go green – the Hondo Green Assessment Tool (HGAT). The software helps companies clearly assess their current environmental footprint and measure progress across five key metrics: energy, materials, waste, travel and water.

Making going green easy and profitable

Going green doesn’t have to be as challenging as you might think. Most companies hesitate because they assume it will cost a fortune, when the reality is – going green can, and will save your business money,” said Lynn Balinas, president, The Hondo Group

Over the last five years, the term ‘green’ has transitioned from an over-used buzzword to a business imperative. What was once viewed as a passing trend by mainstream business has become a pervasive mindset driving consumer purchases, government regulations and corporate behavior. However, defining ‘green’ can be a subjective process. To simplify and standardize the process, The Hondo Group, headquartered in Austin, Texas, developed a web-based information management system that provides an easy and affordable way for businesses to go green – the Hondo Green Assessment Tool (HGAT).

Launching the first commercially available, web-based tool for small-to-medium-sized businesses brings a sophisticated management system previously available to companies only via expensive proprietary consulting contracts. As companies scramble to keep up with ever-changing regulations driving environmental efforts at all levels of government, “doing the right thing” and “going green” has taken on a new spin: complexity.

“Going green doesn’t have to be as challenging as you might think,” commented Lynn Balinas, president of The Hondo Group. “Most companies hesitate because they assume it will cost a fortune, when the reality is – going green can, and will, save your business money.”

HGAT is a powerful, easy-to-use, platform to measure, manage and monetize the environmental impact of every office within an organization. While many companies have established mandates to become more sustainable, the challenge comes in knowing where to start and, more importantly, how to follow through on green changes.

Making Sense Out of Going Green

The growing complexity of going green, coupled with the need for a robust management and reporting system that keeps pace with changing regulations, was at the heart of the Hondo Green Assessment Tool’s creation.

“When we decided to go green in 2008, we searched for the right tool to provide us with everything we needed,” said Balinas. “At the time, no tool was available for evaluating, recommending and managing environmentally sound business practices. So, we made our own.”

The Hondo Green Assessment Tool helps companies clearly assess their current environmental footprint and measure progress across five key metrics: energy, materials, waste, travel and water. The reporting functionality is organized to provide true transparency of results, clearly demonstrating an organization’s progress on various initiatives as well as the actual cost savings realized from an efficiently managed sustainability program.

HGAT features:
•Measure, manage and report reductions in environmental impact and financial savings via real-time dashboard updates with a simple, comprehensive web-based tool
•Implement a recommended action plan, easily assign and monitor various tasks and manage completion over time
•Select initiatives based on ease of implementation, potential reduction in emissions, projected financial investment and estimated cost savings
•Generate reports that transparently demonstrate environmental commitment and progress toward reduction goals to internal and external audiences
•Engage and involve employees at all levels in the greening process
•Coordinate plans across numerous office locations

Early adopters of the HGAT program include: Agri Marketing Magazine, BHC RHODES Civil Engineering and Surveying Firm, McRuer CPAs and the JLM1926 family of companies, which includes McCormick Company and The Hondo Group.

“Our goal for the first full year of tool use is to reduce CO2 emissions by 1000 metric tons,” commented Courtney Kleefuss, Marketing Manager for Hondo Green. “As the user base grows, we intend to report cumulative carbon emission reductions as well as combined cost savings on our website regularly. We hope to create a great community of companies working together and competing together through green challenges.”

Going Green Isn’t Going Away

There is a growing concern among businesses that sustainability issues can no longer be avoided. As government regulations become more stringent, consumer pressure is mounting. The 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey revealed that 70% of consumers pay close attention to corporate environmental stewardship, while a staggering 85% believe companies should practice environmental stewardship constantly and consistently.*

“The marketplace now expects and demands transparent, quantifiable information about an organization’s sustainability efforts, beyond compliance to government regulations,” said Michael Berg, a consultant to Hondo Green and a leading advisor on corporate sustainability strategies and communications, as well as a frequent writer and contributor on sustainability to the American Bar Association, the “Eco-Health Footprint Guide” and the forthcoming book “Climate Change: A Guide to Carbon Law and Practice.”

“While challenging, the management of sustainability and climate change presents a great deal of opportunity for companies to reduce costs, enhance brand reputation, forge new partnerships, and reduce financial and legal risks,” said Berg. “The Hondo Green Assessment Tool not only provides companies with a great story to tell, but with the ability to easily calculate and report both cost savings and emissions reductions.”

Pricing and Availability

The Hondo Green Assessment Tool is available by subscription on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis, starting at $50 per month for an office of up to 50 people. Flexible pricing and subscription options are available to serve organizations of all sizes, from one single office to multiple office locations.

For More Information

To learn more about Hondo Green and its services, visit http://www.hondogreen.com or contact Courtney Kleefuss at 512.502.5141 or courtney(at)hondogreen(dot)com.

About The Hondo Group

The Hondo Group is a marketing services company offering pioneering professional services and unique business planning and assessment tools. Experienced specialists in marketing communications, the Hondo Group is full of imaginative experts who appreciate the importance of an overarching marketing strategy with original creative executions, meticulously formulated to match your needs.

About Hondo Green

Hondo Green, a division of The Hondo Group, is a full-service sustainability firm providing the tools and expertise companies need to effectively manage every aspect of the greening process. Along with the Hondo Green Assessment Tool, Hondo Green offers Responsibility Marketing, Environmental Consulting Services and Event Sustainability Planning.

*Source: The 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey presents the findings of an online survey conducted January 29-30, 2009 by Opinion Research Corporation among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,087 adults, comprising 518 men and 569 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3%.

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Kathy Truesdell
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