So it's Surfaces next week-I'll be there, so stop and say hi if you see me wandering around the show.

I should be mostly on the show floor because there are very few green-related seminars this year. It seems every year there are less and less. I don't know if it's because issues have been covered or if it's because folks are not seeing the value in marketing green. Certainly it's rare to get much of an upcharge for something specifically green. But more likely, I think it's because (as I've said in a previous post) green's become the default.

I remember working with some of our sales force last year on challenges they faced in the market. They talked about a range of things, but none were specifically green-related. I asked them about that and they said that green is more assumed, that you had to just meet certain conditions on air quality or certification or whatever it was and that no one made a big deal of it. It used to be that "being green" (or at least marketing yourself specifically as such) set you apart a bit more. Now it's considered more of the default position. They said that they touched on it in presentations, and they were certainly prepared to go into details on any aspect if asked, but that it was more of an assumption by the customers. However, if they were asked and we didn't meet the general expectation that we'd be green, then there would be problems.  

I think that's mostly a good thing. Wood is green. Our industry is green. We should be celebrated for it and it should be the standard that we meet. I think it's great that we're being recognized as such and no longer need to hammer home the point.

So I'll be curious to see how people are marketing themselves as green at the show, to see if it's getting much play on the banners or in the brochures. I'm curious if VOC's be in the air?! (Of course they will be, but will anyone care?)

Where's the green going to be at Surfaces?

Elizabeth Baldwin has over 20 years of international wood sourcing experience. Very widely traveled, her résumé's "Special Skills" section includes "the ability to eat anything from raw horse to deep-fried scorpion." She serves as Metropolitan Hardwood Flooring's (metrofloors.com) ECO (Environmental Compliance Officer) and deals daily with the "green alphabet soup" of today's industry: FSC, CARB, LEED, and much more. She blogs for Hardwood Floors on all things green (and, as she says, " 'grey' and 'blue' and almost every color except 'black and white.' Nothing in this world is black and white, particularly not 'green issues.'")