No matter the size or scale or your roofing company, you can and should have an environmental strategy. That is, a commitment to seeking out sustainable practices in your business and developing skills in selling and installing solar, daylighting, garden roofing, and other energy-efficient roofing systems.

Why would you bother to push a green agenda when you have so many other vital things to deal with every day? You must keep your troops safe and busy while working hard to find more workers and keep the ones you have. You must keep a constant eye out for the next job and maintain the quality on the ones in which you’re already engaged. And this is all before lunch.

Why would you want to spend your precious time working on a strategy that seems to have little, if any, return on investment for your roofing company? Here’s what I think: I would value your opinion on the topic.

First, to set yourself apart from the competition. Don’t assume that all owners care more for their own pocketbook than the rest of the planet. Many owners will be interested in hearing about your best practices and about alternate roofing systems that will make their building more energy efficient and earth-friendly.

We have a responsibility to future generations of roofing contractors as well as the rest of humanity. Good air is constantly touted as a big problem and the driver of global climate change, and many of your potential clients agree. Energy-efficiency improvements to the built environment, especially the building envelope, are known to make a significant difference in this regard.

Perhaps even more important than the quality of our air is the quality of our water systems. America’s aging infrastructure includes many storm water management systems that were designed and built with the expectation of fewer roads, buildings, and people. Garden roofs provide a compelling solution to the problem of replacing all these systems as these roofs become part of the answer as opposed to conventional impervious construction that adds to the problem.

In my view, promoting your environmental strategy falls into the category of community service and should be promoted as part of your overall sales and marketing strategy. Every project you win may not be “green,” and all owners may not be willing or able to pay extra to take advantage of a more energy-efficient or sustainable roofing system, but all should be offered the opportunity to go for the upgrade.

To win in the roofing business, you must keep a constant eye on things. Today. Now. In real time. All the time. A quote from hockey icon Wayne Gretzky gives some advice that may relate to this idea of establishing an environmental policy. He says, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

One last thing: Is winning jobs and making money the only reason you’re in the roofing business? Serving the community, working together with your team and your clients to make the world a cleaner, safer, and better place has its own rewards. And the result may be that you get it both ways. Your efforts could result in a better planet and a more profitable roofing business.