The Hispanic community's 50 million citizens now represents over 16% of the U.S. population. Hispanic consumers have over $1 trillion of annual buying power. Their buying power is comparable in size to the Gross Domestic Production of South Korea and is approximately two-thirds the size of India's and almost twice the size of Turkey's GDP. IBISWorld projects Hispanic buying power to grow 46% to $1.6 trillion by 2016.
The Hispanic consumer is also America's greenest consumer.
"More than any other ethnic group, the Hispanic community is leading the charge toward adopting sustainable lifestyles and product purchases," explains Karen Barnes, Shelton Group's VP of Insight. "Unlike Caucasians or African Americans, Hispanics are more likely to say they're willing to choose the environment over their comfort or convenience."
This opportunity is not lost on the Hispanic business community. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is providing Green Builds Business coaching to its members funded by Walmart with implementation by Earth 2017.
"We created Green Builds Business to enable our business members to grow their profits by implementing the environmental solutions that are needed for restoring America's jobs, economy and environment," explains Javier Palomarez, President of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "This program has exceeded our boldest expectations by generating new business opportunities and opening new customer doors for Hispanic businesses."
JJH Autobody Shop in Salt Lake City, Utah is one example of what Green Builds Business is achieving. The business' founding father always had a focus upon conservation including hand-washing finished cars to minimize water consumption to one bucket. His children embraced the best practices of Green Builds Business by installing higher efficiency lighting, a recycling program and cleaner technologies that reduce the shop's environmental footprint. Within 60 days of attending Green Builds Business they have measurably reduced their operating expenses and landed Avis as a new customer.
"Green Builds Business equips Hispanic businesses with proven best practices for making money and a positive difference in their community," explains USHCC Board Chairperson Nina Vaca, founder and CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources, an award-winning provider of information technology. "Pinnacle Technical Resources' business model is representative of one of these key best practices of moving from molecules to electrons to lower business costs and reduce a business' environmental footprint."
Sample projects have included enabling an electrical contractor in Tulsa to grow revenues selling higher efficiency LED lighting systems, assisting a New Jersey hydroponics farming business in developing a strategic partnership with an area college and coaching a Washington DC company on selling their cutting-edge thermal imaging technology that can identify energy cost opportunities and indoor air quality risks through thermal and optical images taken of a building's walls.
"Hispanic-owned businesses have increased their numbers by 43.7% to 2.3 million nationwide," explains Palomarez. "We are creating jobs, contributing our taxes and now we are focused upon enabling America's growth of green businesses."
The Hispanic consumer is also providing consumer leadership through their "we" vs. "me" buying focus. The key marketing connection points for the Hispanic consumer are:
- Global perspective
- "We" interconnection with family and community
- Priority focus upon the welfare of future generations
This compares to the rest of America's "me" focus. The key to selling green to non-Hispanic consumers is offering "in me, on me and around me" solutions. The non-Hispanic consumer's key marketing connection points are:
- Price competitiveness
- Social acceptance
- Return on equity
"As Hispanics we strongly align with family and community values," explains Jennifer Tarazon, USHCC Foundation and Green Builds Business Program Director. "As Hispanic business people we know that being price competitive is key to growing sales. Green Builds Business is enabling Hispanic business success with best practices for competing on both price and values."
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business best practices for making money going green.