Environmentally conscious companies are marketing green to consumers - and profiting from it.

Today is Earth Day. People the world over are supposed to consider their impact on the environment and what they might be able to do to lessen it.

I wasn't around for the first Earth Day in 1970, but I remember the 20th anniversary of it pretty well. From my research and experiences, the first Earth Day seemed to have had a definite counterculture, anti-business element to it, coming at the end of the volatile 1960s.

It appears to have been largely forgotten in the years after that first celebration. I had never heard of Earth Day until the 1990 anniversary. Then it again seemed to fade from popular culture until the 2000s, when it became something many Americans and those from other cultures marked.

The concerns over global warming and fading natural resources seems to have played a part in its revival. But unlike prior Earth Day celebrations, where corporations were shunned, today many are embraced. Environmentally conscious companies such as Ford Motor Co. and Ingersoll Rand, which owns HVAC company Trane, are marketing green to consumers - and profiting from it.

Ingersoll Rand, for example, has been filling my e-mail with “green facts” all week.

Are you marketing green to your customers? Initially, many contractors didn’t think the green movement offered much for them. But today, high-efficiency HVAC equipment and work on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified projects prove that green can be good business.

How are you working green into your sheet metal company?