12 Ways for Small Businesses to Go Green for National Small Business Week

Blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company
May 18, 2011 1:30 PM ET

Taiga Company blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Compa…

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed National Small Business Week to recognize the contributions of small businesses to the economic well-being of America.   In 2011, National Small Business Week will honor the estimated 27.2 million small businesses in America.

Small businesses have a role to play in sustainability.  Consider the following:
  • Small businesses are major contributors to the strength of the American economy.

  • More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. They also create 60-80 percent of new jobs in the country.

  • Small businesses drive innovation, create 21st century jobs and increase U.S. competitiveness.

It is not uncommon for small business owners to falsely believe that their business it too small or too service based to benefit from the rewards of "greening" their business.   However, small businesses are just as susceptible to the risk larger organizations face: regulatory and legal risk, operational hiccups, and reputational risk.    Our business sustainability consulting practice encourages our clients to look at risks through the lens of business sustainability.  Business sustainability, defined as evaluating the environmental and social impacts of your business to long term profitability.  Business sustainability is a vehicle to enable your business to meet your goals of profit, growth, and revenue while positively impacting the environment and social realms of your business.    Consider how asking the following questions from a business sustainability perspective differ from the traditional approach:    

•    What business are we in?

•    What are the industry risks?

•    What's our unique positioning within the industry, and what gives us competitive advantage?

•    What are the strategic imperatives that are tied to our overall strategy?

•    What are the processes that are tied to the strategic imperatives, and then the risks that are tied to those?

  Early adopters of a pro-environment policy are answering these questions differently.  Business sustainability reshapes the business conversation.  By evaluating business risks through the lens of sustainability, small businesses are benefiting from the tangible and intangible rewards of going green: click here to continue reading.

Home to one third of the earth's trees, the Taiga is the largest land-based biosphere and encircles the globe. Its immense oxygen production literally changes the atmosphere and refreshes the planet. It is this continuous renewal that has shaped Taiga Company's vision to drive similar change in the business world. Taiga Company seeks to be the "oxygen for your business".