8 Essential Steps On Creating A Green Business Environment

8 Essential Steps On Creating A Green Business Environment

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 10:00am


There are a number of obvious actions that a Green business should consider, but the truth is that there are hundreds of great ideas that could be part of a sustainability plan for any business.  Rather than deal with the obvious ones like CFL bulbs and programmable thermostats, let’s take a look at things that also make a company more Green compliant.

One of the new ideas that I’d like to promote is that Going Green is not a static, one-time effort.  Green is progressive and an ongoing shift from what we used to do to a better way of doing nearly everything.  This is not just about Green buildings, but about how we live our lives and operate our businesses.  Therefore, we are talking about behavioral changes, and that may be the toughest part about developing a Green certified business.

   1. Home Office or Remote Officing:  Whether your business is run out of the home or your company allows workers to work from home, this is certainly a positively Green and sustainable practice.  This is a concept that was once considered less-than-professional, but has made its way back as a great idea.  It cuts down on traffic, saves energy, and makes better use of manpower.

   2. Paperless Systems:  If you remember the old days of larger office servers, routers, and tape backup drives; you may have a negative opinion of document storage and retrieval.  With SAAS (Software as a Service) providers, this process will greatly reduce paper costs, man hours, and speed up the company’s operation.  Saving paper, ink, time, and energy makes this idea very Green.

   3. eFAX Solutions:  It’s time to get rid of all those fax machines that add cost, use up ink and paper, and eventually become ewaste.  Switch over to an efax solution that turns all your faxes into a pdf attachment that can be easily shared with others (paperlessly) and quickly moved to your document storage data.

   4. Energy Star Equipment:  There are few ways to make an environmental decision as easy as looking for the Energy Star label for equipment purchases.  This is a kind of no-brainer for any business.  Energy Star is a government program to highlight energy efficiency that applies to nearly every kind of appliance and electrical product.

   5. The Janitorial Service:  While it is normal to hire the cheapest janitorial service from several bids, why not require these companies to provide a Green certification with their bids.  Any service can claim to be Green because they have some Green products, but Green certification separates the men from the boys when it comes to a truly Green company.  Your company can still consider price, but require a Green certified janitorial service next time the contract comes up.  (www.GreenCleanInstitute.com)

   6. Office Products:  Every office uses thousands of dollars of office products, and every office supply store is now offering more Green alternatives, such as biodegradable or recycled pens and paper.  Whether you order online or go to the local store, ask your people to choose the Green product whenever possible.

   7. Install a Sustainability Officer:  It is not uncommon for employees to wear many hats.  New pending mandates are going to make the need to install a sustainability officer a normal part of business operation.  The training need not be a college graduate program.  Any enthusiastic and intelligent employee can be trained as a sustainability officer and provide the insight needed to move the company to a Green certification and address all future mandates.  (www.CertifiedSustainabilityOfficer.com)

   8. A Budget Allowance:  Any serious business needs to put a budget allowance in for Going Green that is more than an extra marketing expense.  Going Green as a Green business need not be expensive, and when done right has a return on investment of roughly a 12-24 month cycle.

The Green Business League has developed an impressive assessment list of Green Practices that provide a choice of options that eventually add up to enough Green Points to merit an “earned Green business certification.  Always avoid the Internet Green certification logos that invite abuse by companies looking only to promote Green without living Green.

If your company does not have a Sustainability Officer yet, reach out to a Certified Green Consultant who is a trained professional offering a free Green business assessment.  (www.GreenBusinessLeague.com). The Green Business League is the only national and international Green business certification that offers a national standard of compliance and requires an audit prior to certification. It is the belief of GBL that a certification must be “earned, not Bought,” and that the only way to defeat Greenwashing is by audited certification.