Green Business Comes from Green Behavior

Nov 1, 2010 11:00 AM ET

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) November 1, 2010 - There are different approaches to the environmental issues we face today.  We see some organizations that are addressing buildings, homes, and their owners.  But what about the rest of the business and homes that would like to become green certified?  Do they have to build, renovate, or add expense changes to improve their carbon footprint?  The answer is No; we can start by understanding that going Green is about individual behavior of every one on this planet.

In many cases, people are relatively ignorant of the many opportunities they have to Go Green.  Or maybe our busy lifestyles do not afford us the time to study endless areas of environmental sustainability issues.  Even some of the terms can be intimidating. We here words like Bioaccumulation, Remediation, Out gassing, Sick Building Syndrome, Building Related Illness, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Indoor Air Quality just to mention a few.  The list goes on and on, so should we research all of the different terms described above, do you even have the time?

But should we ignore the fact that every business and home is going to be subject to some kind of environmental risk.

Your probably thinking what is he talking about my business just sells widgets.

In fact this company may sell  Green widgets, so I am all ready doing something to help change my environmental footprint.

Recently I attended a green fair.  All of the venders at the show had some kind of green product or service their company was providing. I took the time to visit most of the Green booths, and I learned that many were good at what they knew but not so good about the whole environmental topic.  After listening to their description of the product and service I asked them this question.

One question was, “Is your business green certified?”  And all of them answered no, but they immediately proceeded to tell me how long they have been providing a green service or product.  I had to think to myself, this is” talking the talk and not walking the walk.” It was plain to see that most businesses selling a green product and service have not finished their homework.

This is another answer I heard from one of the business owners. “Why do we need someone to certify us?  We have been around for years providing a green service.  We all ready have our own green program in house.”

It is common to hear some firms making this clam, they more than likely are already meeting some or most of the requirements to be green certified.  But isn’t it obvious that if Going Green is a matter of declaration, then anyone can claim to be a green business.  This goes back to changing the behavior of each individual. Earning and not “Give it to me, I deserve it” is an attitude that needs to be changed.

If your business is not certified and someone is not paying attention to the environmental risk your company could be facing a law suit and a bad reputation that could take years to overcome.

Why not ask yourself a few questions about identifying your environmental risk.  For example, what resources are we most dependent on (energy, water, materials), and how much do we use?   How do we dispose of waste?   Have others in our industry had problems?  Do our suppliers pollute?  Do they meet all applicable laws and legal requirements? These are just a few questions to keep in mind when trying to identify environmental risk.

Here’s a quote by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston.  From there book Green to Gold.

Business Consequences:

“Climate change is a highly contentious issue because the costs both addressing the problem and of not addressing it could be very high. Green house gases are linked to the burning of fossil fuels, so successfully controlling emissions will require action on the part of not only every business on the planet but every individual.”

Just align our self’s with nature and not defy it could work wonders to get on the right path.

If your business is involved in some kind of green service, then there is a need to be certified by a professional organization.  The Green Business League is the one certification organization with a national standard of Green certification, nearly 400 Green auditors that are ready to provide guidance and validation for honest environmental progress.

I doesn’t matter if you offer a Green product or service.  Every business needs to change at the operational level regardless of whether the building is owned, rented, or leased.  The best method to integrate Green practices into a company is to train and install a Certified Sustainability Officer in the company.


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