Green Certification programs are a great way to demonstrate your passion for going green. If your business is already green certified, congratulations! You know the benefit of using your local or national program to show your commitment to the environment.
If you're seeking certification, consider the following:
1) Live green from the inside out.
Take an assessment of your existing business practices and consider where you may make simple changes to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
What is your current utilities bill? What is your target for reducing your energy consumption? How many pounds of paper do you use in a month?Find some target goals you'd like to reach in terms of your overall green and sustainable business practices. Typical goals for going green on-site include more energy efficiency and a reduction in solid waste. You can review sample green certification "metrics" by scrolling to the end of this post.
2) Find a local certification.
One of the best benefits of going green is interacting with other business owners who support similar principles. It's possible that your city, county, or state already has a program you may join to become green certified.
Do a search on your local "green chamber" or "green business" to find other people who can point you in the right direction.
Green America (formerly Co-op America) http://www.greenamericatoday.org offers a well-known national directory.
You may also review The Institute for Green Business Certification http://www.gbcertified.com.
For facilities and buildings, consider the U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19 for LEED certification.
Consider integrating an initiative like 1% for the Planet into your efforts.
If none of these are near to your location, consider starting up a Sustainable Business Committee or a Green Business Working Group within your existing networking or business connections group: you and your peers will learn from each other's efforts.
3) Continuously improve.
There are always new ways to increase your green thinking.
Make small changes in your purchasing to support other green businesses.
Call some of your suppliers and ask them to undertake green certification.
Sending a message to your clients with specific ways they can go green.
Perhaps you can offer recycling or drop-off ability for your customers.
You can also send action items, pending legislation, and local green-themed events to your newsletter.Find ways to spread the message. We all make a difference by working together.
*SAMPLE GREEN METRICS include:
Approximate amount of waste produced weekly?
Approximate amount of recycled waste?
Size of your facility in square feet
What kinds of permits does your building hold? (e.g. Air Permit, Hazmat, Wastewater, None, etc.)
Do you have multiple locations for your business?
Is your business located in a larger building with other tenants?
Do you have a parking lot?
What is your landscaping and maintenance routine?
Do you store hazardous materials onsite? (such as cleaning products, combustibles, motor oil, pesticides or fungicides)
Other reportable items include:
What kind of paper do you use?
What kinds of eco-friendly cleaners do you use?
Do you offer organic foods in our cafeteria or kitchen area?
Is your building LEED-certified?
Is your workplace located near public transportation?
Do you allow employees to telecommute?
Monica S. Flores of is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business — she believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She is available for consulting on web development, green business practices, and women in business.
Want to help? Your purchase of these resources allows me to continue bringing you information, resources, and support for green business women. Social Networking for Women in Business, 136 pages of tips on managing your social media. Click to purchase the e-version for $7.99 (use code: greengirls1). Thirty Steps to Starting up Your Green Business, an easy-to-follow guide with 110 pages of details to launching and growing your green business. Click to purchase the e-version for $8.99 and download instantly. Thank you for your support.
Want to help? Your purchase of these resources allows me to continue bringing you information, resources, and support for green business women.
Social Networking for Women in Business, 136 pages of tips on managing your social media.
Click to purchase the e-version for $7.99 (use code: greengirls1).
Thirty Steps to Starting up Your Green Business, an easy-to-follow guide with 110 pages of details to launching and growing your green business.
Click to purchase the e-version for $8.99 and download instantly.
Thank you for your support.