You’ve decided to Start a Business, and you want it to be green? That’s great, but what exactly do you mean by starting a green business?
Start a Green Business|What Does Green Mean?
Two possibilities: do you want to green an “ordinary” business by making it environmentally responsible and sustainable such as using only recycled packaging, or do want to create a business that creates a green product?
No matter what the answer is to this question, starting out with a green mindset will help make everything flow from that, from how you outfit your office to the kinds of people you will hire.
The main issue in a green business around which everything else revolves is sustainability.
Start a Green Business|Sustainability Is The New Bottom Line
In a nutshell, a sustainable business is one that is run in an environmentally responsible fashion with as small a carbon footprint as possible. There are several methods to help achieve sustainability. Obviously, for starters, we have the common sense tripod of
It means in your office, whether it is a home office or in an office building, lights and computers are shut off after business hours, packaging consists of recycled materials, everything that can be reused will be, and so forth. Cups at the office will be the washable kind, and the air conditioning will not be set to arctic temperatures that causes employees to wear sweaters in July.
In addition, for the pollution your business activity will inevitably cause, you can choose to actively counteract those effects by planting trees, for example.
Start a Green Business|Carbon Offsets
These days there are companies who broker the use of carbon emissions. You can purchase carbon credits which lets you pollute because, basically, somebody else did not. Needless to say, much better than buying carbon credits is to have a lower carbon footprint yourself, i.e. pollute less.
Start a Green Business|Business-Wise
At the same time as you define your business and financial goals – in writing, like every good Business Plan has to be – you must also lay out your environmental goals. If you are simply greening your business, these goals can run the gamut from modestly ambitious such as enforcing strict recycling rules, to endeavoring to have the tiniest carbon footprint, to influencing your employees’ life style and convince them commute by bicycle instead of car, to even try to influence other businesses in your area to become greener as well. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to an environmentally responsible life style, but you have to start somewhere, and this you should put in writing.
If, on the other hand, you are building a green business, manufacturing with a green product, or performing a green service, you can potentially incorporate good earth stewardship into everything you do. In the case of an organic lawn service, you not only avoid pesticides, but you could have your vehicles use alternate fuel.
Ultimately, your business can even become “Certified Green,” although the meaning of this label differs from one organization to another. But once a body of authority calls you officially and certified “green,” you will have really achieved something significant, for your business and for our planet!
John is a tech maven and a writes on various tech-related topics including high speed broadband and web 2.0 development.