How to Become a Green Business – Part 3: Developing a Green Strategy for Your Business
A green business (or sustainable business) is a business that causes no negative impact on the local or global environment, the community, or the economy. Green business is both socially and environmentally responsible and is focused on implementing principles and practices that benefit their employees, community, and the planet. Consumers may be particularly drawn to green business because of their reputation as companies that protect environmental resources, ensure the well-being of both employees and those who supply the company, and constantly revise their approaches to make them more aligned with sustainability and reducing environmental impact. Becoming green as a business is not a one-off change; it’s an ongoing endeavor that requires constant learning and improving.
PART 3: DEVELOPING A GREEN STRATEGY FOR YOUR BUSINESS
1. Envision changes that will improve your business.
You will want to make sure that the changes that you plan to implement will actually improve your business. You will need to pay attention to not only improving the “greenness” of your business, but also maintaining a financially successful company. After determining what changes you wish to make (for example, will you ensure that no products are created in sweatshops overseas? Will you develop bylaws that outline the social and environmental objectives that you wish to achieve?), you will need to understand how these changes will impact the functioning of your business overall.
Ensure that you are only committing to making changes that you will be able to implement. Make sure that you practice what you preach.
2. Create an improvement strategy
After you determine where your business is now (in terms of its ecological impact) and where you want the business to be in the future, you can begin to think about what resources, tools and approaches will be used to get there. A strategy can be as simple or as complex as you want but it needs to be workable, feasible, and realistic.Consult business books for advice on creating green business strategies. These books can provide techniques and advice on developing a successful green business. Do a Google search for the “best books about green business” in order to obtain a list of books that may provide helpful advice as you become a green business yourself.For a great starting point, try the popular The Truth About Green Business by Gil Friend.
As part of your strategy development, decide whether you will do more than just “green” your existing premises and practices. Are there ways that you can expand more into the workings of a green business? For example, is it possible for your business to move into creating green products and services as well?
3. Consult other green companies
Before you start working to make your business greener, speak with the owners or managers of other green businesses in your area. Ask them what challenges they faced, what mistakes they made, what advice they would like if they had to make the move from non-green to green business again. Learn from the errors that others have made to facilitate your own experience at becoming a green business.You can find other green businesses using Green America’s National Green Pages (http://www.greenpages.org/).