What is a Green Business?
A “green” business strives to have a positive impact on the environment and community. It develops and practices business strategies that go beyond regulation and demonstrate commitment to a healthy and sustainable future. A green business adopts principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for its customers and employees.
The Tucson, Arizona City government is currently offering a new “Green Business Certification Program” to area small businesses in an effort to help businesses reduce resource consumption, operate more sustainably, and save money on utility bills!
Keeping a business as green as possible has benefits for the business as well as the environment. Aside from the inherent positives for the planet, taking preventive measures to protect the environment saves the costs of expensive cleanups when things go wrong. Plus, the environmental messages sent out at work spread and multiply and therefore have a larger positive effect.
The payback for a business to attain a Green Business Certification can be considerable. According to Leslie Ethan, the Director of the City of Tucson Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development a business can attain a energy audit (valued at over $2000) in which the business will be given specific steps to make the facility more efficient. Recommendations will includes roof evaluations, energy conservation tips along with water conservation analysis. Tucson’s goal is to have 45-50 businesses certified in the next year.
In today’s business world, companies are more willing to make eco-friendly changes because they know that:
• They can achieve savings in energy costs. Recycling, energy conservation, energy-efficient office equipment, and water-saving devices all save money by cutting bills.
• They don’t have to spend a lot of money to make changes, and often changes actually save the business money. The reducing consumption part of being green can cut overhead expenses significantly. For example, printing on both sides of paper doesn’t cost a business anything and can cut paper supply costs in half.
• They can improve staff productivity. Getting employees involved in making the business greener and the office and other workplaces more energy-efficient makes them feel like part of the team and motivates them. Greener workplaces also are likely to be healthier and safer, which means that the company loses less money through staff sick time.
• Becoming known as a green firm can be attractive to potential employees. Being green means looking after people as well as the environment, and being green may give your company the edge in attracting the best staff.
• Introducing telecommuting can cut costs and make staff happier. Employees working from home can reduce employer costs such as parking and make it easier for employees to manage family issues, thus reducing their stress.
For more information on how your Tucson business can apply for a Green Business Certification please visit the Tucson City Government website.