How Green is your Business?

Some businesses are known for being green. Companies like Tesla Motors, Whole Foods and Seventh Generation base their business models on sustainability and are clearly committed to the environment.

But what if your business doesn’t sell electric cars, organic good or chemical free dish soap? Is it possible to start being green even if your purpose or product isn’t directly related to sustainability?

Yes!

A company can be launched with a green vision and mission that are integral to its business plan. Other businesses may incorporate green practices in their operations as they grow.

There are many reasons for deciding to make your business green.

  • It’s a great way to reach new customers. Environmental best practices can impact your image and enhance your reputation with customers, communities and regulatory agencies.
  • Save some money! Less waste means lower disposal and operating costs. The efficient use of energy, water, materials and green management practices saves money and boosts your triple bottom line.
  • Make new relationships. A demonstrated track record of green practices and a reputation as a supplier of green goods and services can lead to new business relationships. It also provides access to buyers in business and government with sustainable purchasing practices.

Small initiatives (integrating video commuting, maintaining an office garden) to bigger actions (utilizing LEED certification in a new building or purchasing a company Smart Car) helped EcoAmmo, Manasc Isaac Architects and B&B Demolition walk away with the top prizes last year’s Small Business Eco Challenge. The Challenge celebrates the green actions that small businesses make in our city every day.

Entries are judged within the six categories included in the City’s environmental strategic plan The Way We Green:

  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Food Resiliency: protection of local food supply or agriculture
  • Solid Waste Reduction
  • Land Conservation and Biodiversity
  • Water Quality Protection and Conservation
  • Air Quality

Winners are recognized on the City of Edmonton’s You’re Gonna Love Green webpage, in media releases and will also receive cash prizes!

What else did the 2013 winners do to stand out from the crowd? Watch them talk about how they green their workplaces.

Do you want to start being green at work? Take a look at our eco-tips for greening your business.

The deadline for the Small Business Eco Challenge is September 26. For more information and to apply, visit www.edmonton.ca/ecochallenge 

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About the Author
Lisa Michetti
Lisa is a Communications Coordinator with the Sustainable Development department
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