What is a Green Business?

Malcolm Tatum

Also known as a sustainable business, a green business is a company or for-profit operation that attempts to function without creating any type of negative impact on the local or global environment. As part of the process, the company is constantly looking for newer and better ways to make the business as a whole more environmentally friendly, beginning with the acquisition of raw materials all the way through to delivery of the product to the consumer.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

The concept of a green business is part of the larger movement to create green or sustainable living. Along with seeking to make homes eco-friendly, this movement also tries to invoke change in the way business operate. When implemented, these changes create less of a carbon footprint on the ecology of the planet.

There are many ways that a company can begin to go green and eventually attain the status of a being a truly green business. One of the first steps usually has to do with making changes to the facilities owned and operated by the company. This can involve such elements as the use of synthetic chemicals in the production process, general cleaning of the facility, and in the preparation of any goods produced for shipment. Often, a business seeking to leave less of an ecological footprint will also look at the current level of carbon emissions generated by the facility and seek to find ways to minimize or eliminate those emissions.

General office work around the business can also be adapted to leave less of an eco-footprint. The office will generally become as close to paperless as possible, relying on electronic documents and communications that are shared over a network powered with solar or wind energy. When the use of paper is absolutely necessary, only recycled paper is utilized. When and as possible, all equipment and materials used in the office and other areas of the company are produced locally, thus minimizing the use of fossil fuels in transportation costs.

A company that is attempting to become a green business may also find it necessary to establish more operation centers in various strategic locations around the country or the world. The idea is to allow each center to process customer orders that originate in fairly close proximity to the center. This approach helps to lessen the costs associated with transport and delivery, and also helps to lessen the consumption of oil based products while still meeting the needs of the customer.

For many companies, becoming a green business remains more of a goal than an accomplishment. However, more and more businesses are finding ways to make the best use of available resources without placing additional stress on the local ecosystem.

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