|This series is commissioned by UPS.|
Several years ago we started highlighting the green movement as a trend among small businesses. Over 5 years later, green business practices continue on the radar screens of small business owners and entrepreneurs. There are several aspects to having a commitment to sustainability.
Some business owners are interested in sustainable business practices because it can save them money in operating the business.
Other business owners and entrepreneurs sit up and take notice because of the opportunity value. Simply put, if your customers are interested in green products and companies that demonstrate sustainability, then entrepreneurs will try to deliver what they want. Quite a few startups and new business lines have been launched to capitalize on the public’s interest in green products. Even product packaging has become important, with recycled or recyclable packaging becoming a differentiator in the marketplace.
Still other small business owners are committed to sustainable business practices for their own intrinsic value. Those companies may even require suppliers to demonstrate that they follow sustainable business practices.
Interest in green business practices continues to be a strong trend, and I expect it will continue to be that way for the foreseeable few years. The best thing to do is educate yourself on sustainaibility, to see how sustainability practices can fit into your company. A few months ago I brought you two articles as part of our UPS Logistics series, and would point you to those for some how-to advice:
- 7 Ways to Communicate Your Commitment to Sustainability –This article looks at how to make sustainability an ingrained part of your company culture and communicate that both internally and externally.
- Evaluate Your Suppliers for Sustainability — This article examines how to choose and manage suppliers for sustainability.
Also check out the new SBA.gov website — it’s added quite a few “green business” resources. The new SBA.gov site is impressive overall. One section to pay particular attention to is the “Green Business Guide.” The Guide includes several subsections of resources and information, including these:
List of American cities with green initiatives - this section lists cities that have established initiatives to encourage green business practices. It points you to resources and incentive programs for businesses adopting green business practices in those cities.
Restrictions on green marketing claims — this section lists Federal Trade Commissions regulations and guidelines for making “green” claims and environmental marketing claims.
Green commuting – this section has calculators, information and tools for employers to determine costs savings and energy savings from telecommuting and limited commuting to an office.
Read up on sustainability to understand what’s behind this important trend. At the very least your customers may be intensely interested in green business practices and sustainability — making it important you be knowledgeable about such practices to meet their expectations.