Green Certifications Help Some Small Businesses Stand Out


Sustainability can be an effective way to make a business stand out in today’s market. While nearly any company can claim to be eco-friendly, green certifications can help businesses actually prove that they’re making positive changes.

One such business that recently went through a rigorous certification process is Charlie & Echo, a small winery in San Diego. It’s the first winery and tasting room in Southern California to be certified as a California Green Business.

Owner Eric Van Drunen told Spectrum News 1, “It’s great that there is a certification because, after all that, it is nice to have some recognition. I actually went through all the process and did this thing.”

The certification process includes lots of little changes designed to make sure businesses are following sustainable practices. For example, businesses may install water filtration systems and switch to toilet paper made from recycled materials. Businesses can request an evaluation from the California Green Business Network to learn about how their current practices are impacting the environment and get tips for how to make positive changes.

Robert Carr of the California Green Business Network helped Charlie & Echo through their process. He told Spectrum News 1, “You can’t really fix anything you don’t measure so I think going in there and getting the audit and understanding what you’re doing so far and things you can do, it gives them kind of a benchmark on what they can do.”

Now, Charlie & Echo is one of more than 4,700 California businesses that have become certified Green Businesses over the past year. But since it’s one of the only companies with this designation in its specific niche and location, this certification may ultimately help the winery stand out with eco-conscious consumers.

While it’s possible for nearly any business to make claims about being “green” or “eco-friendly,” consumers are beginning to feel wary of these claims. Those who really care about sustainability want businesses actually to back up these claims. Third-party certifications like this one can be one way to provide proof of your commitment to sustainability.

Image: Shutterstock

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.