Many may remember when green hit the mainstream several decades ago. Recycling emerged as a hot button topic, and various highly recognizable sustainability logos hit the market. But then something happened. While most of Europe embraced the three R’s (reduce, recycle, reuse) and became highly aware of the tenets of sustainability while creating and adhering to strict standards, most of the world continued the status quo, which tended to favor convenience over good.
Now here we are faced with dire consequences of our global actions, or more appropriate, collective global inactions. There are many pressing questions…what can we do now? How do business owners – small and large alike – take a stand? How do we learn about things we can do in our business and in our own lives to more positively impact our world and our planet? And how can we teach others in the process?
For those small business owners who have committed to sustainability, demonstrating this commitment to their employees and customers becomes an important part of the process. One way to do this is Green Certification, a critical step in any business’ green journey that serves many purposes outside of just waving a green flag. First, it demonstrates that a company stands for something greater outside of just their product or service branding. It also establishes them as a quality company in the eyes of consumers. People want to buy from people they like and trust, and when a company is identified as Green Certified, they automatically earn favor and trust in the community and they typically are more profitable as a result of taking their green message to the market.
But Green Certification goes well beyond simply placing a seal in your window. Customers want to know what you’re doing, and they want just as much engagement around the greening of your business as do your employees who help drive the message and demonstrate the commitment every single day. Millennials, especially, are key drivers and real forces behind the resurgence of green, and they will continue to lead the charge forward in the years and decades to come. They’re passionate about green, they’re socially aware and conscious of green, and they have less tolerance for companies that don’t demonstrate they care.
If you’re a small business competing with other local small businesses, Green Certification sets you apart from your competitors and peers. If you’re a larger organization, you’re likely mandated to take action and formally document your sustainability efforts directly on your website or in your annual report. And even if you’re already LEED Certified or ISO Certified in a particular area, Green Certification for business is still something that you need that further demonstrates and highlights your corporate effort and commitment.
If you’re looking for Green Certification, seek out partners that require action and engagement, not just a quick survey or a “pay your money, get your seal” business model. Make sure they are providing guidance on ways to improve your business that will have lasting impacts and result in more profitable relationships with your customers and vendors. Find out how they’re prepared to mentor you through the tasks and how to prioritize opportunities for greening. And ask them what they’re willing to do to help you and your employees take action and tell your story to the world once you’ve started collecting some wins in your business.
Green Business Certification really is a critical step on so many levels. And it’s one of the most rewarding things a company can do to attract more diverse customers, hire better engaged employees, and solidify themselves as key members of their local community.
Learn more about getting started with GBB Certification today.