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Small Business Green Certification is currently the talk among small business owners. However, there are many business owners who do not have a clear understanding of the terminology ‘Green Business’. You can say that your business is going green when your organization uses renewable resources that are environment-friendly. Green business means you are simply changing the way you do your business; for instance the purchases that you make, the products and services that you offer; all these must have a positive impact on the environment if you want your business to be Green Certified. To put it in a simple manner, when you purchase goods/services, you have to pay using currency. Similarly,when you use the natural resources, you need to repay/replenish the mother earth by using things that can be recycled and are sustainable.

What is Green Business Certification?

Green Certification is given to small/medium/large businesses by third-party organizations to let the consumers know that the product/service of a company is eco-friendly, sustainable and environmentally sound. This is nothing but eco-labelling your product.There are two types of certification – Domestic and International. For more information, visit U.S. Small Business Administration. The organization that provides the certification will verify if your business has a certain level of quality based on measurable facts such as credibility, operational cost, employee satisfaction and sustainability.

However, before you decide to go for the Green Certification you have to ask yourself these questions. It would help you to decide whether you really want to go for this certification or not. Why do I want to become green?, Whether I am starting a new green business or am I going to work towards getting Green certification for my existing business?, Will market factors be involved?, Will becoming green give me an edge over my competitor?, Is it necessary for my business to be 100% green or are there areas where I can opt out of being green? If there are any areas where I cannot go green, then how do I offset my consumption?

Green Terminology that you Need to be Know

There are many “green” terms that you need to know. Here, only the most important ones are listed.

* Sustainability is one of the most important green terms. This is categorized into three types –

(a) Environmental Sustainability points to the environmental resources used by the business. For instance, amount of energy and water used, waste management, emissions and so on. If the business replenishes 100 percent of the natural resources it uses then it isconsidered to be an environmentally sustainable business. However, if it uses more thanits quota of the natural resources then it is not considered as environmentally sustainable.

(b) Economic Sustainability refers to the financial model and the productivity of your business. There should be a balance between the cash inflow and the expense of yourfirm then it is known as financial sustainability. Economic sustainability also refersto the products and services you buy. For instance, if you are using paper bags insteadof plastics or if the energy saving bulbs and tubes are used, it is also considered to beeconomically sustainable.

(c) Social Responsibility explores the social impact of your business on the community.It also takes into consideration the ethics and principles of your business, how much doyou give back to your society, fair compensation and health and safety measures for theemployees. Social responsibility also refers to the involvement and the things you do for your local community.

* Carbon Footprint measures how much CO2 is generated by a particular activity or product. For instance, cycling to office produces a smaller carbon foot print than taking motorized transport.

* Carbon Credits refers to offsetting carbon emissions by purchasing carbon creditsfrom an entity that produces carbon emissions. For instance, if you use a car,you can purchase carbon offsets to make up for your production of C02 from theenvironment.

The trend of Green Business Certification is here to stay. Join the mammoth and cohesive effort of individuals and organizations alike to preserve the beautiful environment.So when are you planning to join the Green Bandwagon?

Share with us what measures have you taken to go Green. Or if you know a friend whose business has Green Certification, mention them in the comment below. Ex: @Mary has great tips on Going Green.

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