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Minimizing Your Business’s Carbon Footprint

When running a small business, you are constantly seeking out ways to cut costs without negatively impacting the quality of products or services you offer. Implementing eco-friendly business practices can help accomplish this with the added bonuses of boosting your brand’s public perception while promoting a sustainable environment. In this article, we are going to describe some of the benefits associated with going green and provide you with some tools that make it easier for your business to maximize sustainability.

Going Green

Going green, sometimes referred to as “greening”, is the process of putting eco-friendly business practices into place. This process tends to require comprehensive research and planning, but the resulting benefits are well worth the associated time and effort put in.

Benefits of Greening

Environmentally friendly business practices can yield enormous rewards, both for the environment and the business.

Ask yourself, “What makes my company sustainable? What sustainability goals will make the greatest impact for my business, including within my supply chain”?

What makes a company sustainable? The characteristics of a greener, more sustainable business:

  • incorporates “green thinking” in company culture;
  • eliminates inefficiencies;
  • minimizes its impact on the environment; and
  • evolves and adapts while streamlining its processes for resource efficiency.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

sustainability representation

Tools to Help Achieve Sustainability

While there are a multitude of ways to navigate your business toward sustainability, the EPA offers a plethora of helpful resources applicable to nearly every industry. And did you know that by implementing eco-friendly practices, your business may be eligible to receive grants and/or tax credits?

eco-friendly business
two people conducting business at a small grocery store

EPA Programs of Interest to Small Business

As a small business, there are many opportunities to partner or benefit from EPA sustainability programs, tools and research. Whether your business is in need of reducing its energy, water and resource use or needs to better understand what green products are available for purchase, EPA can provide your small business with assistance in reaching your sustainability goals. Consider joining into a voluntary partnership with EPA. Below are just a few EPA partnership programs that may be of particular interest to your small businesses.

  • ENERGY STAR for Small Business helps small businesses save energy and money through the ENERGY STAR network and by using ENERGY STAR products.
  • Green Power Partnership has more than 1,300 Partner organizations (large, medium and small) voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually.
  • Green Chill Refrigeration Partnership helps food retailers reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.
  • SmartWay helps businesses reduce their transportation-related emissions by creating incentives to improve supply chain fuel efficiency.
  • WasteWise is helping businesses apply sustainable materials management practices to reduce Industrial wastes.
  • BurnWise is helping manufacturers improve air quality through developing and distributing cleaner, more efficient wood-burning appliances.
  • PestWise is helping promote environmental innovation in pest management.
  • WaterSense is helping connect the various utilities, local governments, manufacturers, retail and distributors, builders, and other organizations that are working to promote the WaterSense label and water efficiency.
  • Safer Choice is helping consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well and are safer for human health and the environment.
  • Lead Safe Certification Program is helping to Lead-Safe certify (or renew) renovation firms.
  • Sustainable Materials Management is helping original equipment manufacturers and retailers promote responsible electronics recycling.
  • Food Recovery Challenge is designed to help participants save money, help communities, and protect the environment by purchasing less, donating extra food, and composting.
  • E3: Economy-Energy-Environment helps communities, manufacturers and manufacturing supply chains adapt and thrive in today’s green economy.


Sustainable Businesses for a Sustainable Future

The implementation of eco-friendly business practices not only benefits your own business, but also helps improve the environment within surrounding communities. If all businesses did their part in promoting sustainability, the global impact could be astounding.

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