Social Entrepreneurship

How to Operate a Green Company

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Is your mission statement to run a green company that considers the planet and the preservation of it? If it is then you need to look at more than the ingredients of your product in order to go green across the board.

We are all much more aware of being good to the planet and living in an ecologically friendly way than every before.

Despite this it's often thought that the world of commerce isn't one that lends itself to being green. Not true, you can operate a green policy in your company. Here's how:

The mission statement of a company operating a green policy should be that of solving environmental issues rather than being the cause of them. Or at the very least it should set out not to exacerbate existing problems but to find ways to operate efficiently without causing further irreparable damage to the environment.

Green product

Perhaps one of the most important things to bear in mind when setting up your company to run on a green policy is remembering that it's not just about your end product being ecologically sound. But let's look at product first.

Your end product, be it a natural remedy for acne or a furniture range needs to be green through and through. Let's take it as a given that the ingredients or materials used to create your product are organic or gleaned from sources that can be replenished. But what about the way your product is shipped either to your warehouses or direct to customers? Here's where you need to be aware of your carbon footprint. If the costs to the planet are high, your product's true greenness is diminished.

Green packaging

Be aware that the packaging you use for your product needs to be made from recyclable papers and bio degradable materials. It's important to make it clear to customers that you are mindful of keeping packaging to a minimum but that which you do use is planet friendly.

Going green in the office or workplace

All business stationery should be made from recyclable paper. Where possible minimize the amount of printed documentation you create and if you must print, use both sides of the paper. Offer clients online billing options as opposed to paper billing. Be conscious of energy usage too: it used to be commonplace for commercial premises to leave computers on standby all night long. Unless this is absolutely necessary switch them off and consider lighting the workspace with energy saving bulbs or LED lighting which is less energy hungry than its incandescent cousin. Turn taps off securely too. Dripping taps account for tens of thousands of liters of waste every year.

Green people

All the good that you achieve by running a green company can quickly be negated if you employ staff who aren't au fait with being environmentally friendly. Make sure your employees understand that you operate a green policy. If you involve them they might even bring their own green ideas to the boardroom table. Suggest that staff who live near each other share travel arrangements to get to and from work. After all, one car on the road causes half as less damage to the planet than two. Encourage green living outside of the workplace too. If your staff members are seen to uphold the values your company does you are presenting a positive image of being a green business.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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