According to a U.S. Small Business Administration report from 2012, there are nearly 30 million small businesses in the country. These small businesses created 64% of the country’s new jobs over the last 15 years. They drive innovation, global competitiveness and economic recovery. These small businesses lead large businesses and even sector giants in many things – but they lag in sustainability. Sloan Management Review produced some pretty impressive figures in a green business survey that said 60% of its survey companies were increasing their investment in sustainability – yes – 60% are going (or going more) green. However, only 9% 0f these companies (with less than 1000 employees) could be considered as “embracers” of green business practices.
Whether the reason for this disparity is a lack of resources, time or awareness of its benefits, small businesses can benefit from setting a green strategy. It can save companies money and conserve resources, it can enhance corporate branding statements and boost public perception of the company as a good citizen of the community.
The best thing about “going green” is that you can do a little or a lot. Many green practices are common sense efficiency decisions (such as evaluating your energy use) and merely require changes to processes (such as putting internal recycling policies in place). Some practices require more planning and commitment than budgeting (such as using more electronic processes and files than printed ones) while others require research and investment (such as installing solar panels). But choices are what make going green accommodating to small businesses! Starting can be as easy as deciding what you would like for your business to stand for in terms of sustainability. It is important to include your team in this decision because they may have ideas and commitment to sustainability that surprises you.
Because it helps your business to be more efficient and use less paper, simply using Jackrabbit can be a big part of your “greening” process. Of course, there are many more things that you can do in addition to using efficiency-focused software. Check out some of the sites mentioned below to examine ideas, see examples and learn how to start green initiatives.
Resources abound for learning more about greening your business from government and private agencies and business publications. (i.e., The National Federation of Independent Businesses – NFIB; the U.S. Small Business Administration; Small Business Trends Magazine)
Examples of green initiatives, ways to find the right green initiative for your company and a green business guide are just three of the website resources to help you figure out how you can go green.
There are also levels of certification that you can attain by meeting specifications set forth by governing organizations. See what it takes to become Green Certified or to attain LEED Certification.