What’s a Green Business?
Triple bottom line company. Mission-based business. Social enterprise & social entrepreneurship. Socially responsible investing & impact investing. Green business.
Green businesses are socially and environmentally responsible.
Green companies adopt principles and practices that protect people AND the planet. They challenge themselves to bring the goals of social and economic justice, environmental sustainability, as well as community health and development, into all of their activities — from production and supply chain management to employee relations and customer service.
Green businesses care for their workers.
Green businesses ensure they don’t use sweatshop or child labor. Everyone who works directly for them or their suppliers earns a living wage and works in healthy conditions. They create jobs that empower workers and honor their humanity. They also serve as models for the role businesses can play in the transformation of our society to one that is socially just and environmentally sustainable.
Green businesses protect their customers and clients.
Green businesses ensure that they use the safest ingredients, to keep their customers and clients and their families healthy. They also provide green living alternatives to improve quality of life, with products and services that help in areas like affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, education, clean energy and efficiency, fair trade, healthy air, clean water, and more. And they reduce, reuse and recycle, setting a good example.
Green businesses improve their communities.
Along with ensuring their facilities aren’t polluting their local communities, many green businesses take steps to make the places that they call home better. Green businesses often spring up in marginalized communities—inner cities, rural and indigenous communities. Many are even started by the people in these communities who, in turn, bring respect and dignity to their employees and the wider neighborhood.
Is your business a green business? Find out
- Adopt bylaws or charters that lay out the social and environmental objectives they hope to achieve
- Make transparent, public commitments to social justice and environmental sustainability
- Choose to deliver products and services that reflect their social and environmental concerns
- Work to include all the stakeholders when possible in their decision-making processes—their workers, customers, communities, and the environment
- Address economic justice issues within their businesses – for example, some by establishing a clear ratio of top to bottom salaries, others by building profit-sharing plans that include all workers, not just management
- Make products that are built to last and designed to reduce waste
- Ensure that their manufacturing and delivery processes are environmentally sound
- Examine their relationships with vendors, urging—even requiring— them to make social and environmental improvements
- Make their financial investments by applying social and environmental screens
- Get involved in their communities – offering their business as a space for meetings, encouraging employee volunteerism, doing cause marketing, making an in-kind donation or monetary gift
- Educate consumers about the crucial role business plays in ensuring worker rights, promoting social justice, and in protecting communities and the environment
- Encourage their consumers to be more educated about the products they buy and to be more mindful of their social and environmental impacts
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