Green businesses are striving to provide high quality products and services to their customers while minimizing waste, reducing energy and water use, and keeping negative environmental impacts to a minimum. To claim green business status, companies and/or the buildings they operate in are often certified by a third party that measures the efficiency of energy and water throughout the business’ operations.1
Fortunately, there are many other ways to green a business, and most of them are also good for a business’ bottom line as they reduce costs and increase customer appeal.
Here are some ways to green your business:
- Choose products and suppliers with green certification to reduce impacts along the supply chain. This can help when choosing a variety of products, from sustainable paper products, to energy and water efficient appliances, to sustainable food sources. 2
- Timers or motion sensors help to keep lights off when there’s no one around, while timers and smart power strips for appliances reduce “phantom power” (power that an appliance drains just from being plugged in, even if it’s off).
- Literally “green” your business through living plants, either indoors or outdoors. Green roofs3 , drought-tolerant landscaping4, and living plant walls and planters contribute to increased air quality, passive cooling, and help with water management.
- When looking to move or set up a business, look for buildings that meet a certified green build standard, such as BOMA, LEED, Passive House or other third party verification organizations.
- When looking to renovate an existing building, include water and energy efficient retrofits to save money and energy from the start.
The best way to green a business is to reduce waste. Whether that’s in energy, products, or time, efficient business operations keeps the world (and your bank account) a little greener.
1For a more information on how to certify a building or business, check out this list of environmental certifications recommended by the University of Waterloo
2For a list of verified green certifications, check the last page in the Town of Okotoks’ Growing Greener Together Guide
3Check out the Miistakis Institute’s Ecoroof Guide for Municipalities for a detailed review of green roof options.
4The Town of Okotoks provides rebates and incentives to encourage water wise choices for both residents and businesses – see the Water Smart Business Grant article below or click button below for details.