Help for Small Businesses Going Green

13 01 2009

PrintPlace has gone green, and since the environment is so important to us, we’d like to give other businesses ideas on how to become green. If every green company helped another company go green, think of all the pollution we could prevent from seeping into the air and all the resources we could save. PrintPlace is trying to do its part by offering these tidbits of green info for businesses going green.

Learn Environmental Regulations
Even though there is no national governmental certification for going green, there are rules you need to follow from the EPA. EPA environmental regulations are spelled out for you, including what permits you need and how to comply with the Clean Air Act, among others. Knowing these rules will put you well on your way to becoming green.

Create an Environmental Plan
You need to come up with an environmental policy statement and communicate eco-friendly responsibilities to employees. You should also set goals, such as lowering your water consumption or using 100% recycled paper by a certain date. Business.gov’s web page on Environmental Planning can help you with your plan. You can even look at samples and get ideas for your industry.

Build Green
If your small business is in a building that needs to be renovated, or perhaps you have the capital to build an office, you can go green with building materials. Install energy efficient heating and cooling systems, buy energy efficient light bulbs and install insulation so that you can maximize the sun’s warmth when needed.

Buy Green Products

Green products are:

• Made from post-consumer, recycled materials
• Bio-based
• Non-toxic
• Energy efficient (look for the Energy Star logo)
• Locally produced
• Renewable and recyclable

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
By reducing the amount of waste your company produces, you not only help the environment, but save money. Waste reduction means lower removal costs and cuts cost on raw materials, equipment and office supplies. If you can streamline your operations to reduce waste, you’ll also save money on manpower by becoming more efficient. Instead of having an 8-hour workday, you could have a 7-hour workday, and shut down the lights and equipment an hour earlier each day. On the flip side, you could make and sell more products because of your higher efficiency and lower production costs.

Market Yourself as Green
Add green claims and eco-labels to your marketing strategy, including packaging. Let customers know that you’re a green company – many customers make purchasing decisions based on this info. Join an EPA partnership or stewardship program to learn more about being eco-friendly and to join other businesses that are helping to save the Earth.

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One response

11 02 2009
Bill Ruesch

I find going green to be a help and a hinderence. It sounds good when companies decide that they will alley around the environment and make the commitment to go green. When it comes to dollars the commitment sometime weakens.

To those companies who’s hearts are in the right place, but their wallets can’t support their intentions I’d like to say you are already doing more for the environment than you know. I’m very proud of the printing industry we have made giant strides in the last 30 years to manufacture a more environmentally conscious product. Almost all inks are at least partially vegetable oil based. It is difficult to find paper now that doesn’t have some recycled content. Printing plants have installed scrubbers to remove solvents from the breathable air. It’s all good. Changes are happening, with or without you.

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