How do I Develop a Green Business Strategy?

Tess C. Taylor

Companies that develop a green business strategy usually do so because they want to be a good stewards of the environment and implement business practices to protect the earth and its resources. There are many ways to develop a green business strategy, including reducing waste, modifying work practices, and using alternative energy sources. Many companies with a green business strategy participate in green business initiatives as part of community efforts.

A green business strategy may involve choosing alternative energy sources, like solar power.
A green business strategy may involve choosing alternative energy sources, like solar power.

Some businesses are naturally geared for a green business strategy because of their particular industry or location. For example, companies operated by small teams or sole proprietors may do business virtually, which cuts down on the need for travel, an office, and other energy-wasting business practices. A business may be located near public transportation or in a place that's convenient for employees to travel by foot or by bike. By working from a small home office or an office that is within walking distance, a company is using a green business strategy.

Switching to energy efficient CFL lights can make a business more green.
Switching to energy efficient CFL lights can make a business more green.

For all other organizations, developing a green business strategy first begins with cutting down on waste. Paper is one of the biggest culprits, as there are thousands of sheets of paper tossed out daily at an average worksite. By providing recycling bins, this paper waste can be managed in a more green method and sent for recycling. Companies can also implement green business strategies that encourage employees to cut down on energy waste, such as providing incentives to use public transportation or carpooling to work.

Businesses that desire to make small, but significant changes can implement a green business strategy by choosing alternative energy sources, such as solar power. Many light fixtures can be replaced with eco-friendly bulbs. Heating and air conditioning systems can be upgraded to more energy-efficient models.

A newly formed business or one that is going through a transformative process may become involved in community green initiatives. Many communities have green initiatives such as street cleanup, land recovery, and recycling projects in which any organization can get involved. Businesses can also start “greening” their business location with more energy efficient practices, refurbishment with recycled or reclaimed building and furniture materials, and outdoor shade tree planting. These measures can reduce waste and improve the environment.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - That's just silly though. I mean, there are a lot of examples of companies who would be able to make themselves more efficient by becoming greener. Energy saving light-bulbs last longer and expend less energy, for example, so it makes much more sense to use them.

There are also an awful lot of businesses in my city who leave their lights on all night for what seems like no reason. Then there is all the roof space that could be used for wind and solar power collection and I'm sure most businesses would benefit from recycling (which is usually cheaper than garbage collection rates).

If I was developing a green business strategy I would also get input from the local community to see what they suggest. This should be a standard in any business strategy planning.


@browncoat - I think a lot of older businesses will take the strategy of waiting to see what they are forced to do if government controls come into place. If they are suddenly hit by regulations of methane and they focused a lot of time and money on controlling their carbon they could end up less competitive than other businesses.

The problem with capitalism is that it's a zero sum game, so no one wants to play if they don't have to.


I would prefer it if everyone was doing this because it was the responsible thing to do, but in case that's not enough, it's usually the smart and financially savvy thing to do as well.

Environmentally friendly practices are not just a flash in the pan. They are going to become more and more important as time goes on and consumers are going to become more and more aware of them as well. I can't imagine a future at the moment without stricter environmental controls, because they seem inevitable.

Implementing a green business strategy now is just staying ahead of the curve.

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