Businesses are taking notice of the increasing concerns about the environment. By becoming a “green” business, you will give customers “greener” products and services, help the environment, and save your business money. Take sustainability to the next level for your business.
Below are a series of different organizations and third party certifications that can help you achieve your desired level of environmental efficiency and/or education for your business.
Writing a Sustainability Report
Global Reporting Index
The Global Reporting Index provides reporting guidelines for writing a sustainability report and is applicable for any size business. This is achieved through their Reporting Framework which many Fortune 500 companies use for consistent standards and clear cut approach.
Sustainability/Environmental Certification or Guidelines
Natural Step Sustainability Program
The Natural Step is a non-profit organization founded with the vision of creating a sustainable society. For two decades, The Natural Step has been at the forefront of international research and dialogue about sustainable development. The Natural Step have developed a proven, science based model that helps communities and businesses better understand and integrate environmental, social, and economic considerations. In working with hundreds of companies, municipalities, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations all over the world, Natural Step has proven time and again that sustainable decision-making leads to new opportunities, reduced costs, and dramatically reduced ecological and social impacts.
Ceres, Sustainability Program and Certification
Ceres (pronounced “series”) is a national network of investors, environmental organizations, and public interest groups whose mission is to integrate sustainability into the capital markets for the health of the planet and its people. They do this by providing a set of principles which are the core of their framework of educational seminars, publications, and events. Their publication “The CERES Roadmap of Sustainability” is a roadmap for integrating sustainability into the DNA of business.
The Virginia Green is the statewide program that works to reduce the environmental impacts of Virginia’s Tourism Industry. It is run as a partnership between the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association. It is geared towards those businesses mainly sustaining tourism such as hotels, restaurants, golf courses, conference centers, etc. The main framework is a checklist of specific environmental considerations to utilize in these facilities to lower the impacts of this large industry on Virginia’s many natural resources. The process entails downloading the application, following the steps on the checklist, and submitting to DEQ for approval.
SCORE! Sustainable Consumption Research Exchange
The Network project SCORE! acts as one of the European Union (EU) central support structures for the United Nation’s 10 Year Framework of Programs for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). In a series of workshops and conferences SCORE! analyzes the state of the art in SCP research, and promote cases of (radical) sustainable consumption for mobility, agro-food and energy use. These areas cause 70-80% of the EU’s environmental impact.
Green Building Assistance
LEED Certification Program
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certifications system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.