Greening your business can be great for the environment, great for your customers, and great for your bottom line. Whether you are just beginning to explore green options for your business, or whether your “green cred” is well established, partnering with nonprofits and other organizations that are experienced in reducing the social and environmental impact of products and operations is a great way to bring your green initiatives to the next level.
One nonprofit organization that specializes in helping businesses go green is GreenBlue. GreenBlue is dedicated to developing industrial systems that mimic the “closed loop systems” of natural ecosystems. Instead of lawyers or lobbyists, GreenBlue is staffed primarily by scientists, engineers, design professionals, and business strategists who are experts in the art of developing solutions to problems such as improving the sustainability of packaging, product ingredients and components, and office buildings that are as practical as they are eco-friendly.
How GreenBlue Can Help Your Green Business
GreenBlue has five main areas of operation:
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is an industry working group devoted to developing standards and solutions for packaging that is socially and ecologically responsible while meeting industry and market standards. The group’s projects include a 104-page report providing sustainability education and design guidance for packaging professionals, an online design software program that allows engineers and designers to view detailed assessments of the environmental and social impacts of their packaging choices over the lifecycle of the packaging material, a sustainable packaging design course, and more.
CleanGredients is a subscription-based online database of chemicals used in cleaning products. CleanGredients helps formulators identify ingredients with minimal environmental and social impacts when designing new cleaning products, and offers a resource to help marketers showcase the environmental benefits of green cleaning products. The database currently lists surfactants and solvents. Listings for fragrances and chelating agents are under development.
Green2Green is a free online resource for building professionals that allows them to perform side-by-side comparisons of green building materials based on attributes such as basic characteristics, environmental impact, and performance in order to identify the greenest choice that is appropriate for a specific buildings needs.
GreenBlue recently acquired fellow nonprofit Metafore in a rare non-profit merger, and has continued Metafore’s programs, which focus on helping businesses evaluate, select, or manufacture environmentally sustainable wood and paper products. Metafore’s projects include the Forest Certification Resource Center, an online database that helps businesses identify certified wood and paper manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and other industry traders, and the Environmental Paper Assessment Tool, which helps buyers and sellers of paper select the most environmentally sustainable option.
Finally, GreenBlue offers one-on-one advisory services tailored to the needs of your business, including sustainability scenario planning, metrics development and application, materials assessment, and implementation plans.
With so many existing resources available, greening your business does not mean reinventing the wheel. The tools and services offered by GreenBlue can be an important starting point for any company wishing to green its operations and services.