The environment is a heavy focus of green businesses. Green business or sustainable business, is an enterprise that has a minimal negative impact, or potentially a positive effect, on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. A green company takes a proactive approach to minimize waste, reducing its carbon footprint, and avoiding any harmful practices. In this age of concern over global warming, climate patterns and shifting resources, many businesses are making an effort to go “green” by adopting practices that are sustainable in an ecological, economic and social context. They cluster under different groupings and the whole is sometimes referred to as “green capitalism”. Several independent organizations and government agencies now offer some form of green business certification, but savvy consumers still need to take the time to investigate on their own. Often, Green businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies. Sustainable development cannot be achieved by a single individual or enterprise. Everyone must participate.
Green businesses ensure they don’t use sweatshops or child labor. They ensure that they use the safest ingredients, to keep their customers and clients and their families healthy. Everyone who works directly for them or their suppliers earn a living wage and works in healthy conditions. Along with ensuring their facilities aren’t polluting their local communities, many green businesses take steps to make the places that they call home better. They create jobs that empower workers and honor their humanity. This includes not only their employees but also their customers and the community as a whole. They also engage in forward-thinking policies for environmental concerns and policies affecting human rights. Green education, eco-friendly cleaning products, sustainable housing, and recycled products are examples, but green businesses span almost every industry.
The goal of green business is to eliminate any negative impact on the environment, on both a local and global scale. In general, business is described as green if it matches the following four criteria:
- It incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.
- It supplies environmentally friendly products or services that replace the demand for nongreen products and/or services.
- It is greener than traditional competition.
- It has made an enduring commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.