New Sustainability Tool Helps Small Businesses Lead a Revolution
It is hard not to be optimistic about the future of sustainability in the U.S. business sector. Ten, fifteen years ago, sustainability was a side-concern, a box that often was checked with a glitzy ad campaign. Now, sustainability is a crucial competitive advantage that businesses want to incorporate into their core strategies. Why? Sustainability is a catalyst for minimizing waste, saving money, and inventing new goods and services. Large businesses have been embracing this fact, as evidenced from efforts like GE’s ”ecomagination” platform and IBM’s ”Smarter Planet” suite of services.
However, for the most part, this revolution has yet to affect America’s small businesses. Small businesses do not often have the reach or capital to undergo an energy efficiency overhaul or the legion of legal experts to determine how to meet the avalanche of environmental regulations. They are also facing an increasing challenge of meeting the requirements of the ever-greening supply chain of bigger businesses. In an effort to support small businesses wishing to become more strategically sustainable, the U.S. Chamber BCLC and Green Plus have introduced the Environmental Help Desk for Business.
The Environmental Help Desk for Business seeks to help businesses understand green supply chain requirements and find cost-reducing environmental innovations. Need to know what certifications big-box chains require to enter their supply chains? Call the Help Desk. Curious to know how legitimate a particular rating system is; who is the organization behind it? Send the Help Desk a message. Interested to find ways to lower costs and reduce emissions? Check out the Help Desk’s catalogue of innovations.
The Help Desk seeks to support small businesses so that they too can partake in the economic and environmental benefits of sustainability. While it is fantastic that large businesses are beginning to integrate sustainability into their missions, because small business makes up the bulk of the economy and represent the most dynamic, fast-growing firms, sustainability needs to reach this sector if the overall U.S. economy is to become more effective in tackling environmental problems and gaining leadership in such areas as clean energy, green technology, and energy efficiency. Accelerating this transformation is the mission of the Help Desk.
We look forward to working with businesses, chambers of commerce, government agencies, and other stakeholders to make the Help Desk a valuable resource for small business. And, we’re not done yet -- we will be adding new services and information to the site to constantly stay up to speed with what will meet your needs. Your comments, questions, and engagement are welcomed.
The Environmental Help Desk can be reached through the website’s email system, by phone: (919) 886-4228,on Twitter, and through Facebook. Visit the Help Desk online for more information. You can also reach Chris Carmody at (919) 408-7556 or Chris Ryan at (202) 463-5714 to provide comments and suggestions.