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The fundamentals of green business

Updated on February 9, 2010
"Green" is a term that is thrown around a lot these days which may refer to all kinds of things. From consumer goods to television specials to vehicles to the way we live. Everyone is talking green.
But when it comes to business, what does it really means to be a green company? Sure, many companies talk about green, but do they really walk the green walk? The definition of "green business" is key to the recognition of companies that truly have the environment in mind.

In the middle, green businesses choose to operate in a manner favorable to earth. They work to adapt their policies, practices and principles so as to produce a positive outcome for the environment, whether you're trying to solve an environmental problem, social issue or just trying to make a product that has a smaller footprint.

Green companies producing organic products
Let's start by seeing how a company can change its manufacturing operations to create green products. Many people speak about the line of the "triple". Today it is one of the benchmarks used to measure whether a company has adopted good policies and practices.

Essentially the performance triple line is a three-part model that focuses around three axes: people, planet and profit. In other words, instead of considering only nonprofit in measuring the success of a business, "the triple bottom line businesses think beyond money to the social and environmental factors.

In practical terms, this may mean that a green business should consider the following environmental strategies:

■ Water conservation: Green Companies understand that our freshwater supplies are limited and careful maintenance is needed. At all steps in the manufacturing and distribution efforts are needed to reduce water consumption and the business must strive to produce products which use less water during its life cycle.
■ Energy conservation: In addition to concerns about water, another green business opportunity is energy conservation. Sustainable enterprises recognize that climate change will have a profound impact on our world at all levels, including business success. Businesses that build green energy conservation in their long term plans not only save money, they will protect against the risks of energy costs, and demonstrate to voters their interest in climate change. Once again manufacturers, this will mean energy savings at the factory, and an emphasis on the production of products that require less energy.
■ Solid waste reduction and recycling: From beginning to end, the amount of waste produced during the manufacturing process should be limited. Processes to minimize waste at the beginning and have plans in place for recycling and reuse of waste that was created in reality should be the cornerstone of any green business. And as always, the finished product must also reduce waste production.
■ Pollution prevention: Finally, the green business practices also include the prevention of pollution. Many manufacturing processes use toxic ingredients and / or shed effluent and toxic waste into the environment (either air pollution, water pollution or soil contamination). A green business working to reduce toxins into their products, reduce toxins when creating products.
A very green could go further, working to restore the environment through the development and production of products that really help the environment. If a company decides to green manufacturing high efficiency solar panels or designing a new water filtration method.

Green Business eco-friendly operations conduct
But what if your company is a manufacturer direct? How do you go about incorporating green business practices into operations? In general, a green business that operates from an office or distribution center can apply the same principles already outlined, but practical applications will be slightly different. 
Looking forward all business will need to be green businesses.  However in order for this to happen we need to find a suitable balance between green actions and sustainable profit.  

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