If your small business is looking to partner with “green” manufacturers and vendors, there are many different factors to consider because there is more than one way to go green. Green manufacturing processes are just one part of environmental responsibility. There are many ways that your small business can work with green vendors to move one step closer toward a cleaner, healthier environment for employees and the local community.
At its most basic level, manufacturers of green products should have green practices in place. This might include powering their facilities partially or completely with alternative energy sources like wind, hydro, or solar power. Another part of green manufacturing is taking proper measures to recycle, reuse, and reduce waste through all processes. Finally, manufacturers of green products should feature minimal packaging materials in order to reduce waste. All of these factors make up the green manufacturing process. As your small business looks for green vendors, examine the core elements of energy expenditure, waste production and packaging.
Other Green Standards
In addition to green manufacturing processes, there are several other “green standards” that you can look for in green vendors. For example, many companies are moving toward a condensed work week (i.e. employees work four days a week for 10 hours) to cut down on commuting costs. Others are extending offers for employees to work from home or satellite offices. These measures serve to reduce fuel consumption.
Some other standards that green vendors may focus on include supporting environment-related community initiatives and encouraging employee participation in volunteer efforts. These types of activities are positive for employees and the community around them. They serve to boost morale and acceptance of environmental responsibility. Green vendors often employ these other green standards in addition to manufacturing processes.
It is easier to find green vendors to work with if you set a few goals first. As you search for vendors and manufacturers of green products, create a list of goals and/or criteria that you want to uphold for your small business. This list might include certain values and standards that your small business will want to follow, such as:
- Buying local (i.e. use vendors within a 100 mile radius).
- Working with vendors whose products are created with green manufacturing processes.
- Participating with vendors who have formal recycling policies, energy reduction plans and waste reduction plans in place.
- Working with vendors who provide adequate wages and benefits for their employees.
- Partnering with vendors who support local community organizations with donations, services or products.
If every small business focused on developing and adhering to just three green standards and partnered with like-minded green vendors, the impact on the environment would be monumental. You can do your part to seek out vendors who practice green manufacturing, as well as other green standards. Finding green vendors and manufacturers of green products is not simply a fashionable trend; it is the responsible thing to do.