Today is Earth
Day and what better day to consider making a strategic
and long term investment in the environment and in your business.
Many of us already make changes in our personal lives – from
purchasing green consumables and fixed assets to introducing recycling,
energy efficiencies and other environmental best practices into our
But what actions are you taking to reduce the environmental impact of
your workplace or the business you operate? Do you even know what the
carbon footprint of your small business is?
Climate Leaders – Assisted Opportunities to Reduce Your Small
Business’ Carbon Footprint
In 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an
industry-government partnership – the Climate
Leaders program – that works with companies to measure their
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and set goals to reduce them. The program
includes 194 notable corporations, including Pfizer, Dell and
Anheuser-Busch, whose combined annual GHG emissions represent more than 8
percent of total annual U.S. GHG emissions.
In January, the EPA opened up the program to include the nation’s
most innovative and fastest growing sector – small businesses. The Climate Leaders Small Business Network already
boasts over 100 members and provides a host of tools and resources to
enable this sector to directly and measurably reduce the impact of
climate change. And for small business this also means lower energy
costs, improved efficiencies and the enhanced competitiveness of having a
credible sustainable program.
FetterGroup, a printing business based in
Louisville, Kentucky, is an example of a company that has already joined
and is reaping the rewards of the program. Trista Claxon, Manager
of Strategic Projects at FetterGroup is quoted on the Climate Leaders web site:
“Participating in Climate Leaders affords us free access to
guidelines, technical experts, instructions, templates, and forms that
have allowed us to take inventory, identify our primary emission
sources, and begin measuring changes. FetterGroup has been able to focus
on ‘being green’ by ‘saving green’ instead of ‘spending green’.”
How Does the Climate Leaders Small Business Network Work?
Whatever your business type – from transportation to manufacturing,
printing or chemical production (even wineries and real estate
businesses are registered members of the program), Climate Leaders
offers small businesses a step-by-step assisted-strategy for taking
action, saving money and demonstrating environmental leadership.
You can apply to join the Network online by pledging to make a certain reduction in
your business GHG emissions. Once you have been accepted as a member,
you have a year to solidify this pledge into an absolute goal by
completing a corporate-wide inventory of your greenhouse (GHG) gas
emissions (with the help of EPA tools and assistance), setting a long-term
reduction goal, and annually reporting your progress to EPA.
EPA also encourages businesses to promote their involvement in the
program and provides national recognition and resources such as press release templates to
communicate their program participation and achievements.
Read more about the program, and explore the tools and resources
(including webinars) that can help you get started on the EPA web site: http://www.epa.gov/climateleaders/smallbiz.
What have you done to reduce your business’s carbon
footprint? Share your ideas and results in the Business.gov
Community’s latest Idea Exchange.
Other Green Business Government Resources