In today’s competitive world, green business innovation is attracting the attention of companies to compete more in the market by providing green services and products. As recently reported by BUSINESS WIRE that “more than a third of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable and eco-friendly services and products.” Companies now have recognized that being green-certified is a mark of sustainability that attracts more eco-conscious consumers and investors.
What does green business certification mean, and who deserves it?
The concept of green business certification is based on the principles of green business models. The green business certification program is a framework comprised of green policies and practices designed for businesses to follow to ensure the production of sustainable and eco-friendly services and products.
Businesses that comply with the terms and regulations of environmental litigations and profit the people and planet are awarded green business certifications for their products and services.
Benefits of green business certification
Let’s see what benefits your businesses may get by being green certified.
- Sustainable utilization of resources increases the acceptability of your product and services in the market.
- Improves the environment by reducing pollution and mitigating climate change impacts.
- Enables green product innovation.
- Increases customer loyalty.
- Promote green businesses.
- Facilitate green building projects in selecting green products and equipment.
- Attracts eco-conscious consumers and investors.
- Green business certification is an excellent way to avoid greenwashing.
1 – LEED
LEED is the most widely used green business building rating system around the world. LEED is implemented by Green Business Certification Inc. LEED certification ensures that your building function as a green building in its entire life cycle and emits fewer carbon emissions reduce operating costs and creating a clean and green environment.
2 – Energy Star
Energy star is a well-known green certification symbol for appliances, electronics, light bulbs, and other alike products. Energy star’s green certification program promotes energy efficiency and provides standard information related to energy products and devices, which is also available for buildings and plants. Energy star certification is a program run by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
3 – WELL
Whether it is the construction or operational phase of your building it can cause an impact on the health of workers, consumers, and the environment. WELL green certification focus to reduce the negative impacts of a building project. WELL, certification program provides essential green measures and steps to maintain during the construction and operational phase to mitigate the adverse environmental impact.
4 – Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council’s green certification is essential for the forest companies or managers to pursue their activities. It requires specific standards to follow for the company that utilizes forest resources, forest stewardship council guide the companies to operate their services according to the green certification.
5 – USDA Organic
If your company grows organic food and aims to deliver to the market then register your company to the USDA Organic to get green certified to run your business. To achieve your green certificate you will need to provide information about your food growing process. If you fulfilled the USDA Organic criteria then your product receive USDA Organic seal to operate your business and attract more eco-conscious consumers.
6 – Green America Certification
Green America certifies businesses that are committed to promoting their green businesses as a platform for sustainable and social development. The goal of Green America Certification is to improve the quality of life of their customers by maintaining green business standards.
7 – Carbonfree® Product Certification
Carbon free Product Certification is an important and transparent way for businesses to provide carbon-neutral products to their customers. Carbon free Product Certification strengthens green businesses and adds value to their products by offsetting carbon emissions and reducing waste. This green certification program improves customer loyalty and strengthens corporate social responsibility.
8 – SITES
SITES is the green certification program for designing, building, and maintaining environmentally sustainable landscapes. SITES is a system applied to the businesses that run their activities in large outdoor spaces. This certification system is based on point systems and contains various levels. The SITES rating system aids in the conservation, restoration, and creation of the benefits provided by healthy ecosystems.
9 – WasteWise
WasteWise is an EPA green certification program that recognizes businesses, governments, and organizations that demonstrate how they have reduced waste. Businesses and companies receive benefits such as reduced waste disposal costs and recognition in the WasteWise publication and on the EPA’s website.
10 – Green Seal
Green Seal is an international and famous green certification program that ensures a service or product meets the quality performance and environmental criteria outlined in Green Seal’s standards. Green seal not only certifies products and services but also monitors them on regular basis to ensure that they meet sustainability and green standards.
A few other certification programs worth considering: Green Business Bureau (green businesses), Green C Certification (businesses and organizations), Green-e (renewable energy and carbon offset products).
How to choose the legit green business certification
Green-certified businesses are competing for more in the market with high profits, as well as the high profits of green-certified businesses getting the attention of the large number of ‘Green washers’. Green washers are the fake companies that run businesses on fake certificates to increase their sales and profit and claim that their products and services meet the green certification standards.
Green business certification is a great way to avoid green washing. Not all green certifications are the same; some focus on specific areas such as buildings, emissions, and various products. However, to avoid green washers and get your company green-certified from a legitimate green business certification organization, choose one of the above-mentioned legitimate green business certification programs.
Green businesses are preferred by consumers, sustainability leaders, and investors. However, to maintain the standard of green products and services, protect the environment, and attract more customers and investors it is very important to get your business green-certified from the reliable and legit green business certification organization.
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Author: Saqib Ali holds a BS in Environmental Science from Bahria University, Islamabad. He is an Environmentalist, Naturalist, and freelance content writer passionate about Environmental management systems, Sustainable development, Climate change, Natural resource management, Eco-tourism, Green building, Wildlife and conservation, and Disaster risk management.