By Stephen Morris, SBA Official
Published: April 18, 2014
Updated: April 18, 2014
Note: this post is by Donna J. Butler, SBA’s Senior Sustainability Officer & Deputy Chief Operating Officer
SBA helps small businesses find solutions to make their operations run efficiently. That’s why this Earth Day and every day SBA encourages small businesses to incorporate a green office environment. Whether it’s changing to a more energy efficient lighting system, implementing a recycling program, or considering eco-friendly machinery—all of these techniques
help to conserve energy and save money. SBA also helps entrepreneurs and organizations build on green ideas and turn them into a successful business.
Taking an Idea and Turning it Green
Small business owner Carina Whitham of California took her passion for renewable energy and used SBA’s counseling services to help start an executive search firm Whitham Group Executive Search
. Today, Carina’s firm successfully recruits and places executives in the arenas of Solar, Wind, Biofuels, Biomass, Geothermal Energy and all other areas of renewables.
SBA also supports sustainability through initiatives such as the Regional Clusters Initiative
—which combines a network of organizations and businesses in a geographic area that grow through increased collaboration, efficiency and innovation. SBA funded its initial clusters in collaboration with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several other agencies. Regional clusters such as Illinois Smart Grid, Clean Energy, and GreenMe
are expanding thanks to the support from this initiative. Today, they are making their communities more sustainable and eco-conscious.
SBA Green Practices
SBA is also reinforcing green practices throughout its office culture. The Agency’s priority goal for Fiscal Year 2014
was to increase paperless loan processing. SBA succeeded with this goal and saw an increase in the use of paperless processing with both the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. The 7(a) program use increased from 72 percent to 90 percent and the 504 program use increased from 55 percent to 75 percent. Additionally, SBA is collaborating with the General Services Administration to ensure that SBA’s Headquarters and Field Offices
are housed in facilities that are energy and water efficient and are maintained with non-toxic and recycled content products. SBA has also reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from employee commuting by nearly 15% since 2010 in part through the increased use of mass transit and telework
. This year, SBA initiated an agency-wide toner and ink cartridge recycling program in partnership with the U.S. Postal Services.
Go Green and Thrive
Celebrate Earth Day today and everyday by adopting new environmentally sound practices for your business. SBA is here to help you grow your business and succeed in your green efforts. Visit our website or connect with our local offices and resource partners
for your small business needs.