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Become an Environmental Leader; EPA Helps Small Business Reduce their Carbon Footprint

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Become an Environmental Leader; EPA Helps Small Business Reduce their Carbon Footprint

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: April 22, 2010 Updated: January 31, 2011

What is your business doing to make 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 homes.

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 Busines- 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 natio'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:

&nbsp'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 gree' 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

If you are interested in learning more about green business practices from developing green technology, creating green jobs, or simply greening your business operations, there are a plethora of resources and advice (as well as financial assistance) available from the government.

Here is just a sampling of what we can all do to take action in business, on Earth Day and everyday:

Ten Steps to Adopt Environmentally-Friendly Business Practices - This overarching guide from Business.gov provides information on implementing an environmental strategy for your business, including steps to becoming energy efficient, compliant with environmental regulations and a recognized 'green business.'

Also visit Business.gov's Earth Day 'Take Action' page which brings together a host of green business management, compliance and marketing resources in celebration of Earth Day.

Additional Resources:

About the Author:

Caron Beesley


Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

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