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Environmental Management Assistance Program
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Sustainability

Going green: what does it mean?

“Going green” refers to adopting practices and making choices that prioritize environmental sustainability and minimize the negative impact on the planet. It encompasses a broad range of actions and initiatives aimed at reducing resource consumption, minimizing waste generation, coming into compliance with environmental regulations, and promoting ecological balance.

In the context of a small business, going green entails implementing strategies that align with sustainable development principles and prioritize environmental responsibility. This can involve various aspects of the small business, including operations, products or services, supply chain management, and company culture.

  • Regulatory Compliance

    Small businesses should comply with environmental regulations and strive to become sustainable or “green” for several key reasons:

    • Legal Compliance
    • Enhanced Reputation
    • Cost Savings
    • Market Opportunities
    • Employee Engagement & Recruitment
    • Long-Term Viability
  • Pollution Prevention

    Implementing waste management strategies that focus on reducing waste generation and increasing recycling can significantly contribute to going green.

    This involves minimizing packaging waste, encouraging employees to recycle, and working with suppliers that prioritize sustainable packaging.

  • Sustainable Sourcing

    Small businesses can make a conscious effort to source materials and products from environmentally responsible suppliers.

    Sustainable sourcing can involve selecting suppliers that prioritize sustainable practices, use recycled materials, or adhere to fair trade & labor principles.

  • Carbon Footprint

    Taking steps to minimize greenhouse gas emissions is an integral part of going green.

    This can involve measuring and tracking the carbon footprint of the business’s activities, adopting low-emission transportation methods, and offsetting air emissions.

  • Product or Service Innovation

    Going green can also involve developing and offering environmentally friendly products or services.

    Environmental innovation may include creating products with reduced environmental impact, promoting the use of renewable resources, or designing services that encourage or automate sustainable behavior among customers.

  • Stakeholder Engagement

    Engaging employees, customers, and other stakeholders in sustainability initiatives is crucial.

    Small businesses can raise awareness about environmental issues in their community, encourage sustainable practices among employees, and involve customers in recycling, pollution prevention, or energy-saving programs.

  • Social Responsibility

    Going green often extends beyond environmental considerations and includes social responsibility.

    Small businesses can support local communities, promote diversity and inclusion, and contribute to social causes aligned with sustainability.

    (877) ASK-EMAP

    Contact EMAP about “going green” and sustainability issues.

    Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC.  He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management.  He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
    In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.