The Green Business Bureau is the trusted authority in green business and is best known for their green business certification program and seals. Below is our recent interview with Bill Zujewski, CMO at Green Business Bureau:
Q: Bill, can you give us a brief introduction to Green Business Bureau?
A: The GBB EcoAssessment™ and EcoPlanner™ online tools enable businesses to understand, prioritize, implement and certify green initiatives and sustainable business practices. GBB provides businesses with an official seal to validate and promote their green commitment and accomplishments. Businesses join GBB to be recognized as a green business leader; to be certified by a credible, trusted 3rd party; to attract and retain customers and employees; and to become a greener business by using GBB tools to prioritize and implement green initiatives.
Q: What are the benefits of becoming a member?
A: Most business owners aspire to creating a great business. In today’s world, to be a great business, you also have to be a green business. Employees and customers care about how eco friendly and socially responsible a business is, some demand it. Being a green business will enable owners and managers to hire great people, create a great culture, have great customer relationships, and create a great place to work. GBB enables small businesses to easily, affordably and independently certify and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in a credible way and promote green accomplishments to employees and customers. GBB members become greener with guidance and tools that drive change and operational efficiency. Bottom line, GBB members have shown that green business practices improve operational efficiency, reduce operational costs, enhance their brand, retain employees, attract customers and drive sales.
Q: Can you tell us something more about your certification process? How does it work?
A: GBB’s certification process is entirely initiative-based and completed online. A business will receive points for each and every activity it completes. Initiatives are organized by the business area they impact, such as transportation, energy usage, recycling or office materials, and further marked by the effort, cost and greening impact of the initiative. Members of the GBB community get access to valuable content, eco-plans, and simple-to-use online tools to manage and self-certify their green initiatives.
Q: Why is it important to achieve a zero carbon footprint?
A: Not to state the obvious, but the only planet that humanity can live on is at risk. The future for our children is at risk. Scientists have presented overwhelming data that human activity and company actions are hurting the planet and changing climate patterns that put the human race at risk. The government of the world’s largest economy is ignoring that science and rolling back regulations that protect basic human necessities such as drinking water. Well you can choose to bury your head in the sand but the data does not lie and it presents an overwhelming case that now is the time to reverse climate change before it’s too late. At Green Business Bureau (GBB) we take this risk seriously and are passionate about doing our part.
In fact, all businesses must do their part in protecting the environment and caring for their employees, customers and community. But being a green business is also good business. Being green provides a new way of meaningfully connecting with customers and employees. A recent study showed that 84% of consumers seek sustainability commitments from the companies they buy from and 79% of potential employees look for companies with positive environmental credentials. Green also demonstrates differentiation beyond product, elevates a company brand and implies quality. Most green business practices also save real money.
Q: How do companies get involved?
A: Joining GBB is the first step. Once a member, businesses complete the EcoAssessment and prerequisites to earn a physical seal for their location and an online clickable seal for their website and facebook page. They can collaborate with other GBB members and use the GBB EcoPlanner to pick future initiatives. They would work with GBB to write a member story for the GBB site, directory and social media sharing. Members contribute blog posts and articles to enhance the value of GBB content.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: GBB is adding Social Responsibility to the online assessment and planning tools which will give companies credit for community service, charity giving, employee fairness and diversity. In 2020, GBB is launching a new green business directory and marketplace for members. GBB is also enhancing the personalized member “green business profile” page so that businesses can include articles, pictures, stories and other content in addition to their EcoPoint score and list of completed initiatives.