Published on August 12th, 2010 | by Jennifer Kaplan
Small Businesses Become Advocates for Change
This is a two-part post on how small businesses are making a difference in environmental policy.
Changing business practices is only one piece of the greening puzzle. Turns out that the time you invest in making a difference may be as valuable to environmental progress as installing new light bulbs. Small businesses can have a big impact on promoting change—not just within their businesses, but by working together to change attitudes, influence policy makers, and promote innovation.
Think nationally, think statewide—and think locally. Many issues related to sustainability and your business—from energy policy to recycling services—are addressed at a local level. And, its never been more necessary than now. With a stalled climate bill in Congress and anti-cleantech initiatives like Proposition 23 in California, America has never needed ecopreneurs to get involved more than now.
What can you do? You can work to ensure that your interests are represented and that you have a venue from which to comment on proposed legislation.
Use your influence as a business to drive policy change from within a membership organization:
□ Join a green trade association and push for greater advocacy (U.S. Green Building Council).
□ Join a national or local small business organization that has a green agenda, like SB-California or Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability. Or leave one that actively fights against environmental progress (…you know who you are…).
□ Join or start a green task force within your trade association.
□ Sign up for the National Small Business Association’s Action Network advocacy e-mail alerts that let you know how and when to send letters to your elected officials about important small business environmental issues. Then mobilize others to do the same.
So, Get involved. Join green business organizations. Strengthen your green requirements for suppliers. Provide customers with greener alternatives. You can be an changemaker.
Next Post: Using your leverage to affect change.
Photo: Nevit Dilmen from sxc.hu.