Everyone today mentions going “green.” But what, exactly, does that mean? The term itself is used so loosely and covers a wide range of topics, that it’s hard to pinpoint just what makes a green company “green.” In the simplest of terms, green means earth or eco-friendly. Therefore a green company is one that employs the application of practices, principles, and policies in an effort to provide a product that will positively impact the environment. This can mean they’re seeking to have as little negative impact as possible or they’re specifically making a product or offering a service that truly improves our environment.
Guidelines for Creating a Green Company in Michigan
The basic guideline for creating a green company is called the triple bottom line. This guideline demands that ecological and social effects be taken into consideration and often put ahead of profits when making a product/service. A model Michigan green company functions on three axes: people, planet and profit.
What Ecological Considerations Should Michigan Green Companies Make?
Pollution prevention. Work to minimize the amount of toxins used in a product in addition to proper mitigation of toxins at the conclusion of the manufacturing/cultivating process.
Recycling. The reduction of waste is emphasized throughout the entire process. Waste from the actual creation of a product and also from staff is limited. Recycled materials are employed when appropriate and the product itself ought to be easily recycled.
Water and energy conservation. The amount of water and energy used during distribution and manufacturing are kept to a minimum. The utilization of either of these sources is done so in a reserved and strategic manner. This can turn out to be particularly beneficial for a company as energy costs run high. Alternative, renewable sources of energy allow a company to hold overhead low and waste and pollution at a minimum.
Sourcing. Truly green companies in Michigan source their products from green suppliers and make usage of natural or organic raw materials. This in turn helps support the green community at large, pre-established Michigan green companies and encourages other businesses to think about going green.
Green Business Trends in Michigan
Green marketing. Also referred to as greenwashing, the phrase refers to spinning PR to make a company appear eco-friendly. Customers be forewarned. To ensure authenticity, do your own research.
Green buildings. Once an unavoidable source of negative environmental impact, with the help of government incentives more green companies in Michigan are building (or re-building) their offices to be environmentally friendly.
Managing e-waste. A growing number of green companies are educating themselves on the way to properly recycle and get rid of office electronics in MI.
Transparency. Given the recent trend of greenwashing, authentically green companies are educating their consumer about their product from beginning to end in order to help them make the decision. Information regarding where the product is acquired from and what vendors the company deals with, is readily and eagerly shared with the public.
Popular Kinds of Green Companies in Michigan
- Thrift/clothing retailers.
- Green construction
- Lodging (hotels, camping parks, etc.)
- Transportation (ZipCar, Honda, etc.)
- Energy (solar, wind, biodiesel, etc.)