Green Business Bureau Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is the GBB different from other third-party green certification programs?
A: Unlike most other certifications, the Green Business Bureau provides customers with an online tool and roadmap that explains step-by-step how to complete each of the green initiatives. By completing initiatives, members also earn the opportunity to advance to a higher tier. So you can do things at your pace and be recognized for your accomplishments at every level. Additionally, you’ll also have an online portal with very specific recommendations, key steps to complete, and even some unbiased additional resources and vendors to help you. We make it easy for you.
Q: Why should I invest money to green my business when I can access information for free on the internet?
A: The short answer: because it’s good for your business. There are thousands of free resources available, but most of them fail to consider that you have a business to run. You want your business to be environmentally responsible, but you also want to grow your revenue and maximize productivity. That’s what running a business is all about. So blindly sifting through a bunch of tips and tricks just isn’t practical – you can’t afford it.
That’s why the GBB’s mission is twofold: we want to help the environment, and we want to help your business. What we provide is a strategical method for becoming a green business. Our step-by-step program tailors your green initiatives to maximize the benefits for your business. Our streamlined approach ensures the most optimal and cost-efficient method for implementing green practices within your business. The result: your green business thrives, and so does the environment. It’s not just eco-friendly, it’s eco-efficient.
In addition to helping your business go green, the GBB provides green business certification that can help increase your visibility in the marketplace. Find out more about how a GBB green seal can help your business flourish.
Q: Will I have to implement every recommended initiative in order to reach the next tier?
A: No. In order to reach the next tier, you simply have to earn the minimum amount of points required for that tier. Each individual initiative is worth a specific number of points, with more difficult initiatives carrying greater value than ones that are simpler to complete. You can view your recommended initiatives by logging in to your profile. The display automatically organizes your initiatives according to how many points each is worth, making it easy for you to pick and choose which ones to work on. Our points system gives you the freedom to choose how you reach your goal.
Q: How does the GBB online portal work?
A: Once you become a GBB member, we’ll automatically create a unique profile for you. When you sign in to your account, your profile page will display your history of completed initiatives so you can track your progress. You’ll also be able to view the next set of initiatives that have been recommended specifically for you. Once you complete a new initiative, be sure to update your profile to earn credit for your latest accomplishment.
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Q. How were the GBB initiatives developed?
A: Working alongside environmental experts, our team conducted extensive research to design a program of initiatives specifically targeted to yield the highest impact. Our goal was to maximize the benefits for businesses and for the environment. From a financial and productivity standpoint, it makes sense for businesses to follow a strategic path toward eco-efficiency rather than risk resources with a haphazard approach. So when we developed our program, we always kept two key principles in mind: efficiency and optimization.
Our program of green initiatives is constantly evolving. We encourage member businesses to rank the effectiveness of existing initiatives and offer feedback and suggestions for how we can improve our initiatives.
Q. What if my business already completed some of the green initiatives before becoming a member?
A: Congratulations! You will get credit during the assessment phase for everything you’ve already done. You’ll be that much closer to reaching the next tier.
Q: What do I have to do to become a member? Can I join immediately?
A: You can become a GBB member right away by signing up and completing the basic initiatives that confirm your pledge as a green-conscious business. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll automatically receive Aware status and be able to access your personalized portal.
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Q: How do you calculate the environmental impact of the actions I complete?
A: When it comes to studying the environment and the millions of factors that impact it, much of it is still a giant scientific mystery. (Of course, the fact that there’s always something new to discover is part of the earth’s charm. Which is just another reason to protect it – we can’t afford to destroy the earth’s mysteries before we’ve even uncovered them.) Still, there are lots of things about the way humans impact the environment that are pretty certain. Many activities we do that affect the earth can even be measured in quantifiable terms – burning one gallon of gasoline produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, for example.
After gathering findings from a wide range of scientific studies, our research team was able to use this data to estimate the impact of certain specific activities on the environment. We used these estimates in formulating our system of initiatives. Of course, different businesses undertaking the same initiative will, realistically, impact the environment at different intensities due to variables we can’t directly account for (such as the size of the company’s office, the number of employees, and other factors). But even if it’s just an estimated average, our hope is that by thinking of your impact as a quantifiable measurement rather than in abstract terms, you’ll be better able to understand the relative significance of your impact. Sometimes we need to see the evidence to remember just how much our day-to-day efforts matter.
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Q: I’m convinced! How much does it cost?
A: The GBB membership will pay for itself very quickly by completing some of the basic environmental initiatives, in addition to the positive benefits you will receive in the marketplace. Enroll now.
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