My Green Business Purchasing Policy


Green Businesses should use sustainable purchasing practices

I suspect that most of my readers would agree, since I speak and blog about sustainability, that I should “walk the walk” and adopt sustainable purchasing practices. I firmly believe that every sustainable business can benefit from adopting sustainable purchasing practices.

I intend to become certified as a green business owner in the county where I reside. After conducting some research, I began to examine where I fell short of the requirements for certification.

My Green Business

My green business is home-based, which means that I needed to make my place of residence as sustainable as possible.

The Four Areas of Concern

In the case of my residence, there were four main areas of concern. The first area was waste reduction. The three primary actions I needed to implement were 1) procuring refillable printer cartridges for the rare occasions in which I print documents, 2) ensuring that when I print multi-page documents I use both sides of the paper, and 3) avoiding the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) products, particularly cups, which are not recyclable and ultimately end up in landfills.

The next area of concern was my use of recyclable materials. Ideally, any office paper I use should be made from 100% recycled materials. If this type of paper is not available, I should ensure that at least 30% of the materials used to make my paper have been recycled.

The third area of concern, and the largest footprint of my home-based business, involves my usage of water, energy, and other natural resources. The move toward reducing my footprint includes 1) removing all incandescent light bulbs and replacing them compact florescent lights (CFL’s) or light emitting diodes (LED), 2) installing water-saving toilets, hand wash faucet aerators, and sustainable shower heads, and 3) purchasing bio-based products, which are products made from plant-based materials, whenever feasible.

The final area of concern was my use of toxic materials. I should 1) use cleaning products that are more environmentally friendly 2) remove all aerosol containers and replace them with non-aerosol containers, 3) avoid using added antibacterial agents such at triclosan in hand, dish, and general cleaners, and 4) minimize my use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Conclusion – A Green Business Purchasing Policy

Implementing a green purchasing policy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste, and conserve energy and water. Working an environmentally friendly location can also improve an organization’s bottom line by cutting costs. This is not only good for a green business, but is beneficial for business in general.