Workshops for Small Businesses

Workshop 7

Friday August 28

Seeking Validation: A Look at Various Green Business Certifications

Most businesses get certified because they want to align their business with their values. The certification framework and process helps them to make sure that they are doing all they can to reduce their environmental impact. There are many benefits to certification including validation, continuous improvement, authentic marketing, a proven framework and belonging to a community. This workshop will review a number of certifications that are available and provide resources to help businesses prepare and choose the right one for them. We will also cover some local recognition programs that are a good first step.

Topics Covered

  • Overview of “green/sustainable business” certifications
  • Product and industry specific certifications
  • Preparing for certification
  • Benefits of certification
  • Local awards and recognition


  • A look at a variety of the recognized Green/Sustainable Business Certifications available and understanding the differences
  • Overview of product specific or industry specific certifications and recognitions and understanding what they mean (i.e. LEED, Green Seal, USDA Organic, Fair Trade, FSC)
  • Small steps – how to position your business now for certification, even if the ultimate goal is further down the road.
  • The ROI – Weighing the benefits against the cost and time
  • Alternatives to certification – recognition and membership programs

This workshop is the penultimate in a series of eight sustainable business workshops. Our final workshop on September 18th will focus on the green economy We will present an overview of some of the latest “green” start-ups and provide resources for entrepreneurs who not only want to be sustainable with an existing business but who are interested in starting a venture that will help drive innovation for the planet.

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