Sustainability@Work is a series of workshops designed for start-ups and small businesses interested in learning how to become more sustainable. The workshops are designed as stand-alone sessions but can work together to provide a comprehensive roadmap.

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

Content

  • 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.

Workshop 8

Friday, September 18

THE GREEN ECONOMY, GREEN TECH AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISES HOW TO GET INVOLVED

This final session will focus on Green Business/Clean Tech as a start-up idea. This session 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. The term “green economy” describes a sustainable economy that provides a better quality of life for all people within the ecological limits of the planet. Innovators across the country are demonstrating this by creating apps to reduce food waste, circular economyloop solutions, forming produce and renewable energy cooperatives, creating nonprofit social enterprises, and engaging in a range of other innovative, eco-focused activities. With a whole new Green Economy, how do you get involved? What kind of training do you need in today’s economy to get ahead? What jobs or start-up opportunities are out there?

Topics Covered

  • What is the Green Economy?
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Jobs and opportunities
  • Greentrepreneurship
  • Pitching Green Ideas

Content

  • Understanding the Green Economy and the opportunity it presents
  • A look at the skills, training and/or certifications needed to be competitive
  • Special challenges of green start-ups and how to overcome
  • A look at the trends in the industry and some of the top new green ventures
  • Meet some of Tampa Bay’s Green Start-ups and entrepreneurs

This workshop is the last in a series of eight sustainable business workshops. Stay tuned for the 2021 program schedule. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO JOINED US! See program recap below:

Past Workshops

Workshop 1

Sustainability for Small Businesses: Why Your Start-Up Should Go Green

Topics Covered:
What is a Sustainable Business?
Where to start: simple, low cost actions for start-ups
Why it matters: benefits of going green
Where to get help and find resources

Workshop 2

Understanding Your Carbon Footprint: Become More Resilient and Save Money!

Topics Covered

Zero cost ways to conserve resources and save money – finding the low hanging fruit and energy use vampires
Understanding solar and alternative energy optionsLocal nonprofit programs to help you finance energy efficient upgrades
Easy ways to save on water usage, inside and outside
How to conduct an audit and access free public resources to help you understand your current usage
What is a Carbon Footprint? Tools to help you measure your carbon footprint and tips to reduce it.

Workshop 3

Environmental Pillar II: Reduce, Re-use Recycle!!!

Topics Covered
How to Conduct a Waste Audit
Circular Economy
Eco-friendly Products
Understanding Recycling
Minimizing Food Waste and Composting
Purchasing Co-ops
Conducting Zero-Waste Events

Content
The First Step: How to conduct or schedule a waste audit
Understanding the difference between biodegradable and compostable and unintentional “greenwashing”
Understanding proper recycling – a look at our local policies and guidelines
How to shift to eco-friendly products without breaking the bank
Product lifecycle and packaging – a look at circularity and packaging alternatives
Focus on Re-Use! A look at platforms and local resources for sourcing free or low-cost office furniture, equipment, supplies and many other items

Workshop 4

The Social Pillar: Creating Your Culture and Building a Green Team

Content
What is a Green Team and how to create one
Employee policies and business with a purpose
How to be a good neighbor and community member – volunteering, giving back
Know your product’s impact on society, locally and globally – human rights, animal rights, public safety and well-being

Workshop 5

Good Governance and Sustainable Investing:
ESG For Start-Ups and Small Businesses and Why It Matters!

Many startups are not aware of the rising benefits of ESG implementation or the potential risks for not doing so. Small businesses have a great opportunity to incorporate ESG thinking right from the start. Understanding how to set targets, track performance and the various reporting frameworks early will help you plan and scale-up. Learn about the various types of sustainable investing from the investor perspective and why ESG tracking matters. 

Topics

  • What ESG factors are investors using when assessing your company’s future financial performance
  • How does an effective ESG strategy help you mitigate risk
  • Establish an early reputation as a socially responsible business
  • How to track and report key ESG performance indicators
  • How basic principles of ESG will help you create a value-oriented corporate culture that will attract and retain talent, investment and profits
  • How tracking ESG factors can help you win business with big industry players and government contracts
  • What is sustainable investing? Misconceptions vs. reality
  • How to ensure that your investments are aligned with your culture

Guest Speakers


Janet Craig, Founding Partner and ESG Strategy Sherpa, Destination Better

Neil Beckingham, Senior Advisor – Water Strategy, The Mosaic Company

T.J. King, CFP, First Vice President – Wealth Management, Raymond James
 

 

Workshop 6

Friday July 31

Marketing Your Sustainable Business: Why How You Tell Your Story Matters

The demand for environmentally-friendly products and services continues to grow, but competing on sustainability in today’s market requires more than buzzwords. Learn what your business needs to do to win on sustainability.

Topics Covered

  • Refine your Audience
  • Get specific about your sustainability efforts
  • Establish a long-term commitment
  • Building Corporate Partnerships
  • Creative Story-telling

Content

  • How to identify the right company and pitch to the right buyer
  • How to standout, lose the buzzwords and highlight tangible, specific benefits that truly matter to your buyers
  • Add texture: How showing a history of environmentally-minded practices can differentiate you from those who just jumped on the bandwagon
  • Social proof as a powerful tool – Align with certified industry authorities and groups that support your values
  • Stay fresh and stay ahead of the curve. Using creative ways to tell your story

This workshop is the sixth in a series of sustainable business workshops. Other topics such as green business certifications and social entrepreneurship will be covered in the remaining workshops. You can view the full schedule below: