In recognition of Earth Day this month, April 22nd, I am honoring all the Green businesses who have dared to make our planet and her people a better place to live. This blog post is for you!
I have always been intrigued by anything and everything Green. I grew up in Austin Texas where Whole Foods is headquartered. I remember when the store was just a dinky co-op on Lamar street in the early 80’s. It was the first place and time I had ever seen a White person with dreadlocks. I was fascinated! Noticing food from a bulk bin was a new experience for me. I immediately absorbed the energy in that tiny space. I allowed it to fill my curious senses. I bought my lunch quite often there because I went to the college nearby. Whole Foods radically shifted the way I thought about food. It opened a whole new world of very cool people and organic food for me. Little did I know at the time that all great movements begin at a grassroots level. Back then, the term "GREEN" had not yet gone mainstream. Today Green is not only mainstream, it has evolved beyond the environment and now includes social responsibility. How grateful I am to have been introduced to organic food at such a young age. It’s no wonder I love talking about food and wine so much.
Triple bottom line
For the purpose of this blog, let’s define what a Green business is. According to Wikipedia, a Green business or a sustainable business is a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Traditionally, the bottom line is what has been used to measure a company’s success and that bottom line was called PROFITS. The early adopters of the Green business movement wanted more for their business than just profits. They not only had a much bigger VISION for themselves and their businesses, but for their communities, and their world as well.
People Planet Profit
These Green pioneers saw how multi-national corporations were making huge profits at the cost of the planet and her people. They saw how people were being exploited and how our planet was being polluted all in the name of profit. So they stood up, went against the status quo, and started a new TRIBE. They said, "This is not how we want to measure our success. This is not the legacy we want to leave behind." They then came up with a new definition for measuring the success of a business. It is called the triple bottom line; where not only the financial performance of a company is taken into consideration, but the ecological and social implications are as well. This new way of measuring the success of a business was coined PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFIT, hence the Triple Bottom Line.
The Tribal leaders followed their instincts, they listened to their inner-voice and today the Green business industry is a multi-hundred billion dollar industry and growing. The Tribal leaders created a new VISION. The followers showed up and together they started a revolution of doing business a better way by not only being profitable, but by caring for the PEOPLE and her PLANET. The next time you buy something, I want to encourage you to make an alternative choice by choosing a Green product or service. And whether or not you are a green business, I want to encourage you to build the Triple Bottom Line into your business model. It just makes good business sense.
My love affair with Green
On a more personal note, my love affair with Green has led me to build a Green and sustainable home up in the foothills of Northern California. It is a solar powered straw-bale home www.hware.com/sb
Our Solar Powered Straw-bale Home
Our home at night
Resources on Green
www.greenpages.org – Find a Green business
Green America – Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
SustainableBusiness.com – provides global news and networking services to help green business grow, covering all sectors: renewable energy, green building, sustainable investing, and organics.
yes! – Dedicated to supporting people’s active engagement in creating a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world. Stories of new ways of life that foster community and harmony with the earth’s ecosystem.
Green Business Camp – The UnConference for Green Business Growth and Collaboration
Green America’s Green Business Conference – Green America builds the marketplace for green businesses by connecting like-minded business visionaries at our Green Business Conference
Books on Green Business
Mid-Course Correction – Toward a Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
The Ecology of Commerce – A visionary new program that businesses can follow to help restore the planet.
Examples of Green Businesses
Interface Inc. – is the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet
Wholefoods Market – selling the highest quality natural & organic products
Cliff Bar & Company – As a food company, we know that we have a responsibility to help create a healthier food system. We are committed to adopting practices that support sustainable agriculture, move toward zero waste, reduce our climate footprint, and conserve and restore the natural resources and ecosystems that we depend on
Gaiam – Gaiam invites you to live the life of intention you’ve envisioned. From yoga & fitness DVDs to non-toxic cleaners, we give you the green shopping options and healthy living products to help you live your best life