With the phenomenon of new Green certifications popping up each week, a business is presented with a variety of choices that range from community-based programs, Internet "Easy Green" purchases, or real certifications that have serious value. If it were not for the seriousness of the environmental problems that we all face, the choice would probably always default to the cheapest and easiest route to Green certification.
Community-based programs show a concern for the environment, but lacks the integrity to off a nationally-recognized program of compliance. The obvious appeal of community-based Green certifications are that they are free. They are also what is termed "voluntary programs" that have a minimum of compliance. These two features are not, however, virtues.
Serious questions of value must be asked by the intelligent business owner. "How can free programs really last?" "What happens when the funding runs out?" "What will be the value of this program when the good-hearted leaders of these programs move on to other duties?" "Finally, aren't the standards of all these certifications 'all over the map,' and essentially worthless by the sheer confusion that they represent?"
The value of any Green certification must go beyond the vacuous ability to post a logo on the entry door. Green certification means that a company has measured up to a standard of excellence or performance that can be recognized by the community, the country, and even an international market.
Consider the next alternative to a local certification which are certifications found online. There are dozens of low cost Green certifications offered by enterprising web-developers. Seeing a chance to sell a $5.00 download for a cool $500 free, scam-type entrepreneurs have moved into the certification business. Such Internet "Easy Green" programs are a near-total disservice to anyone except the owner of the clandestine website. They are well-contrived scams that work hard to give the impression of saving the earth by their proxy programs.
Both program lack value because they are not substantial. It must be asked, how can such offerings have credibility in the world market when they can be had with the ease of paying a fee and downloading the logo like an iTunes song? The facts are that the real level of environmental compliance is grossly lacking in many cases regardless of the few who may actually take these weak programs seriously?
What credible certifications are free or bought over the Internet by complete strangers? LEED, ISO, or even Green Seal are so well-recognized because they are not free and they require a level of compliance that cannot be bastardized by knock-off groups. These programs stand out because they have value and strong recognition in the public eye and the marketplace.
The Green Business League stands out among the many make-shift Green Certifications because it offers an uncompromised standard that is also an audited program. Every GBL Green Business Certification is "Earned, and not bought," which is a source of pride for this organization. To accomplish this, the Green Business League has built a national force of more than 300 Certified Green Consultants. This is the foundation of value since every GBL Green business certification is so substantial. An earned certification that has been proven up by professional review is a source of community pride, corporate social responsibility, and environmental compliance.
While it is embarrassing to admit that the Green logo on the door was bought on the Internet by simply filling in a form and paying a fee, serious certifications are proudly promoted to the public.
Value does count, but this is not found in the "Easy Green" certifications. The public is encouraged to reject with prejudice the various form of valueless programs because they are proven, supported, and are like to fade as the quality program take their rightful positions.
Local Green committees may avail themselves of a resource within the Green Business League. An adoption program will allow any community program to upgrade its program to offer the Green Business League bronze program. To find out more, visit this link.