Going for the Green Certification
Protecting Your Reputation by Making the Right Choice
Chicago 5/10/2010 01:33 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)
At some point, the decision will be made to go for Green certification of your business. It is my hope that the choice isn't a weak one. Green certification should be more than a token effort that comes from a website or a free local program. It is a change of business that is more involved than most dare to think. Can you imagine a serious company like Dell, HP, or WalMart signing up for a Green certification online? These are obvious pitfalls that take advantage of the gullible businesses who believe in "form over substance" or that the image overrides fact. Companies seeking a Green business certification need to be as discerning as the choice of a business partner because the reputation of your company can be helped or harmed by the choice made.
The first acid test is to ask, what is the criteria for certification? Is is merely signing up, paying a fee, or completing a questionnaire? Ask yourself, how hard is it to deceive or "game" the system? If it is possible for someone without a real commitment to earn the same certification as a committed company, this is something to avoid. These websites know that price makes the certification seem more legitimate, so the fee in no way relates to the service offered.
How often have you paid for a good fee for a service and then regretted the decision? A website Green certification is worth about $5.00. That's all it takes to process something by automated delivery. The rest of what is offered is just window dressing. Loading up compliance forms, adding in levels of graded certification, or offering informative downloads are the added value that these programs offer. Generally, there is nothing new, but it is well-packaged.
The Green Business League has never offered Green business certification over the Internet. Integrity of the certification will never come from un-audited programs. There are dozens, if not hundreds, Green certifications offered over the Internet, local committees, and even product suppliers. They are given out with the such low expectations, that they are nearly meaningsless.
There are more than 300 Green Practices that are point-worthy according to the Green Business League. While most businesses actually make less than a dozen changes to qualify for more Green programs, the criteria for a GBL Green Business Certification is much higher. Real change does not come from a form of "token Green" where a few changes suffice. The assistance of a Certified Green Consultant is the important factor in the success of GBL members.
Public opinion is already turning away from the "Easy Green" programs, and no wonder. When customers learn that the logo on display was purchase with the same requirements of an iTune download, they are turned off. The rise of the eco-consumer is accompanied by greater awareness and higher expectations. Deceptive practices by businesses will alienate buyers. Green certification from a website is just another form of greenwashing.