In this step, we will review the development and implementation of a green checklist. You should designate someone in your organization as a “Green Business Coordinator” and assign them the responsibility of performing a self-audit against your checklist annually.
Develop a customized checklist
The checklist should be specific to your business. Generic checklists can be used as a start, but each business is unique in their departmental structures, areas of responsibility, and the products and services they use.
Review your utility bills
Iincluding electricity, gas, water, and solid waste disposal.
Include ideas to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle throughout your organization.
Include replacing disposable products with reusable and recyclable products. List several ways to reduce energy usage, water consumption and waste. Review lighting, bathrooms, kitchens, landscaping, printers/copiers, paper products, cleaning products, office supplies and all consumables.
Just about every organization has hazardous materials, chemicals and waste products that cannot be recycled or disposed of without special handling. Include a section on your checklist for purchasing, proper handling and storage of hazardous materials and cleaning chemicals.
Look carefully! You might not think something is hazardous and just throw it away. Example: You might think that it is okay to dispose of wooden deck material in a trash can. Wood is a natural product, right? If the wood has ever been stained, chemically treated, or painted, it has chemicals in it that can make it hazardous waste.
Cover the five major areas:
- Environmental Compliance (Health, Fire, Air Quality, Wastewater/Storm Drains)
- Waste Reduction
- Pollution Prevention (includes Hazardous Materials/Waste Management)
- Water Conservation
- Energy Conservation
There are a number of example checklists available online through the various green business programs. Simply do a search on “green business checklist” to find them. If you are trying to get certified, you will want to contact the organization or local green business program and use the checklist they require for your market segment.
Whenever you purchase something new, replace or repair something, review it against the checklist to see if it meets your established green guidelines.