“From Social Novelty to Business Necessity”: A New Paradigm Shift in Sustainability for Small Businesses

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According to Entrepreneur Magazine, there are between 25 million and 27 million small businesses in the U.S. that account for 60 to 80 percent of all U.S. jobs. Small businesses are vitally important to the U.S. economy, but they seem to be at a disadvantage when it comes to sustainability. Large companies and corporations use the services of top environmental consulting firms to audit their environmental impacts, establish an environmental management system, and set future reduction targets to eventually brand themselves as a green company. This all comes at a very high price, often leaving small businesses in the dust due to their inability to front the cost associated with most methods of sustainable management. Unlike large companies, which tend to have full-time sustainability staff and are far more likely to have aggressive sustainability strategies, few small businesses have dedicated capacity around sustainability. By their nature, small businesses –especially the very smallest – lack the resources to hire dedicated, knowledgeable staff to harness the value in sustainability.

In the Intuit 2020 Report, Sustainability will become a “competitive requirement for small business within the next ten years, moving from social novelty to business necessity.” As more and more brands become sustainable, they lose the ability to use that for differentiation. In fact, some recent studies seem to indicate that as the number of sustainable brands in a category increases, brands that are not sustainable are penalized more than the sustainable brands benefit. In order to preserve small businesses as a part of the competitive marketplace, there needs to be a new way for them to get a leg up over large companies in the world of sustainability. The goal of carbon management firms like Carbon Credit Capital (CCC) is to give small businesses this ability and take their brand one-step past sustainable in an affordable way.

The management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Striving to be carbon neutral is one way to measure green efforts as a company without the price tag associated with most greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies. Carbon neutrality simply means a company’s negative impact on the environment is balanced out with an equal amount of positive impact, making their carbon footprint disappear. Carbon Credit Capital (CCC) has developed a novel approach to offering carbon mitigation via high-quality carbon offset projects that can also help small and medium-sized businesses meet social and environmental objectives. CCC is offering a service – called “Carbon Neutral Checkout™ (CNC)” – in which customized carbon footprint tools will be developed for a retailer’s product inventory. It allows the entity to build the cost of carbon neutrality into their business model without any significant modifications. This allows a business to become carbon neutral at no upfront cost, helps protect the climate and environment, and establish the business as an environmentally-friendly brand. This model revolutionizes the existing voluntary carbon offsetting method of sales and sets CCC apart from its competition.

Partnering with those like Carbon Credit Capital who can help offset existing footprint, small businesses can become carbon neutral easily and at a low cost. For all the benefits it brings to the environment and the great reputation it can build with potential customers, this is one way of going green that proves both measurable and worth it.