May 31, 2013

Maryland group aims to connect green consumers, businesses

Maryland group aims to connect green consumers, businesses

Maryland group aims to connect green consumers, businessesIn Carroll County, Maryland, a small environmental group has developed a new program that hopes to bring togetherbusinesses focused on sustainability and consumers who are equally aware, the Carroll County Times reports.
According to the news source, the initiative is the culmination of hard work done by a newly formed committee made up of members from Waste Not! Carroll, Sustainable Living Maryland and the Catoctin chapter of the Sierra Club. Sally Long, a committee member, stated that the program was based on a similar one that is already functioning in North Carolina. Committee member Don West originally proposed the idea, saying it would be a great way for the Green Business Network in Carroll County to help eco-savvy consumers buy products from green companies.
The program uses a scorecard to rate businesses in the area on their green status, which is then released on the groups website for all to see.
"The way I see it, all businesses want to be sustainable, otherwise they wouldn't be in business," Long told the media outlet. "We wanted to help businesses recognize that being 'green friendly' could result in financial benefits as well as environmental and community benefits."
A new focus
The scorecard will bring to light four different areas related to environmental progress, which is meant to incentivize companies to adopt a more sustainable business model. These areas include solid waste management, green purchasing tactics, efficient energy consumption and renewable energy and water conservation.
Dan Andrews, another committee member, said any business can fall into one of three tiers that displays their green status, which will be printed onto a decal and displayed at the business.
"We tried to keep phase one of this very practical and pragmatic," Andrews said. "People can begin to learn these methods and these techniques and phase into more sustainable practices over the course."
The media outlet noted that although some committee members expected resistance from local business owners, the majority were supportive of the idea.
"Once they see what we've tried to do, it's been unanimous as far as thinking this is a good idea," West added.
It's becoming much easier for green businesses in America to get off the ground thanks to growing demand for sustainable practices. To help nurture these businesses, South by Southwest has launched its Eco Startup Central, which will help companies devoted to green operations find their footing.

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