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Business owners who operate "green" offices do more than protect the environment - they save money on electricity, supplies and operations in general. And they avoid running afoul of environmental protection laws. Violation of clean air laws, pollution control laws, wastewater quality laws and other regulations can lead to stiff penalties.
Here are a few simple measures to reduce your business's carbon footprint and help your bottom line.
Making your business “green” takes effort, so make sure you get credit for it. Mention your environmental efforts and certifications in your marketing materials and on your website.
Complying with Government Regulations
Certain industries, including manufacturing, automotive, agriculture, construction, transportation and any business that uses and disposes of chemicals may have activities that fall within government environmental regulations.
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, establishes and enforces environmental regulations. Currently, each of the 50 states manages and monitors compliance with those standards. Requirements for your area, as well as contact information for your state or area Pollution Control Agency is available on the EPA web site at (www.epa.gov).
Your state may also provide general environmental compliance assistance to small businesses. Services may include permit assistance, on-site compliance assessment visits, confidential assistance on designing compliance strategies and plans, and guidance on new regulations.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) is an excellent resource for locating federal and state agencies to help with your compliance issues and questions. The SBA provides a detailed online rundown of how to locate organizations with information on air pollution, environmental compliance and management, ecosystems, clean-up, environmental permits, pollution and chemicals, water, waste and many other subjects.
Environmental control specialists, likewise, can serve as consultants for your business either on an occasional or an ongoing basis. These firms will help you conduct testing, file required paperwork and reports, and implement changes to ensure compliance, both now and in the future.