In life, we have all found that we can either do the job ourselves or pay someone to do it for us. The major reason that we hire someone to do the job is that this person does the job better or does the work faster than we can. It makes sense to hire someone to handle the task if it is a big distraction to your work or outside your competencies.

However, there are times when it makes sense to do the job yourself. Installing a Green program for your company is an example of this two-fold choice. There is a growing army of firms and consultants that will arrive at your door and take over the Green agenda. Today, energy auditing firms are popular. Other consultants are building specialist. Then, there are solar and wind power experts and remodeling firms looking to insulate the building or install more efficient windows.

We must not forget the carbon accounting programs that are related to the energy sector as well. It may help to remember that Going Green is not the “Just One Thing” spoken of by Jack Palance in the City Slicker movie. Each of the items mentioned are one piece of a much larger process. We have a lot of misdirected Green in the business world. By grabbing onto one environmental element, businesses eagerly proclaim that they have “Gone Green.” This is a step in the right direction, but it is not a Green business certification by itself. Like going out to eat, it is convenient and pleasant to have someone else prepare your dinner; most of us believe that “home cooking” is best.. and probably healthier.

There is a growing realization that it is possible to create a holistic Green and sustainable program for your business with a modest amount of guidance and training. Referring to Executive Order #13514 which was signed in the fall of 2009 by President Obama, we see that there is a ca for sustainable operations to include carbon reduction, energy reduction, paperless systems, reduced waste, water demand reductions, and Green fleet ideas. So, it is easily seen that the sustainability plan should include a broad array of applications. Also found in this executive order to the call for each organization to install a sustainability officer as the key man or liaison for the Green program in the company.

This is the core issue for many small, medium, or large size companies. While this appointed person should be trained as a Certified Sustainability Officer, the minimal cost of training is small change compared to the fees of an environmental consulting firm. The sustainability office has one primary task, and that is to prepare a tailored sustainability plan for the company. And, this plan is frankly a step-by-step process of environmental improvements that can be phased in at a comfortable pace. With training and guidance, the sustainability officer can maintain an ongoing program that does not disrupt the business and also rewards it with savings from these Green improvements. Companies now have even more help in the implementation of a Green program.

The Green Path software recently introduced provides an extensive checklist of Green business ideas. By working through the software, any company can improve its operation and earn points toward a credible and transparent Green business certification. The combination of this software and a trained sustainability officer seems to be both logical and appropriate. Remember, the building is not the same as a business. Some believe that Going Green is about making capital improvements to the building.

In fact, the vast majority of businesses do not own their own building; but they can certainly Green Up their routine operations. It is obvious that a Green business is more about operation than building improvements. Therefore, as seen in the executive order, companies have been encourage to Green Up their operations. The message is clear, Green buildings are great, but Green practices are how any company can get on Green Path.

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