As Kelly Spors wrote in a March article for Small Business Trends, environmental sustainability isn’t nearly as prevalent in small businesses as it is in the corporate world. “Sure, some small businesses have jumped on board and are leagues ahead when it comes to energy efficiency and conservation,” she says. “But plenty of them have done practically nothing to go green and continue to operate the same way they’ve operated for 10, 20 or 50 years.”
A recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group and MIT supported this point of view, finding that only nine percent of small companies (fewer than 1,000 employees) fully embrace sustainability. The reasons vary, but most have to do with the time and money small-business owners feel is required to make the necessary adaptations.
In my Culture Beat column at the AMEX Open Forum, I explore three ways small businesses can become better public citizens without losing their shirts.