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The State of Green Business: Are You Trying, Smaller Businesses?

A report evaluating the effort of businesses to get "greener" has just been released and its results are, at first glance, disheartening. But for smaller businesses the "green" possibilities are there.
A report evaluating the effort of businesses to get "greener" has just been released and its results are, at first glance, disheartening. But for smaller businesses the "green" possibilities are there.The State of Green Business 2008 was published by GreenBiz.com and its 65 pages can be downloaded for free. The report draws on 20 economic and environmental indicators and while, according to Wired magazine, "only eight of 20 indicators showed progress in 2007" and "two of the 20 indicators, e-waste and carbon intensity, actually got worse," the report nevertheless demonstrates how going green has at least entered the consciousness of corporate America.

Wired quotes the report's executive editor, Joel Makower: "It's clear that business is having this conversation at a more robust level than ever before. Almost every company of any size is asking the question, 'What's our green strategy?' That means they know they need one."

Wired continues: "While Makower supported current efforts, he emphasized that most companies are still tinkering at the margins and have not embedded sustainable practices like recycling, efficient energy use and waste reduction into their core business practices."

Smaller businesses have the flexibility, and the smaller scale, to go "green" in ways that are trickier for their larger sized peers -- and smaller businesses can do it in ways that smile on their bottom line. Teleworking, investing in clean tech, and being careful about e-waste are just a few examples. Trying out some of the latest efforts in green initiatives is another way to go.

Even the company we love to hate is getting into the act. Are you?

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
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Salvatore Salamone, Managing Editor, Network Computing