Green Business: An A-to-Z Guide


Edited by: Nevin Cohen & Paul Robbins

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      About the Editors

      Green Series Editor: Paul Robbins

      Paul Robbins is a professor and the director of the University of Arizona School of Geography and Development. He earned his Ph.D. in Geography in 1996 from Clark University. He is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Environment and Society (2007) and author of several books, including Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction (2010), Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are (2007), and Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction (2004).

      Robbins's research centers on the relationships between individuals (homeowners, hunters, professional foresters), environmental actors (lawns, elk, mesquite trees), and the institutions that connect them. He and his students seek to explain human environmental practices and knowledge, the influence nonhumans have on human behavior and organization, and the implications these interactions hold for ecosystem health, local community, and social justice. Past projects have examined chemical use in the suburban United States, elk management in Montana, forest product collection in New England, and wolf conservation in India.

      Green Business General Editor: Nevin Cohen

      Nevin Cohen is an assistant professor of Environmental Studies at The New School, in New York City, where he teaches courses in urban planning and sustainable food systems. He serves as co-chair of the Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School's interdisciplinary environmental research and education center, and home to the university's innovative bachelor program in Environmental Studies, which emphasizes urban ecosystems, sustainable design, and public policy. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Rutgers University, a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. from Cornell University.

      For the past two decades, Dr. Cohen has worked with Fortune 500 companies on corporate sustainability initiatives. Prior to joining the faculty of The New School, he served as managing principal for GreenOrder, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sustainable business practices, and held senior research positions at Rutgers University's Center for Environmental Communication, Environmental Defense, the World Resources Institute, Tellus Institute, and INFORM, Inc. As a policy analyst and planner in New York City, Dr. Cohen advised local planning boards and real estate developers on green development strategies. He was also responsible for developing landmark municipal recycling, water conservation, and clean fuel laws in New York City as a policy analyst for the City Council and Manhattan borough president.

      Green Business Associate Editor: Dirk Philipsen

      Dirk Philipsen is a professor of economic and social history at Virginia State University. He lives with his wife, Wesley Hogan-Philipsen, an award-winning author and historian, and their four children in Richmond, Virginia.

      Raised in Germany and educated in both Germany and the United States, he received a B.A. in Economics (College for Economics, Berlin, 1982), an M.A. in American Studies (John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University Berlin, 1987), and a Ph.D. in American Social History (Duke University, 1992). He has taught at Duke University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia State University, where he became a full professor in 2009.

      Philipsen has researched and published on the history of modern capitalism, movements for social and economic justice, race and race relations, and he has been the principal investigator of three large, multiyear funded research projects. His first book, We Were the People, chronicles the collapse of communism in East Germany and was published by Duke University Press. During the academic year 2009–2010, he was a Mellon Foundation Fellow at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, writing an intellectual and social history of predominant economic indicators.


      Over the past 40 years, there has been a dramatic transformation in the way businesses have addressed environmental issues. In response to the enactment of national legislation to control the pollution of the air, water, and land, corporations responded by cutting the most egregious end-of-the-pipe emissions and increasing attention to environmental compliance by implementing environmental management systems and best management practices. By the mid-1980s, companies began to shift from a focus on pollution control to one on pollution prevention, attempting to eliminate waste before it is created. Greener businesses began to embrace the idea that designing manufacturing systems that prevented waste offered a competitive edge by not only improving efficiency but also reducing the financial risks associated with the use and disposal of toxic chemicals. Leading businesses, nongovernmental organizations, trade groups, and socially responsible investment firms began to demonstrate the possibility of achieving a “triple bottom line,” improving environmental and social performance simultaneously with profit by adopting proactive and preventive strategies and a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

      Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as regulatory agencies in the United States and Europe began to embrace market-based policies, including requiring information disclosure to drive green business practices, the “greening” of business took off as companies began to identify ways in which their business goals could be aligned with the social objectives of cleaner production and civic responsibility. These efforts were guided by global management standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization, various environmental management principles developed by nongovernmental organizations (such as the Ceres Principles), sustainability reporting guidelines, and sustainability standards for investors, developed by companies such as Dow Jones.

      In the 1990s and early 2000s, firms moved from pollution prevention to a focus on product stewardship. As firms ratcheted down their end-of-the-pipe pollution through increased efficiency and the use of best available control technology, regulators and advocacy groups, together with leading green businesses, began focusing on the entire product life cycle, from the practices of suppliers to the environmental impacts associated with the use of products and with their disposition at the end of their lives. Producer responsibility regulations in Europe included product take-back requirements, particularly for waste electronics. Green businesses began to explore various forms of techniques to minimize the life cycle effects of products, including design for the environment—a process by which firms proactively design products that are durable, easily repairable, upgradable, and safely and economically recyclable; cradle-to-cradle design, which attempts to eliminate waste by designing goods so that they can be used as raw materials for other products; and the precautionary principle, which aims to avoid products and practices for which there are insufficient data on the health and environmental risks. Some firms have embraced service design, finding ways to provide the functions that consumers want without selling physical goods.

      The evolution of green business has required increasingly sophisticated methodologies for measuring the consequences of green business practices, leading to the maturation of fields such as life cycle analysis, quantitative risk assessment, and environmental accounting and auditing. To capitalize on the salience of environmental issues and consumer interest in green products, particularly among the demographic groups most attuned to environmental issues (e.g., Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), businesses have attempted to use green marketing techniques, conveying the benefits of greener products through ecolabels and environmental indicators, including easy-to-communicate concepts such as the ecological footprint. Although this has left some firms open to the charge of exaggerating green claims—or greenwashing—others, such as GE, have developed green marketing campaigns with efficiency metrics aimed at both increasing sales and identifying clean technologies to support through research and development and other investments.

      The clean technology field has grown in large measure because businesses anticipate that the future will be carbon-constrained as nations adopt policies to curb greenhouse gases, and water constrained as climate change alters weather patterns and the availability of freshwater. Firms that have incorporated sustainability into their business models have been leaders in developing innovative green products, such as advanced solar panels, electric vehicles, and carbon-neutral green buildings that provide the functionality of conventional products (e.g., mobility, thermal comfort) while dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These new technologies offer new business opportunities and potentially large competitive advantages as environmental challenges grow.

      The recent global recession has dampened consumption and new business investments, green or otherwise. Yet in the United States and abroad, government economic stimulus programs have focused on green economic development based on alternative energy technologies and the infrastructure (e.g., a “smart energy grid”) to support the transmission of distributed sources of power, as well as low-technology innovations such as building weatherization. Proponents of green technology believe that public stimulus dollars and private investments have the potential to create large numbers of green collar jobs for working-class people, as well as to increase the overall efficiency of the economy. Action at the national level is mirrored by policies at the state and local level, where governments are revising their building codes to require green building, leading the development and construction industry to source greener building materials and products.

      Notwithstanding the recession, green business innovations continue. Large retailers, from IKEA to the supermarket chain Tesco, are eliminating unnecessary packaging and providing product information (in Tesco's case, carbon footprint labels) designed to encourage sustainable purchasing. Manufacturers are investing in green chemistry techniques to reduce the hazards of their products and are using biomimicry, employing design principles found in the natural environment as models of industrial processes and manufactured products, to create environmentally preferable products and structures. In addition, the concepts of green business are being applied in sectors beyond manufacturing and retail, including agriculture, where the growth in demand for organic products and food sourced from growers who are paid a fair wage and use sustainable farming techniques continues apace.

      Businesses increasingly recognize their capacity to help solve global environmental and social challenges, and the most innovative understand the business case for addressing issues such as climate change, water scarcity, pollution, poverty, hunger, and inequality. This volume, Green Business, in The SAGE Reference Green Series: Toward a Sustainable Future, provides an overview of the key principles, approaches, strategies, and tools that businesses have used to reduce their environmental impacts and contribute to sustainability, as well as describing some of the firms that have taken steps to green their operations and products. Each entry reflects the expertise of scholars and practitioners from a variety of fields of study and provides references to other entries in the volume in addition to citations for further reading. Together, the entries provide an understanding of green business practices that will be valuable for managers, policy makers, scholars, and citizens interested in the complex relationship between businesses and the environment.

      NevinCohen General Editor

      Reader's Guide

      List of Articles

      List of Contributors

      • Ackom, Emmanuel Kofi, University of British Columbia
      • Alexis, Gwendolyn Yvonne, Monmouth University
      • Amer, Wafaa Mahrous, Cairo University
      • Andrews, Mitchell, University of Sunderland
      • Arney, Jo A., University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
      • Ballamingie, Patricia, Carleton University
      • Beder, Sharon, University of Wollongong
      • Bled, Amandine J., Université Libre de Bruxelles
      • Boslaugh, Sarah, Washington University in St. Louis
      • Brohé, Arnaud, Université Libre de Bruxelles
      • Büscher, Bram, Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands, University of Johannesburg
      • Büscher, Stacey, HIVOS, the Netherlands
      • Carveth, Rodney Andrew, Fitchburg State College
      • Cidell, Julie, University of Illinois
      • Cooley, Amanda Harmon, North Carolina A&T State University
      • Cullari, Francine, University of Michigan–Flint
      • Daniels, Peter, Griffith University, Australia
      • de Bakker, Frank G. A., Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
      • de Souza, Lester, Independent Scholar
      • Denault, Jean-François, Université de Montréal
      • Duffy, Lawrence K., University of Alaska Fairbanks
      • Emery, Barry, University of Northampton
      • Ertel, Jürgen, Brandenburg University of Technlogy
      • Farley, Heather M., Northern Arizona University
      • Finley-Brook, Mary, University of Richmond
      • Flanagan, Patrick, St. John's University
      • Fritz, Anju, University of Maryland
      • Gachechiladze, Maia, Central European University
      • García-Olmedo, Belén, University of Granada
      • Grover, Velma I., United Nations University–Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU–IWEH)
      • Harper, Gavin D. J., Cardiff University
      • Hasselmann, Franziska, Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research
      • Helfer, Jason A., Knox College
      • Howes, Michael, Griffith University, Australia
      • Jarvie, Michelle E., Independent Scholar
      • Johnson, Sherrill, Independent Scholar
      • Kirkham, Elaine D., University of Wolverhampton
      • Kte'pi, Bill, Independent Scholar
      • Lanfair, Jordan K., Knox College
      • Leinaweaver, Jeff, Fielding Graduate University
      • Lippert, Ingmar, University of Augsburg
      • Lord, Richard Alastair, University of Teesside
      • Martin, Diane M., University of Portland
      • Merskin, Debra, University of Oregon
      • Mullaney, Emma Gaalaas, Pennsylvania State University
      • Mulvaney, Dustin, University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Nash, Hazel, Cardiff University
      • Newell, Josh, University of Southern California
      • Nieuwenhuis, Paul, Cardiff University
      • Nuñez, Maura Troester, University of Colorado, Boulder
      • Orsini, Marco, Institut de Conseil et d'Études en Développement Durable (ICEDD)
      • O'Sullivan, Robin, University of Texas at Austin
      • Palmer, Daniel E., Kent State University, Trumbull
      • Paolini, Federico, University of Siena
      • Parker, Jonathan, University of North Texas
      • Patnaik, Rasmi, Pondicherry University
      • Persaud, Nadini, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus
      • Philipsen, Dirk Peter, Virginia State University
      • Pojasek, Robert B., Harvard University
      • Ponting, Cerys Anne, Cardiff University
      • Poyyamoli, Gopalsamy, Pondicherry University
      • Putnam, Heather R., University of Kansas
      • Rands, Gordon P., Western Illinois University
      • Rands, Pamela J., Western Illinois University
      • Reed, Matt, Countryside and Community Research Institute
      • Roby, Claire, Independent Scholar
      • Roy, Abhijit, University of Scranton
      • Roy, Mousumi, Penn State University, Worthington Scranton
      • Salimath, Manjula S., University of North Texas
      • Schouten, John W., University of Portland
      • Schroth, Stephen T., Knox College
      • Sekerka, Leslie E., Menlo College
      • Smith, Alastair M., ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability & Society
      • Stancil, John L., Florida Southern College
      • Stoll, Mary Lyn, University of Southern Indiana
      • Tsoi, Joyce, Brunel University
      • Van Leuven, Nancy, Bridgewater State College
      • Vos, Robert O., University of Southern California
      • Watson, Derek, University of Sunderland
      • Weaver, Susan H., Independent Scholar
      • Woodward, David G., University of Southampton School of Management
      • Zaccai, Edwin, Université Libre de Bruxelles

      Green Business Chronology

      • c. 1530: Commercial whaling begins as the Basques start the pursuit of right whales in the North Atlantic, taking an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 whales over the next 80 years.
      • 1892: British reformer Henry S. Salt, a socialist, pacifist, and vegetarian, publishes a landmark work on animal welfare, Animal Rights Considered in Relation to Social Progress.
      • 1905: Upton Sinclair publishes his novel The Jungle in serial format in the socialist magazine Appeal to Reason. Public outcry over the filthy conditions of the meatpacking industry portrayed in this novel lead to passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.
      • 1918: The Save the Redwoods League forms in the United States to purchase the remaining redwood forests, which have been extensively harvested for lumber.
      • 1920: In response to the perceived failures of existing federal laws to deal with the mining of coal and oil resources, the United States passes the Mineral Leasing Act to regulate mining on public lands. The law governs deposits of coal, oil, gas, oil shale, phosphate, potash, sodium, and sulfur.
      • 1932: American president Franklin D. Roosevelt uses the phrase “bottom of the pyramid” in a radio address, which refers to “the indispensable units of economic power … the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” The term is used today to refer to the 4 billion or so people who live on less than US$2 per day.
      • 1934: The Taylor Grazing Act establishes grazing districts on public lands (which have formerly been unregulated) and grants leases to individuals to use them. The fees are deliberately set low and in general remain lower today than the fees charged for comparable private grazing land.
      • 1936: In an early example of cost-benefit analysis, the U.S. Flood Control Act requires that flood control projects must demonstrate that their benefits outweigh their costs.
      • 1946: The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling holds its first meeting in Washington, D.C., and sets quotas for whaling that are intended to allow the whaling industry to continue at reduced levels so that whales are not hunted to extinction. The convention establishes the International Whaling Commission in 1949, which is intended to regulate whaling but has been beset by conflicts between nations with traditional whaling industries (e.g., Japan, Iceland, and Norway) and those that wish to impose a moratorium on all whaling.
      • 1948: The Federal Water Pollution Control Act creates comprehensive programs to regulate interstate waters in the United States and provides financing for state and local governments.
      • 1954: Introduction of highly industrialized fishing vessels into the codfish industry in the United States and Canada greatly increases the annual catch, causing a steady decline in the cod population, so that in 1977 it was determined that the number of spawning codfish off the coast of Newfoundland had decreased by 92% since 1962.
      • 1956: The first victims of Minamata disease, caused by alkylmercury poisoning from eating contaminated fish, are identified in Japan. Victims suffer from neurological impairments including retardation, contorted limbs, and sensory disturbances. The source of the contamination is traced to the Chisso Company, which had been dumping industrial pollutants into Minamata Bay on the west coast of Kyushu island.
      • 1965: The Water Quality Act requires U.S. states to establish water quality standards or accept those set by the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration.
      • 1970: Dr. Norman Borlaug, father of the “green revolution,” which is credited with substantially increasing crop yield in the Third World, wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Although few question that the green revolution saved millions of people from starvation, many—particularly in more recent years—will criticize Borlaug's reforms because they rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and irrigation and on seeds that must be purchased annually from multinational corporations, thus increasing corporate control of Third World agriculture.
      • 1971: The U.S. Public Health Service sets the level of “undue lead absorption,” that is, the level above which medical intervention is recommended, at 40 μg/dL. The level is lowered to 30 μg/dL in 1975, 25 μg/dL in 1985, and 10–15 μg/dL in 1991. Some cities implement campaigns to remove lead paint from housing because this is a primary source of lead exposure for children.
      • 1972: The London Dumping Convention, the formal name of which is the International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Waste and Other Matter, prohibits dumping wastes in the ocean from ships, aircraft, platforms, or any other man-made structure in the sea, as well as from land-based sources.
      • 1973: Ernst Friedrich Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered criticizes the assumption that economic development requires adoption of large-scale Western technologies and a lifestyle based on acquisition of consumer goods.
      • 1975: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), signed in 1973, comes into force. The convention's purpose is to end international trade in endangered or threatened animal and plant species or products made from them, and it requires signatories to implement domestic laws (such as the Endangered Species Act in the United States) to carry out conventional principles.
      • 1976: Anita Roddick founds the Body Shop, which sells beauty products made from natural ingredients and manufactured in ways that do not harm the environment. Body Shop products are not tested on animals, and many are obtained through a Fair Trade program that provides suppliers with sufficient income to maintain themselves.
      • 1976: Wes and Dana Jackson found the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, to develop sustainable agriculture practices. The institute includes both a school and an agricultural research station that investigate alternatives to industrial agricultural practices such as monoculture and extensive use of pesticides and herbicides.
      • 1976: In the Godkin Lectures at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Charles Schultze argues that taxes and incentives are a more efficient method for controlling pollution than are laws and regulations. The lectures are later published as The Public Use of the Private Interest and argue that taxing pollution would encourage those industries that can easily reduce it to do so, and new businesses to develop methods to pollute less while allowing other industries to remain in business by paying a tax or fine equivalent to the damage caused by their pollution.
      • 1977: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission bans the use of lead in house paint and restricts lead in paints used on toys and furniture to 0.06%.
      • 1979: A series of equipment failures and human error cause a partial core meltdown at a nuclear plant at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. There is no major steam or hydrogen gas explosion, although it is uncertain how much radiation escapes. This near-catastrophe draws attention to the dangers involved in nuclear power generation and halts construction of new nuclear power facilities in the United States.
      • 1980: Alex Pacheco and Ingrid Newkirk found People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to protect animal rights. Philosophers such as Tom Regan and Peter Singer heavily influence the PETA founders, and in particular their belief that “speciesism,” or the belief that man is superior to all other species, is incorrect. PETA goes on to become perhaps the best-known animal rights organization in the world and protests many common commercial practices involving animals, from using laboratory animals for product research and testing to raising meat animals in factory-like conditions and using animal fur for human garments.
      • 1980: Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon make a famous bet about the future supply of natural resources as human population increases. Ehrlich, an ecologist at Stanford University, predicts that because there is a finite supply of natural resources, the price of basic commodities will increase over time, whereas Simon, an economist from the University of Maryland, predicts that commodity prices will fall as a result of increasing supply and substitution. Ehrlich chooses five metals to track—copper, chrome, nickel, tin, and tungsten—and they agree to evaluate the change in prices 10 years later, calculated in constant dollars. Ehrlich loses the bet despite increased world population because he failed to consider that consumption patterns often change in response to prices and that new sources of commodities may be discovered that could lower the price.
      • 1983: American Express coins the phrase “cause-related marketing” to describe their campaign to raise money to restore the Statue of Liberty. The company raises over $2 million in four months by donating a penny every time someone uses their card and a dollar for each new card issued. Card usage and the number of new cards also increase, establishing the principle that this type of marketing can be beneficial to both the company and the cause.
      • 1984: An accident at a Union Carbide pesticide-producing plan in Bhopal, India, releases a toxic cloud of methyl isocynate, causing over 2000 deaths immediately and at least 2000 more in ensuing years. Some estimates of deaths run as high as 10,000, with estimates of the number injured running from 200,000 to 500,000. In 1989, Union Carbide pays $470 million in settlements to the Indian government, with the money to go to survivors of the leak. This disaster brings closer scrutiny to other Union Carbide plants, including a plant in Institute, West Virginia, which also handles methyl isocynate.
      • 1985: A group of activists found the Rainforest Action Network in San Francisco, California, with the purpose of protecting the world's rainforests and the people who live in them from environmental destruction. Their first major action is a boycott of the American fast-food chain Burger King, which at that time imported much of its beef from Central and South America, where rainforest destruction was hastened by the economic incentive of clearing the forest and turning it into grazing land for cattle. In 1987, Burger King announces that it is no longer importing beef from rainforest areas.
      • 1987: American activist Dave Foreman publishes Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkey-wrenching, which advocates sabotage to prevent environmentally destructive development and other commercial activities. Many of Foreman's suggested tactics are illegal, including driving metal spikes into trees to prevent their being logged, sabotaging earth-moving equipment such as bulldozers, removing surveyor's stakes, and pulling down power lines. The book's title refers to The Monkey Wrench Gang, a 1975 novel by Edward Abbey that calls for individuals to take direct action to halt the destruction of wilderness.
      • 1988: Negative publicity about polluted beaches in New York and New Jersey leads to passage of the Ocean Dumping Ban Act, which takes force in 1991. The act prohibits dumping industrial waste and sewage sludge in the ocean and is more stringent than previous laws, which allowed some dumping as long as it did not seriously degrade the marine environment.
      • 1988: Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb publish The Wise Use Agenda, which states the opposition of the Wise Use Movement in the Western United States to increased government regulation of commercial uses of public lands. In opposition to many spokespeople for the environmental movement, the Wise Use Movement advocates clear-cutting in national forests, petroleum drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and placing individual states rather than the federal government in charge of regulating water resources on public lands.
      • 1989: The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics (CERES), which includes environmental organizations, socially responsible investors, labor unions, and other groups, forms to encourage environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices. The Ceres principles are also introduced in this year: they ask corporations to commit to a number of principles (initially called “the Valdez Principles”), which include protection of the biosphere, sustainable use of natural resources, waste reduction, conservation of energy, and environmental restoration.
      • 1989: The worst oil spill in American history occurs when the supertanker ship Exxon Valdez grounds on a reef and spills over 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound near Valdez, Alaska. The resulting oil slick extends 50 miles and is estimated to kill 10% of the region's bird population. In 1990, Joseph Hazelwood, captain of the Exxon Valdez, is convicted on one misdemeanor count related to the spill, and in 1991 Exxon pled guilty to four misdemeanor counts and paid about $1 billion in fines and environmental damage payments.
      • 1990: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the Pfizer product Chy-Max chymosin, a genetically modified version of rennet used in cheese. At this time, 60% of U.S. cheeses are produced using genetically modified chymosins.
      • 1992: The Flavr Savr tomato becomes the first genetically engineered vegetable approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the United States. The Flavr Savr will be introduced commercially in 1994 and withdrawn from the market in 1996 because of lack of consumer interest.
      • 1992: British Telecom begins publishing their Society and Environment Report.
      • 1996: Monsanto plants the first commercial fields with the Roundup Ready soybean, the first commercially genetically modified crop in the United States. The beans are engineered to resist the common herbicide glyphosate, which can therefore be sprayed on the fields without damaging the soybean crop. By 2002 about 70% of soybeans grown in the United States are engineered to be herbicide resistant.
      • 1997: The Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which aims to reduce or prevent global warming, is adopted. Under the protocol, which goes in effect in 2005, most industrialized countries agree to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases: some were set specific targets, some were given the goal of reducing their emissions to 1990 levels, and others were allowed to reduce their levels. The protocol also allows countries to trade carbon emissions to meet their goals.
      • 1998: Great Britain announces that by 2008, over 60% of new housing starts will be on brownfield grounds; that is, they will reuse previously developed land, such as abandoned commercial developments, that is underused or neglected.
      • 1999: A study by Cone Millenial Cause finds that most (89%) of Americans age 13–25 years would be willing to switch to a brand associated with a “good cause” and that many would prefer to work for a socially responsible company.
      • 2002: The Center for Food Safety publishes Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, a collection of essays criticizing the effects of industrial agriculture, which is the norm in the United States, on the environment and on human health. Specific criticisms include overuse of pesticides, loss of topsoil, use of genetically engineered species, loss of agricultural diversity, and loss of family farms.
      • 2002: William McDonough and Michael Braungart popularize the term “cradle to cradle,” which was introduced by Walter Stahel in the 1970s. “Cradle to cradle” refers to the principle that companies should be responsible for recycling the materials from their products after they are discarded.
      • 2006: The New Oxford American dictionary selects “carbon neutral” as its word of the year. Ironically, there is no single accepted definition of the term, which refers in general to the achievement of net zero greenhouse gas emissions through reducing emissions and purchasing carbon offsets: the question is the scope of the emissions included in the calculations. For instance, should a company include the emissions related to raw materials that they purchase, or is that part of someone else's business?
      • 2008: Honda offers the first fuel cell car, the FCX Clarity, for lease.
      SarahBoslaugh, Washington University in St. Louis
    • Green Business Glossary

      • Acid Mine Drainage: Drainage of water from areas that have been mined for coal or other mineral ores. The water has a low pH because of its contact with sulfur-bearing material and is harmful to aquatic organisms.
      • Air Pollution Control Device: Mechanism or equipment that cleans emissions generated by a source (e.g., an incinerator, industrial smokestack, or automobile exhaust system) by removing pollutants that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere.
      • Alternative Compliance: A policy that allows facilities to choose among methods for achieving emission reduction or risk reduction instead of command and control regulations that specify standards and how to meet them. Use of a theoretical emissions bubble over a facility to cap the amount of pollution emitted while allowing the company to choose where and how (within the facility) it complies.
      • Alternative Fuels: Substitutes for traditional liquid, oil-derived motor vehicle fuels like gasoline and diesel. Includes mixtures of alcohol-based fuels with gasoline, methanol, ethanol, compressed natural gas, and others.
      • Antarctic “Ozone Hole”: Refers to the seasonal depletion of ozone in the upper atmosphere above a large area of Antarctica.
      • Anti-Degradation Clause: Part of federal air quality and water quality requirements prohibiting deterioration where pollution levels are above the legal limit.
      • Asbestos: A mineral fiber that can pollute air or water and cause cancer or asbestosis when inhaled. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has banned or severely restricted its use in manufacturing and construction.
      • Basalt: Consistent year-round energy use of a facility; also refers to the minimum amount of electricity supplied continually to a facility.
      • BEN: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's computer model for analyzing a violator's economic gain from not complying with the law.
      • Beryllium: A metal hazardous to human health when inhaled as an airborne pollutant. It is discharged by machine shops, ceramic and propellant plants, and foundries.
      • Biostabilizer: A machine that converts solid waste into compost by grinding and aeration.
      • Building-Related Illness: Diagnosable illness whose cause and symptoms can be directly attributed to a specific pollutant source within a building.
      • By-Product: Material, other than the principal product, generated as a consequence of an industrial process or as a breakdown product in a living system.
      • Carbon Tetrachloride (CC14): Compound consisting of one carbon atom and four chlorine atoms, once widely used as a industrial raw material, as a solvent, and in the production of chlorofluorocarbons. Use as a solvent ended when it was discovered to be carcinogenic.
      • Categorical Pretreatment Standard: A technology-based effluent limitation for an industrial facility discharging into a municipal sewer system. Analogous in stringency to best availability technology for direct dischargers.
      • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): A family of inert, nontoxic, and easily liquefied chemicals used in refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, and insulation, or as solvents and aerosol propellants. Because CFCs are not destroyed in the lower atmosphere, they drift into the upper atmosphere, where their chlorine components destroy ozone.
      • Class 1 Substance: One of several groups of chemicals with an ozone depletion potential of 0.2 or higher, including CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform (listed in the Clean Air Act), as well as hydrobromofluorocarbons and ethyl bromide.
      • Coke Oven: An industrial process that converts coal into coke, one of the basic materials used in blast furnaces for the conversion of iron ore into iron.
      • Commercial Waste: All solid waste emanating from business establishments such as stores, markets, office buildings, restaurants, shopping centers, and theaters.
      • Compliance Schedule: A negotiated agreement between a pollution source and a government agency that specifies dates and procedures by which a source will reduce emissions and, thereby, comply with a regulation.
      • Cooling Tower: A structure that helps remove heat from water used as a coolant; for example, in electric power–generating plants.
      • Diazinon: An insecticide. In 1986, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned its use on open areas such as sod farms and golf courses because it posed a danger to migratory birds. The ban did not apply to agricultural, home lawn, or commercial establishment uses.
      • Dioxin: Any of a family of compounds known chemically as dibenzo-p-dioxins. Concern about them arises from their potential toxicity as contaminants in commercial products. Tests on laboratory animals indicate that they are one of the more toxic anthropogenic (man-made) compounds.
      • Direct Discharger: A municipal or industrial facility that introduces pollution through a defined conveyance or system such as outlet pipes; a point source.
      • Downstream Processors: Industries dependent on crop production (e.g., canneries and food processors).
      • Emission: Pollution discharged into the atmosphere from smokestacks, other vents, and surface areas of commercial or industrial facilities; from residential chimneys; and from motor vehicle, locomotive, or aircraft exhausts.
      • Environmental Audit: An independent assessment of the current status of a party's compliance with applicable environmental requirements or of a party's environmental compliance policies, practices, and controls.
      • Ethylene Dibromide (EDB): A chemical used as an agricultural fumigant and in certain industrial processes. Extremely toxic and found to be a carcinogen in laboratory animals, EDB has been banned for most agricultural uses in the United States.
      • Fluorocarbons (FCs): Any of a number of organic compounds analogous to hydrocarbons in which one or more hydrogen atoms are replaced by fluorine. Once used in the United States as a propellant for domestic aerosols, FCs are now found mainly in coolants and some industrial processes. FCs containing chlorine are called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). They are believed to be modifying the ozone layer in the stratosphere, thereby allowing more harmful solar radiation to reach the Earth's surface.
      • Hammer Mill: A high-speed machine that uses hammers and cutters to crush, grind, chip, or shred solid waste.
      • Hazard Communication Standard: An Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation that requires chemical manufacturers, suppliers, and importers to assess the hazards of the chemicals that they make, supply, or import, and to inform employers, customers, and workers of these hazards through material safety data sheet information.
      • Indirect Discharge: Introduction of pollutants from a nondomestic source into a publicly owned waste-treatment system. Indirect dischargers can be commercial or industrial facilities whose wastes enter local sewers.
      • Industrial Pollution Prevention: Combination of industrial source reduction and toxic chemical use substitution.
      • Industrial Waste: Unwanted materials from an industrial operation; may be liquid, sludge, solid, or hazardous waste.
      • List: Shorthand term for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency list of violating facilities or firms debarred from obtaining government contracts because they violated certain sections of the Clean Air or Clean Water Acts. The list is maintained by the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Monitoring.
      • Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT): The emission standard for sources of air pollution requiring the maximum reduction of hazardous emissions, taking cost and feasibility into account. Under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the MACT must not be less than the average emission level achieved by controls on the best-performing 12 percent of existing sources, by category of industrial and utility sources.
      • Netting: A concept in which all emissions sources in the same area that are owned or controlled by a single company are treated as one large source, thereby allowing flexibility in controlling individual sources to meet a single emissions standard.
      • Nonaqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL): Contaminants that remain undiluted as the original bulk liquid in the subsurface; for example, spilled oil.
      • Nuclear Reactors and Support Facilities: Uranium mills, commercial power reactors, fuel reprocessing plants, and uranium enrichment facilities.
      • Oil Spill: An accidental or intentional discharge of oil that reaches bodies of water. Oil spills can be controlled by chemical dispersion, combustion, mechanical containment, and/or adsorption. Spills from tanks and pipelines can also occur away from water bodies, contaminating the soil, getting into sewer systems, and threatening underground water sources.
      • Performance Standards: 1. Regulatory requirements limiting the concentrations of designated organic compounds, particulate matter, and hydrogen chloride in emissions from incinerators. 2. Operating standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for various permitted pollution control systems, asbestos inspections, and various program operations and maintenance requirements.
      • Plutonium: A radioactive metallic element chemically similar to uranium.
      • Point Source: A stationary location or fixed facility from which pollutants are discharged; any single identifiable source of pollution (e.g., pipe, ditch, ship, ore pit, factory smokestack).
      • Polychlorinated Biphenyls: A group of toxic, persistent chemicals used in electrical transformers and capacitors for insulating purposes and in gas pipeline systems as lubricant. The sale and new use of these chemicals, also known as PCBs, were banned by law in 1979.
      • Quality Assurance/Quality Control: A system of procedures, checks, audits, and corrective actions to ensure that all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research design and performance, environmental monitoring and sampling, and other technical and reporting activities are of the highest achievable quality.
      • Registration: Formal listing with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of a new pesticide before it can be sold or distributed. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for registration (premarket licensing) of pesticides on the basis of data demonstrating no unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment when applied according to approved label directions.
      • Rubbish: Solid waste, excluding food waste and ashes, from homes, institutions, and workplaces.
      • Scrap: Materials discarded from manufacturing operations that may be suitable for reprocessing.
      • Secondary Materials: Materials that have been manufactured and used at least once and are to be used again.
      • Sewage: The waste and wastewater produced by residential and commercial sources and discharged into sewers.
      • Sewer: A channel or conduit that carries wastewater and stormwater runoff from the source to a treatment plant or receiving stream. “Sanitary” sewers carry household, industrial, and commercial waste. “Storm” sewers carry runoff from rain or snow. “Combined” sewers handle both.
      • Sick Building Syndrome: Building whose occupants experience acute health and/or comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent therein, but in which no specific illness or cause can be identified. Complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may spread throughout the building.
      • Strip Mining: A process that uses machines to scrape soil or rock away from mineral deposits just under the Earth's surface.
      • Suspension: Suspending the use of a pesticide when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deems it necessary to prevent an imminent hazard resulting from its continued use. An emergency suspension takes effect immediately; under an ordinary suspension a registrant can request a hearing before the suspension goes into effect. Such a hearing process might take six months.
      • Technology-Based Standards: Industry-specific effluent limitations applicable to direct and indirect sources that are developed on a category-by-category basis using statutory factors, not including water-quality effects.
      • Variance: Government permission for a delay or exception in the application of a given law, ordinance, or regulation.
      • Waste: 1. Unwanted materials left over from a manufacturing process. 2. Refuse from places of human or animal habitation.
      • Waste Minimization: Measures or techniques that reduce the amount of wastes generated during industrial production processes; term is also applied to recycling and other efforts to reduce the amount of waste going into the waste stream.
      Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

      Green Business Resource Guide

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      • Bellamy Foster, J. The Vulnerable Planet: A Short History of the Environment. New York: Monthly Review, 1999.
      • Bregman, Jacob I. and Kenneth M. Mackenthun. Environmental Impact Statements. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis, 1992.
      • Brohé, Arnaud, et al. Carbon Markets: An International Business Guide. London: Earthscan, 2009.
      • Bullock, Gary. A Guide to Energy Service Companies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001.
      • Butterfield, J., et al. Holistic Management Handbook: Healthy Land, Healthy Profits. Washington, DC: Island, 2006.
      • Cairncross, F. Costing the Earth: The Challenge for Governments, the Opportunities for Business. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 1992.
      • Chappell, Tom. The Soul of a Business: Managing for Profit and the Common Good. New York: Bantam Books, 1996.
      • Coddington, W. Environmental Marketing: Positive Strategies for Reaching the Green Consumer. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.
      • Crane, A. Marketing, Morality and the Natural Environment. London: Routledge, 2000.
      • Feenberg, Andrew. Questioning Technology. London: Routledge, 1999.
      • Fuller, D. A. Sustainable Marketing: Managerial-Ecological Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1999.
      • Gilpin, Alan. Environmental Impact Assessment: Cutting Edge for the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
      • Goleman, Daniel. Ecological Intelligence. New York: Broadway Books, 2009.
      • Goodman, David and Michael J. Watts, eds. Globalising Food: Agrarian Questions and Global Restructuring. London: Routledge, 1997.
      • Goodstein, E. The Trade-Off Myth: Fact and Fiction About Jobs and the Environment. Washington, DC: Island, 1999.
      • Grant, John. The Green Marketing Manifesto. New York: Wiley, 2008.
      • Harkins, Paul, et al. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1999.
      • Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.
      • Helm, D. Economic Policy Towards the Environment. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991.
      • Higham, James E. S. Critical Issues in Ecotourism: Understanding a Complex Tourist Phenomenon. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007.
      • Humphrey, Neil and Mark Hadley. Environmental Auditing. Bembridge: Palladian Law, 2000.
      • Kaplan, Robert and Greg Norman. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy Into Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School, 1996.
      • Kibert, Charles. Sustainable Construction: Green Building Design and Delivery. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
      • Kreske, Diori L. Environmental Impact Statements: A Practical Guide for Agencies, Citizens, and Consultants. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1996.
      • Lamb, Robert. The Greening of IT: How Companies Can Make a Difference for the Environment. New York: IBM, 2009.
      • Lawrence, David P. Environmental Impact Assessment: Practical Solutions to Recurrent Problems. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
      • Makower, J. The E-Factor: The Bottom-Line Approach to Environmentally Responsible Business. New York: Plume, 1994.
      • Marriott, Betty. Environmental Impact Assessment: A Practical Guide. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.
      • McDonough, W. and M. Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point, 2002.
      • McGaw, David. Environmental Auditing and Compliance Manual. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993.
      • McKercher, Bob. Cultural Tourism: The Partnership Between Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management. New York: Routledge, 2002.
      • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: Island, 2005.
      • Mondt, R. Cleaner Cars: The History and Technology of Emission Control Since the 1960s. Warrendale, PA: Society of Automotive Engineers, 2000.
      • Moore, Emmett B. The Environmental Impact Statement Process and Environmental Law. Columbus, OH: Battelle, 2000.
      • Newman, Nell. The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That Benefit You and the Place You Live. New York: Villard, 2003.
      • Ottman, J. A. Green Marketing. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books, 1993.
      • Patterson, Walt. Keeping the Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity. London: Earthscan, 2007.
      • Patterson, Walt. Transforming Electricity: The Coming Generation of Change. London: Earthscan, 1999.
      • Raffensperger, Carolyn and Joel Tickner. Protecting Public Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Island, 1999.
      • Raven, P. H., et al. Environment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
      • Raynolds, Laura T., et al. Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization. London: Routledge, 2007.
      • Reinhardt, Forest. Down to Earth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School, 2000.
      • Roberts, P. The End of Oil: The Decline of the Petroleum Economy and the Rise of a New Energy Order. London: Bloomsbury, 2004.
      • Rockwood, L., et al., eds. Foundations of Environmental Sustainability: The Coevolution of Science and Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
      • Romm, J. The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate. Washington, DC: Island, 2004.
      • Samli, A. C. Social Responsibility in Marketing: A Proactive and Profitable Marketing Management Strategy. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 1992.
      • Savitz, Andrew W. and Karl Weber. The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social, and Environmental Success—and How You Can Too. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass, 2006.
      • Schumacher, E. F. Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. New York: Harper Perennial, 1973.
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      • Agriculture and Human Values (Springer)
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      • Business Strategy Review (John Wiley & Sons)
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      • Environmental Science & Technology (American Chemical Society)
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      • Journal of Business Ethics (Springer)
      • Journal of Cleaner Production (Elsevier)
      • Journal of Economic Perspectives (American Economic Association)
      • Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (Elsevier)
      • Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (Taylor & Francis)
      • Journal of Industrial Ecology (John Wiley & Sons)
      • Journal of International Marketing (American Marketing Association)
      • Journal of Retailing (Elsevier)
      • Journal of Risk Research (Taylor & Francis)
      • Journal of Sustainable Development (Canadian Centre of Science and Education)
      • Management Decision (Emerald)
      • Nature (Nature Publishing Group)
      • Organization & Environment (SAGE Publications)
      • Psychology and Marketing (John Wiley & Sons)
      • Strategic Change (John Wiley & Sons)
      • Sustainable Development (John Wiley & Sons)
      • World Development (Elsevier)

      Green Business Appendix

      The Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia

      This is the home page for The Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting corporate responsibility and sustainable investment practices in the Asia Pacific region. The ASrIA website, available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, and Thai, also acts as a clearing house for information from other sources about sustainable investment in Asia. This website includes information about ASrIA activities (including conferences, seminars, forums, and training), news about sustainable investment in Asia, press releases, links to ASrIA publications (many available for free download), an electronic news bulletin to which anyone can subscribe, a list of available jobs related to sustainable investment in Asia, a posting service for resumes of individuals interested in such jobs, and links to information about ASrIA members. The website also includes portals which provide overviews of general topics such as climate change, toxic chemicals, airlines emissions, and philanthropic investment.

      BPI World

      BPI World is the home page for the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), a professional organization located in New York City which promotes the use and recycling of biodegradable polymeric materials (plastics) via composting. Members include individuals and groups from government, industry, and academia located in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. One aspect of BPI's work is to scientifically determine which products are compostable (meaning that they will biodegrade in a typical municipal or commercial waste facility at a rate similar to yard trimming, food scraps, and similar materials, and must disintegrate leaving no large plastic fragments) and to indicate those which are by the BPI Compostable Logo. The website also includes general information about topics such as composting and the science of biodegradation, a searchable directory of BPI members, and certified compostable products (including bags, foodservice items, resins, and packing materials), and BPI-certified testing labs.

      The Center for Responsible Travel

      The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a nonprofit research institution focused on designing, monitoring, evaluating, and improving ecotourism and sustainable tourism. It promotes societally and environmentally responsible tourism and does research into the potential for ecotourism and sustainable tourism to alleviate poverty and conserve biodiversity. The website includes information about CREST's current research and projects, companies which partner with them to promote eco-friendly travel in Africa and Latin America, their Traveler's Philanthropy project which helps travelers and travel companies learn about ways to improve the lives of local and indigenous communities in the countries they visit, a calendar of events, news about ecotourism and responsible travel, links to related organizations, and CREST research reports and newsletters (downloadable) as well as information about CREST books (available for purchase).

      The Consortium on Green Design and Manufacturing

      This website, sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley (USA), represents the efforts of the Consortium on Green Design and Manufacturing (CGDM, founded in 1993 and including faculty and students from the University of California, Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Network for Energy, Environment, Efficiency and the Information Economy) to encourage research and education on environmental management, environmental design, and pollution prevention in civil infrastructure, the electronics industry, and service industries. Several software tools are available from the website, including PaLATE (a tool for economic and environmental life-cycle assessment of pavement and roads) and E-COMMUTair (a tool for analyzing the economic and environmental impact of telecommuting). The CGDM website also includes press releases, a bibliography of articles, papers and dissertations by CGDM affiliates, descriptions of ongoing and past research, profiles of people working now or formerly with the CGDM, and links to related sites.

      The Global and Forest Trade Network

      The Global and Forest Trade Network (GFTN) is an initiative within the World Wildlife Fund whose purpose is to create a market for environmentally responsible forest products. Founded in 1991, the GFTN links communities, entrepreneurs, nongovernmental organizations, and over 360 companies in more than 30 countries in the world in order to coordinate national and international efforts to promote responsible forest management and increase the availability of products from sustainably managed forests while ending trade in forest products from illegal sources. The website explains the certification process for forestry products, explains the basics about illegal logging and responsible forest management, and includes information of specific interest to forest managers, buyers of timber products, and financial institutions. It includes several search tools to help locate certified companies and products and links to statistics and reports about the global timber market. The website also includes links to selected news about responsible forestry, arranged by geographic region, press releases, newsletters, and links to factsheets and reports about sustainable forestry.

      Green Business Guide

      This website, sponsored by the U.S. government, is devoted to helping small business owners found green businesses or adopt eco-friendly practices for existing businesses. For the former case it includes a checklist of 10 steps for founding ecologically friendly new businesses and a number of hints about starting a green business including links to information about industry partnerships and product stewardship programs with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For existing businesses wishing to “go green,” it includes information about energy efficiency, environmental management, available grants, loans and incentives for energy efficient upgrades and green technology development, the process for becoming a government contractor of green products and services, green commuting, green marketing, and green product development. The website also includes case studies of how several companies, including Ben & Jerry's, Whole Foods Market, Patagonia, and McDonald's adopted business practices which lessened their environmental impact and furthered their brand. The site also includes information about Earth Day and green cities in the United States, a podcast series, community forums, and a series of links to U.S. government agencies involved with green business issues.

      Sustainable Business

      Sustainable Business is the official website of an organization of the same name located in Huntington, New York, whose purpose is to encourage businesses that contribute to an equitable and ecologically sustainable economy. The website offers a wealth of information for people interested in founding or operating a green business as well as people interested in working for or investing in green businesses. The website includes a statement of the organization's beliefs; news relevant to sustainable businesses; financial information and news of interest to investors in sustainable businesses; an employment service to connect job seekers with open positions in environmentally conscious businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies; a networking service to connect green businesses with potential investors and partners; an events calendar of workshops and conferences; and a resource directory of websites, databases, and other resources relating to sustainable businesses.

      SarahBoslaugh, Washington University in St. Louis
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