Most of the satisfaction from going green comes from just doing good for the world. The rest, though, comes from customers or clients seeing the strides made and turning their admiration into dollars. You’re proud of your accomplishments and you want people to know about it.
To really prove you’re going green, though, you need a certification on your website. Otherwise it’s tough to tell exactly who’s actually turning eco-friendly and who’s just doing it to increase sales. But does it really make a difference? And how do you go about getting one for your site?
We’d like to think everyone on the Internet is telling the truth. However, after just a few minutes on any random website will let you know that’s just not the case. Your business may be 100% ethical, but that won’t always be the case when your customers click around the web.
This is unfortunately the case with companies that claim to go green. It’s not just restricted to ecommerce businesses, either. It’s so prevalent there’s actually a name for it – “greenwashing.” That’s a form of spin that involves a company making claims of going green when they’re either making tiny changes with no results or flat out lying.
One of the big changes the Internet has brought to the business world is openness. If you’re lying, you are more than likely going to be found out eventually. An open, honest business will get rewarded.
This translates over to your green certification. If you’re making the changes and trying to help the planet, people will take notice and reward you for it.
How to Get Certified
Getting the certificate (legitimately) is usually surprisingly easy. Just contact the organization that lays claim to the certificate and ask them to give you a look-over. If they approve and you are successfully going green, they’ll let you use it on your website.
The problem becomes, then, a matter of figuring out exactly which organization you want to get a certificate FROM. You don’t want to go around collecting them like candy, as it could eventually become an empty gesture. You also don’t want to just throw up, say, a certificate from the Chlorine Free Products Association if you make product that has nothing to do with chlorine.
Instead, you may want to try a general certificate like Green Seal. They review a wide variety of products like cleaners, hotels, construction materials, and even food packaging. Plus, they’ve been around since 1989, so their seal will definitely mean something to an eco-friendly supporter.
After you achieve that certificate you can consider getting one or two in your specific field. For instance, if you are a green Internet service provider, you could get an EPA sponsored Green Power Partnership certificate. It all just depends on your field. Try poking around other sites that claim to be green and look at their certificates for ideas for your own website.