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How to Tell if a Business Is Eco-Friendly

Dixie Somers

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Every time you do business with a company, you’re indirectly supporting them. If you purchase from a company that’s committed to environmental issues, you’re helping to protect the environment. But if you’re providing profits to a company that’s heedless of green practices, you’re working against the environment. In many cases, the difference is not so obvious. Here are some ways to tell whether a business is eco-friendly.

Internet Searches

The easiest way to check on a company’s reputation is to type their name into a search engine along with a word or phrase like “eco-friendly” or “environmental policy”. If that company has any associations with green practices, something will come up, either positive or negative. Companies that are dedicated to the environment will share news of initiatives, partners, philanthropic support, and related activities. Ecologically harmful companies, on the other hand, will be linked to EPA violations, toxicity law suits, and similar accusations.

Look for Evidence

Some companies claim to be eco-friendly when their green initiatives are non-existent or marginal at best. It’s a baseless PR tactic. Instead of accepting such claims on the company site or social media conversations, check for things like sustainability or social responsibility releases. Truly green businesses will often publish data or reports providing documentation of their efforts. You may find links to these reports or external sites where they can be found. Claims are one thing, but fully prepared reports, especially if they have the approval of an environmental body or organization, are harder to fake.

Check for Awards or Certifications

You can also search the websites of reputable environmental organizations to see if the company has earned any awards or mentions. It’s easy enough for imposters to present a eco-friendly logo on their site, but a real organization will be able to verify this. If the company is making any claims for a particular cause, such as saving endangered species or eliminating greenhouse gases, find a charitable organization related to this and see if it can be corroborated.

Learn About the Company

Explore the company’s website to discover what kind of practices they engage in. For instance, metal companies should be using aluminum or powder coatings, such as those by Rattray Blasting & Coating, to prevent rust or heavy metals from leaching into the environment. Do a little research to understand what eco-friendly standards for its industry the company should observe and whether they’re mentioned. Don’t be shy about contacting the company directly to ask questions. If they’re proud of their green strategy, they’ll be happy to talk about it.

A little bit of research will tell you whether a company really is eco-friendly. If they don’t appear to be, you should reconsider supporting them.


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