A lot of businesses are cutting back on travel and marketing budgets these days, but this does not eliminate the need of businesses to connect with others, including other green businesses. Social networking tools can help businesses meet this need without spending a lot of money, including sites like Greenergy2030  that are growing online communities of green businesses and entrepreneurs.
Being green provides many advantages for businesses. Going green reduces waste and reduces costs, and governments are creating a range of incentives to encourage the growth of green industries and consumer behavior. Going green reduces risk to trends like climate change legislation, rising energy prices, and losing investors. It raises competitiveness, attracts talent, and opens doors to new areas of business that will keep growing for many years to come. Small green businesses are one of the keys to working our way out of our economic challenges. The Center for Small Business and the Environment headed by Byron Kennard is working in Washington to advance the cause of small green businesses for the environment and the economy, making their case in their recent report posted at www.smallwondersreport.org .
Still, most businesses, particularly the small ones, can’t fully take advantage of these opportunities on their own, and luckily they don’t have to. There is a broad variety of help available from experts in many fields. Greenergy2030  and other groups can help with information, meeting others, help greening their operations, conferences, and certification. Greenergy2030 has just recently launched, but has several of these items in the works already. Signing up for this one is free, and you can sign up for their magazine Greenergy2030 once you sign up. You don’t have to be a deep shade of green to get involved, and they’re developing certification for businesses to go greener no matter where they’re at today in the sustainability spectrum. The more valuable sites like this deliver deeper value through efforts like certification, auditing, and consulting to help other businesses achieve their sustainability goals.
Green businesses all share similar goals, making joining groups like this all the more rewarding. Of course, signing up is only the first step, just like anything. Taking action is the important thing, and making solid connections with other businesses that share common goals and values helps make the many steps along the road to sustainability pass more rapidly. I’ll see you on the road.
Glenn Croston is the founder of StartingUpGreen.com , helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to start and grow greener businesses, and delivering the Green BizBlast to connect those seeking and selling green products, services, events, and opportunities. He is also the author of "75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference ", and the author of "Starting Green ", a nuts and bolts guide to starting and growing a successful green business (Entrepreneur Press, September 2009).