Online & Retail Stores

 Online and Retail Stores | Credit: Parker Burchfield on Unsplash

Includes children; clean/ hypoallergenic; energy saving; food co-ops; green home; pets; recycled goods; regional specialties

This category includes companies that sell a variety of types of products; skin care/ pet shampoo, apparel, small electronics, and home décor and some edibles and supplements are all represented on this kind of online store. Sometimes this category represents the best in green. Other times it is focused on products for kids or pets or intimacy.

Company

Required:

  • Business core purpose includes a “green” business function.
  • Social and environmental mission and vision statement for your business on website.

Operations

Required:

  • Coherent and robust criteria for selection of products that includes quantifiable measures, including third party certifications
  • Clear statement of how customer dissatisfaction is handled, where products are sold on website

Preferred:

  • Money back guarantee if product is returned in resalable condition or with minimal use in the case of skin care and edibles

Products

Required:

  • Country of manufacture listed for all products, where they are sold. Exceptions include if all products are made in one country and where they are made is mentioned in the About Us/Our Story section of the website
  • When selling goods made outside the US, robust and verifiable systems for ensuring at minimum prohibitions on child labor, forced labor including forced overtime, unsafe working conditions and gender and ethnic discrimination
  • When selling bodycare/ pet shampoo or edibles of any sort, complete ingredient list where the product is sold on the website and on product packaging

Company Employment

Required:

  • Employees have access to family friendly benefits including high-quality health insurance, sick days, paid parental leave and childcare help.
  • Offer a flexible workplace culture that encourages work/life balance and makes reasonable accommodations for telecommuting and flex schedules.
  • Pays a wage that ensures employees well-being.
  • Has an established non-discrimination policy and procedure, and ensures an inclusive workplace culture.
  • Governs fairly and in a transparent manner. Is open to employee input. Has a whistle blower protection policy in place.

Preferred:

  • Living wage is paid.
  • Has an established program that invests in employee growth and development.

Education

Required:

  • Use transparent and truthful marketing.
  • Advocate for green business practices in your industry.
  • Established program for receiving input from both internal and external stakeholders.

Preferred:

  • Actively seeks feedback from industry peers and participates in industry associations and mentor programs.

Green Office/Facility

Required:

  • HVAC system well-maintained, building well-insulated, and smart and efficient climate control employed.
  • System in place for reducing electricity consumption from lighting and electronics.
  • Use of Energy Star rated appliances and CFL/LED light bulbs in office.
  • Use of 100% post-consumer recycled, Chlorine Free paper in the office and in all envelopes, marketing, and print materials.
  • Systems in place for reducing paper use such as electronic processes, printers set with double sided printing as the default, and more.
  • Use of only non-toxic cleaning and pest control products.
  • Maximum amount of waste is reused or recycled including paper, plastic, metals, glass, electronics, and printer ink cartridges.
  • Action on clean energy such as purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or use of on-site clean energy.
  • Compost all food waste.
  • Landscaping done with sustainability in mind, especially considering runoff and stormwater management.
  • Only fair trade and USDA certified organic coffee and tea served in the office.
  • Use of green or local caterers for events.
  • Use of a certified E-Steward for electronics recycling.