Business News: It?s hip to be green

(NC)–Environmentally friendly business operations are beyond just being a trend ? they are now standard business practice. Environmental awareness will continue to grow. Consumers will start to take more notice. And businesses will need to ensure they meet the new standards.

Recycling is no longer good enough. Businesses are taking steps to minimize environmental footprints and to implement sustainability programs that reduce the amounts of waste in their offices and business operations. Companies without a long-term environmental plan now find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

?Over the past few years, there has been a huge shift in consumer attitudes about the effect businesses have on the environment,? said Christine Morris, vice president of TD Canada Trust Business Banking. ?At TD, we are very proud of the success of our environmental approach ? and being recognized as a leader by our customers is a big bonus for us.?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade?s Greening Operations has a number of tips that companies can implement right away to make their offices more environmentally friendly.

For example, Turn off equipment when it?s not being used. This can reduce the energy used by 25 per cent; turning off computers at the end of the day can save an additional 50%.

Businesses also can look outside their offices to support environmental awareness and action programs. For example, 2008 marks the 15th anniversary of the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup ? the second largest clean-up in the world. Last year, a record 50,000 volunteers cleaned up 1,240 sites and removed 87,489 kg of harmful litter from shorelines across Canada.

Going green is no longer just a trend. Companies will need to act now to compete for consumers that specifically seek out businesses aggressive in their environmental efforts.

More information on the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is available at www.vanaqua.org/cleanup.

– News Canada