The Green Entrepreneur’s Toolbox: 100 Networking Resources, Guides, and Links

Monday, August 27, 2007 at 2:27pm by Site Administrator

Editor’s Note: This article is the fourth in our series highlighting tools specifically targeted to individual groups within the broader umbrella of entrepreneurship. Check out the other articles in the series here: Black Entrepreneurs, Women Entrepreneurs, Hispanic Entrepreneurs.


Whether you’re looking for funding, news, or networking, there are lots of resources out there dedicated to green entrepreneurs. We’ve hand picked some of the best. Check out these resources that can give you the boost you need to be green and successful at the same time.

Blogs & Publications

In the ever-changing world of environmental innovation, it’s important to stay up to date on news and developments. These blogs and other publications serve up the latest in green news for business.

  1. GreenBiz: GreenBiz discusses issues that relate to environmental responsibility in business. They have resources ranging from daily news to workshops.
  2. Environmental News Network: The Environmental News Network highlights top stories in environmental news.
  3. Environment Business: Environment Business covers issues that are important to businesses and other organizations, highlighting information that will help others to implement responsible business practices.
  4. Environmental Leader: Evironmental Leader covers issues relating to corporate sustainability.
  5. Green Wombat: The Green Wombat is all about the intersection of environment, technology, business and policy.
  6. CSR Wire: The CSR Wire provides news on corporate social responsibility.
  7. Green Counsel: Stephen Filler discusses how he uses the law to promote renewable energy, environmental business and sustainability.
  8. Conscious Business: Conscious Business is about learning how to conduct a business while staying sustainable.
  9. Environmental Science & Technology: This publication offers news on environmentalism as it relates to business and education.
  10. Greener Buildings: Builders and developers who would like to make their businesses more environmentally friendly can find lots of news and resources on the Greener Buildings blog.
  11. BusinessGreen: Read BusinessGreen for insights on marketing, printing, the workplace, and legislation as they relate to sustainable business.
  12. Joel Makower: Two Steps Forward: Joel Makower discusses business practices, green marketing and trend watching.

Success Stories

If you’re not doing as well in your venture as you might have hoped, it’s easy to get discouraged. These stories offer a glimmer of hope.

  1. Patagonia: Patagonia, a 35-year-old outdoor clothing and equipment company has taken off, while promising to stay responsible. The company refuses to release toxins or create disposable, useless items that people don’t need. They use only responsible materials and aim to use recycled materials to make products that themselves can be recycled.
  2. Atlantic Gardens: This roadside garden center has implemented lots of water reduction and recovery practices that help them use every possible drop and keep their need for outside water sources to a minimum.
  3. Baile Langan Log Cottages: These cottages were built using simple, sustainable techniques. They are operated in an efficient manner as well, with employees providing guests with guidelines for environmental practices maintained in the cottages.
  4. Nu-Air Ventilation Systems: Nu-Air products efficiently ventilate, cool and heat residential buildings while conserving energy.
  5. Royal & Sun Alliance Canada: R&SA used 25% recycled content and 20% locally sourced materials to build a LEED constructed building. Inside, the building is full of refurbished and recycled furniture.
  6. APC Coatings: APC Coatings is in the metal finishing industry, a sector of business that generally creates lots of hazardous waste and consumes excessive water and energy. APC created new technologies to make improvements and operate more efficiently.
  7. Acadian Seaplants: This seaweed product manufacturer implemented a "blueprint for environmental success" to ensure long-term sustainability of seaweed resources and protection of seaweed ecology.
  8. Maritime Paper Products: Maritime Paper created a new starch mixing and storage system that has allowed them to save millions of liters of water per year.
  9. Nautel Limited: Nautel implemented a water conservation program as well as a recycling initiative.
  10. Petit Passage Whale Watch: Petit Passage has sustainable business practices that help contribute to eco-tourism and minimize waste.
  11. Atlas Cold Storage: This cold storage warehousing company has implemented several energy retrofits to make their equipment more efficient.
  12. C-Vision: This electronics design and manufacturing services company has an active waste reduction program and is working to eliminate lead from their manufacturing processes.
  13. Precision Powder Coating: Precision Powder Coating runs on a "waste not, want not" philosophy, reusing salvaged materials and reusing surplus materials.


If you’re working green, you probably want to make your office paperless. Check out these tools that make it possible to do most of your work on your computer or even online.

  1. Backpack: Instead of using lots of paper for to-do lists, ideas, and notes, put them all online with Backpack.
  2. FreshBooks: Fresh Books makes it easy to do all of your billing online, even offering the option to email bills to your customers.
  3. Breeze: Forget about sending out bulk snail mail. Send out a top-notch email campaign using Breeze.
  4. Project Keep your customers informed about where you are on their project. Project makes it easy to get everyone in the loop online.
  5. Spongecell: Instead of mailing out save the date cards for your event, let everyone know what’s going on using Spongecell.
  6. Spamato: Dealing with spam takes time; time that could be better spent on your business, or even better, with your power sucking computer turned off. Check out Spamato to zap spam away.
  7. Harvest: Get your bookkeeping out of books and into Harvest.
  8. Highrise: Keep track of your customers and other contacts online using Highrise.
  9. Remember the Milk: Get your to-do list off paper and online with Remember the Milk.
  10. VStore: With VStore, you can create your own online storefront to sell your products.
  11. WordPress: Put your customer newsletter online in blog form. WordPress offers a fun and easy way to do it.
  12. Box: Forget about sending huge paper files to clients through the mail. Let them access everything online using Box.
  13. Zoho Office Suite: The Zoho Office Suite has lots of great tools, but the greenest one is Zoho Meeting. You can use this tool to share desktops, hold online meetings and more, reducing the need to travel for collaboration.

Guides and Education

For help in learning how to become green or to brush up on guidelines and standards, check out these resources for guides and education.

  1. Green Business Program Guidelines: The Bay Area Green Business Program has a list of business standards that businesses must meet to be certified as green by their organization. This is a good resource for taking stock in how well your own organization rates.
  2. Conservation International: Conservation International offers information on what businesses can do to save biodiversity.
  3. MBA in Sustainable Business: If you’re thinking about getting an MBA, why not get one that specializes in Sustainable Business? The Bainbridge Graduate Institute offers training in creating businesses that are both successful and environmentally responsible.
  4. The 3 "Rs" – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Understand the Waste Reduction Hierarchy: This article from Earth 911 details the ways in which businesses can minimize waste.
  5. Green Purchasing: Environmentally Preferred Products (EPP): Find out how to purchase environmentally friendly products using this guide.
  6. Fuel Economy: This government website is packed with advice for purchasing green fleet cars and lots of other ways to conserve energy in transportation.
  7. Sustainability Leadership Academy: For specialized seminars in sustainability, consider taking a course at the University of Oregon. They have programs designed for all levels, from senior executives to line staff.
  8. Wastes: Understanding the Hazardous Waste Rules: This guide from the Environmental Protection Agency helps small businesses understand how to comply with federal hazardous waste regulations.
  9. Green Growth Areas for Entrepreneurs: Check out this article for information on sectors that you should be watching.
  10. EPA Small Business Training: For industry-specific telecasts, manuals and more, check out this training resource.
  11. US Green Building Council: Green developers should be sure to take a look at these highly informative online courses from the USGBC.
  12. Start a Green Business: Check out this article from Entrepreneur that details how you can launch an earth-friendly business.
  13. Office Recycling Program Guidelines: Follow these guidelines for starting a recycling program in your office.
  14. EPA Watershed Academy: The Watershed Academy helps businesses understand watershed management.
  15. Find Your Path to Sustainability: Green Your Small Business: If you’re in the Toronto area, check out this ongoing workshop that aims to teach business leaders how to build a more sustainable business.
  16. How to Go Organic: This website holds a wealth of resources for businesses that want to transition into organics.
  17. Creating a Waste Reduction Program: This guide details how to implement a program for waste reduction in your business.

Networking & Organizations

Get together with like-minded business owners and individuals that can help you develop your green business and become more connected to the community.

  1. Green Business: Green Business is a community of entrepreneurs and professionals that work in green business. The group engages in networking, mentorship, and discusses best practices.
  2. World Business Council for Sustainable Development: The WBCSD hosts regular events concerning sustainable development.
  3. TreeHugger: Check out the TreeHugger forums to interact with others who are concerned about the environment.
  4. Organic Trade Association: Join the Organic Trade Association to help promote organic trade and protect the environment.
  5. Better Living Show: Showcase your environmentally sustainable product or service at this event or just learn about what others are doing.
  6. Social Edge: Many Green entrepreneurs are social entrepreneurs, too. Connect with them on Social Edge.
  7. The Nature Conservacy: Join The Nature Conservacy to get involved in conservation and get access to lots of great resources.
  8. Environmental Defense: Environmental Defense works to create lasting environmental solutions for businesses.
  9. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy: The ACEEE promotes energy efficiency as a means of contributing to economic prosperity as well as environmental protection.
  10. Global Recycling Network: The Global Recycling Network is an information exchange as well as a marketplace for eco-friendly products.
  11. Green Business Conference: At the Green Business Conference, entrepreneurs can meet with other like-minded businesspeople, network and learn strategies for success.
  12. Green Seal: Joining Green Seal and getting your product or service certified as green can help increase your profit and recognition.
  13. The Sierra Club: Join the Sierra Club for resources, outings and more.
  14. ReDo: ReDo can help you locate in-kind material donations, advice, community networking and more.
  15. Ceres: The Ceres network of investors and environmentalists can help you locate investment for your company, provided it addresses a sustainability challenge.
  16. National Green Pages: If you need to hire others for a service, check out the National Green Pages to find businesses that are screened and approved as green businesses. Likewise, you can have you own company listed and attract business through the pages.
  17. Greenbuild: The Greenbuild Expo brings together professionals who specialize in green building, offering educational sessions, special events, and a large exhibit hall. You’ll have opportunities to connect with other green professionals, leaders and experts.
  18. Water Quality Association: The Water Quality Association offers certifications, education, a gold seal program and directory of water professionals.
  19. Green Business Network: The Green Business Network supports businesses with environmental advice and recycling projects.
  20. Environmental Business Council of New England: The EBC is an organization founded to help businesses in New England exchange ideas and support the development of the environmental industry.
  21. Port of Entry: Port of Entry is an online bilingual business network for the environmental sector. They offer professional exchange, trade, and collaboration.
  22. Environmental Excellence Business Network: The EEBN is a community of businesses in Kansas City that interact through events and workshops.
  23. EcoTuesday: On the 4th Tuesday of each month, environmental and socially responsible business leaders meet in San Francisco. Meetings include dialogue with a speaker as well as an opportunity to discuss and network with other attendees.
  24. US Green Building Council: Green builders and designers should join the USGBC to network with and learn from other sustainable industry leaders. As a member, you’ll also have access to lots of exclusive benefits and resources.


There are many groups and programs that want you to succeed in green enterprise. Check out these resources for assistance, financial and otherwise.

  1. EPA Grant Information: Use this resource to find out how to get grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.
  2. Design for the Environment (DfE) Program: This program helps businesses design and redesign processes, products, and more with the environment in mind.
  3. The Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation: This foundation considers grants that go towards environmental quality, protection and beautification.
  4. Arthur Blank Family Foundation: The Arthur Blank Family Foundation supports causes that foster positive change, especially healthy and green development.
  5. Environmental Grantmaking: This resource has a list of foundations that support environmental activities.
  6. Enterprise’s Green Communities: This program provides financial help to developers who create green low-income housing.
  7. Blandin Foundation: This group has a commitment to environmental education and has partnered with several organizations in the past.
  8. Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program: This program from the Department of Defense seeks solutions to the Department’s environmental problems.
  9. Energy Star: Energy Star offers small businesses resources to help specific facilities reduce their energy usage. You’ll also find information on the benefits of Energy Star and a calculator for savings.
  10. The Brainerd Foundation: This organization is committed to protecting the environment of the Northwest. They provide grants, guidance, leverage funding and more.
  11. Energy Star Small Business Financial Resources Directory: This directory has resources for loans, credit, consulting and more.
  12. Verde Ventures: Verde Ventures invests in small businesses who have a primary goal of conserving biodiversity.
  13. EPA Small Business Innovation Research: The EPA’s SBIR program gives awards to small high-tech firms for environmentally friendly innovations.
  14. Onion Grassroots Network: This network supports grassroots organizations that are bringing about change for the better.


For more in-depth guides on green business, check out these informative books.

  1. Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots: This book is a collection of essays about activists that have worked to champion their environmental causes. It provides readers with success stories as well as resources and strategies for businesses who want to be green.
  2. The Green Baron: A Business Parable on Ecolution: The Green Baron is a story about a CEO of a manufacturing firm who changed his thinking about the sustainability of his business and was able to increase his profitability by being more environmentally conscious.
  3. Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation: Jacquelyn Ottoman describes how businesses should create and promote products that cater to customers who are environmentally conscious.
  4. Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage: This primer guides entrepreneurs through facts, lists and resources for running a green business. You’ll find stories on the successes and failures of companies who have worked to become sustainable and be able to learn from their experience, understanding what works and what doesn’t.
  5. Green Business: A Five-part Model for Creating an Environmentally Responsible Company: If you’re looking for a how-to guide for building a green business, be sure to check out this book. It covers details on how to make various aspects of your business more sustainable, ranging from your employees to your products.
  6. The Triple Bottom Line: How Today’s Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social, and Environmental Success: The Triple Bottom Line discusses how successful companies are working to build responsible businesses through social and environmental consciousness. You’ll find guidance on how other businesses achieve this as well as advice on how you can find the same success in your own company.
  7. Lean and Green: Profit for Your Workplace and the Environment: If you have a hard time grasping the concept that you can be profitable and environmentally responsible at the same time, check out this book. It’s full of examples of methods that are both environmentally and fiscally wise.

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  1. Great post!

    If the economics don’t work, recycling efforts won’t either.
    As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing, blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

    Comment by Luis — August 27, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

  2. Jessica, thank you so much for linking to my blog. I’ll look forward to looking at some of the other resources you’ve gathered here.

    Be well.

    Comment by Anne Libby — August 27, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

  3. After spending a number of years in software entrepreneurship I am returning to my roots and looking at green and socially responsible businesses. This is a great list. I will post a link to it on my own blog about environmental entrepreneurship and marketing.

    It is a new blog, still getting rolling. My intent is to get interviews with ecopreneurs, large and small, and share their knowledge. So if you are an ecopreneur or interested in “responsible” entrepreneurship please visit and share your experiences or questions.

    Comment by Michael Dohan — September 27, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

  4. This is quite informative, useful and well compiled post. Nice work !
    I support green entrepreneurship fully.

    Comment by Samir — September 28, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

  5. Green is the new red white and blue. I’ve been saying that for a while and I just saw it on a magazine. Budgets for CSR are great, but solid recycling programs can help companies get started in a “revenue neutral” way. For example, a surprising amount of businesses can generate revenue doing cardboard recycling ($150+ per ton currently) and
    plastics recycling as well. These programs can pay for their waste management program and provide a surplus. The big win of course is in good PR and brand equity. Green and CSR are hard to translate into shareholder value.

    Comment by Tim Johnson — October 27, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

  6. Great blog!

    If the economics don’t work, recycling efforts won’t either.
    Http:// blogs about innovative entrepreneurs that make money selling recycled items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources. These includes some very cool Green online ventures, great new technologies, startups and investments opportunities.

    Comment by luis — January 9, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

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