There’s a general perception that sustainability programs can only be implemented by large companies.
Ed Kurocka, the sustainability manager for the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers, is working to change the narrative.
“Small and medium-sized businesses might think that sustainability is only achievable by large companies who have the capacity and resources to develop comprehensive plans and hire dedicated sustainability staff,” Kurocka said. “However, this is a misperception.
“The most successful sustainability strategies often start with simple, low-cost initiatives that even the smallest business can accomplish. There are real opportunities for small businesses to yield significant benefits from the adoption of basic environmental best practices.”
Kurocka and others at the NJSBDC work to show businesses of all sizes how they can be more environmentally friendly. This week, they were honored for their efforts.
The National Steering Committee of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs & Small Business Ombudsmen recognized the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers and the New Jersey Small Business Registry for leadership in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, sustainability and mentoring through collaboration with the NJ SBEAP.
The SBEAP/SBO NSC Awards are the states’ premier awards program for recognizing outstanding environmental leadership among small businesses and small business assistance providers.
These awards recognize small businesses, SBEAP/SBO programs and individuals, trade associations and other business assistance providers who have made significant contributions to protecting the environment.
Kelly Brozyna, NJSBDC network CEO and state director, said the group was thrilled to be honored for promoting sustainability practices.
“Our organization’s comprehensive small business assistance services and initiatives cover a wide range of business management consulting concerning diverse operational strategies so small businesses can grow and succeed,” she said. “This specialized subject matter adds further to NJSBDC’s continuum of services for small businesses in New Jersey.”
Over the past several years, NJSBDC’s Sustainability Program helped facilitate hundreds of small businesses as “Sustainable Business Registry Members.”
Small businesses across New Jersey have taken advantage of this no-cost SBDC service to find ways to integrate environmentally friendly practices into their day-to-day operations.
NJSBDC Chief Operating Officer Deborah Smarth said the organization is happy to play its part.
“NJSDBC’s sustainability expert counselors have worked with business owners to identify ways to increase efficiency through energy conservation, waste reduction, pollution prevention, streamlined procurement and risk management,” she said. “NJSBDC’s national award recognition for its activities is a tribute to the efforts of our sustainability specialty program manager in collaboration with both the U.S. EPA and N.J. Department of Environmental Protection.”