Becoming a “green” business is no silver bullet. That’s why LifeCity makes it easy for businesses to take one step at a time towards greater sustainability with the greatest return on their personal investment. Each stage of certification represents a unique level of commitment tailored to the sector and context of each company. Consumers can be guaranteed that each business is transparent as they move forward along the path towards greater sustainability and greater consumer support.
Sustainability is a process, not a destination, and the first step towards certification requires self-reflection. Stage 1 of LifeCity Certification, Commitment, reveals the intention of the business to examine it social and environmental impact. Together, we put on a new lens for which to view the business’s full operations, while examining opportunities to grow long-term community, environmental, and economic value through its products or services. Stage 1 companies are often learning about sustainability for the first time. They are brave, open, and quick to realize that the green movement is not a fad, and issues of sustainability, waste, pollution, and equity will only continue to become more salient.
Companies reach Stage 2 of LifeCity Certification with demonstrated intentional action that supports our long-term social and environmental resources. These companies have completed most low-hanging fruit, such as recycling, low-flow faucet aerators, efficient lighting, consumer rewards for green-behavior, etc. We don’t require all of these things because every company is different and together we define what “low-hanging fruit” means for them.
Stage 3 businesses have a mission and purpose to provide a socially or environmentally responsible product. At Stage 3, social and environmental impact is not an afterthought, but a forethought – a reason for being. As Will from NOLA Paint & Supply states above, the business is green whether you want it to be or not – that’s what you get as a consumer.
LifeCity members that are distinguished among their peers in their sector to provide a more sustainable or socially-responsible product or service reach Stage 4. These are the business leaders who are at the forefront of the Impact Economy, building a new model and better way of doing business for all.
Companies who reach Stage 5 are not just leaders of their peers, but leverage their leadership to create even greater impact and allow others to follow their example. These businesses go above and beyond what most businesses think is possible.