Sustainable Business Initiatives

What is a Sustainable Business?

According to Wikipedia a sustainable business, or green business, is an enterprise that has no negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy. Often, sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies. In general, a business is described as green if it matches the following four criteria:

  1. It incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.
  2. It supplies environmentally friendly products or services that replaces demand for nongreen products and/or services.
  3. It is greener than traditional competition.
  4. It has made an enduring commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.

A sustainable business is any organization that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address current environmental concerns while maintaining a profit. In other words, it is a business that “meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.”


A major initiative of sustainable businesses is to eliminate or decrease the impact made on the environment by harmful chemicals, materials, and waste generated by processes to manufacture products and services. The City of South Lake Tahoe Sustainability Commission is working on many different steps to be considered a sustainability run city as follows:

  • Implement a zero-waste policy to encourage all local events to practice zero-waste by providing resources to utilize this policy such as the South Tahoe Refuse Special Event Program.
  • Important steps have been taken to encourage clean transit, including compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and alternative fuels in the bus fleet and emission-free vehicles.
  • Increase public awareness of the need for community gardens and research and gather information to implement such.
  • Develop incentives to motivate the city's businesses along Highway 50 and local residents to improve their properties or remove the deteriorated conditions with an "Improve it or Remove it" concept.
  • Educate and increase outreach to the community regarding the importance of practicing sustainable living.
  • Encourage residents and business owners to start buying more local goods and services and reduce their use of energy and resources.