What's your favorite shade of "Green"?

We've got some folks attending the USGBC GreenBuild Conference & Expo (@USGBC, #Greenbuild, #GreenGeneration) in Chicago today, and it drives home the point that there's nothing simple about trying to green your business.

As a business currently under it's sixth generation of continuous Hussey family leadership, Hussey Seating Company has a proven commitment to its future generations, and a long tradition of working to preserve and protect the beautiful Maine environment we hold so dear. But while living "green" is part of our business DNA, running a successful and profitable family business is as well.

The fact of the matter is, today it's not just enough to think or be green. A business must choose which processes and certifications to pursue that will document and certify its products' environmental friendliness. And an entire industry of competing certification entities has sprung up, each competing to certify your products and processes as "green" (for a fee, of course – yet another shade of green in this forest).

USGBC LEED, CHPS, BIFMA, GreenGuard, FSC, ISO14001:2004, CradleToCradle... there are any number of worthwhile standards and/or certifications that a business like ours could pursue, all requiring significant time investments and in many cases costing thousands of recurring dollars for a certification. If we're to compete successfully and profitably, covering all these bases simply isn't an option.

So we need to understand which of these options best fits our culture and our pocketbook, while reassuring our customers that our products meet their desired level of environmental friendliness. We think the GreenBuild will be one good source of information to help us gain that understanding – and we'd love to have your insights and feedback as well. Comments welcome, and live green!