A sustainable economy is one where money paid within the local economy circulates within the community and expenditures that leave the community are minimized. Embracing a strong local economy means promoting small, locally owned, resource efficient, and environmentally sensitive businesses.

Sustainable businesses are accountable for the social and environmental consequences of their activities. Sustainable businesses work to preserves the common wealth of the community and do not pursue profit at the expense of poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination. Sustainable businesses focus on local needs first, and then markets outside the community, and provide goods and services that respect local values and priorities. 

Meeting the demands of a changing global economy requires creativity and an emphasis on economic vitality rather than on growth for growth’s sake. A sustainable economy is dynamic and adaptive and thus able to capitalize on opportunities as they arise. Local industries and educational institutions can support this by staying on the cutting-edge of emerging scientific, technological, and knowledge-based fields. Opportunities are also maximized when there is regional cooperation and collaboration among governments and between private and public sectors. Leadership is required on both the part of government and the private sector.

City Green Business Certification Program

The GBC Program can help businesses reduce resource consumption and operate more sustainably, and save money on utility bills!

 

Greenwashing

Greenwashing is the business practice of misleading consumers through “green” marketing about the environmental benefits of using a product or service when no such benefits really exist. Companies and businesses have been found to use greenwashing as a marketing tactic to attempt to appear like they are adopting environmentally beneficial practices. Greenwashing hurts consumers and businesses that really are taking steps to be more environmentally sensitive by degrading consumer confidence in the information they are receiving about products and services. Transparency is the key to avoiding greenwashing. Don’t market products and services as “green” or environmentally conscious unless you can clearly provide information about the environmental benefits of your products or services.

Environmental marketing company Terrachoice (now owned by UL, an independent safety science company) released a study called "The Six Sins of Greenwashing," in December 2007. The study found that 99% of 1,018 common consumer products randomly surveyed for the study were guilty of greenwashing. According to the study, the 6 sins of greenwashing are:

• Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off: e.g. “energy-efficient” electronics that contain hazardous materials. 998 products and 57% of all environmental claims committed this Sin.

• Sin of No Proof: e.g. shampoos claiming to be “certified organic,” but with no verifiable certification. 454 products and 26% of environmental claims committed this Sin.

• Sin of Vagueness: e.g. products claiming to be 100% natural when many naturally-occurring substances are hazardous, like arsenic and formaldehyde. This occurred in 196 products or 11% of environmental claims.

• Sin of Irrelevance: e.g. products claiming to be CFC-free, even though CFCs were banned 20 years ago. This Sin was seen in 78 products and 4% of environmental claims.

• Sin of Fibbing: e.g. products falsely claiming to be certified by an internationally recognized environmental standard like EcoLogoEnergy Star or Green Seal. This occurred in 10 products or less than 1% of environmental claims.

• Sin of Lesser of Two Evils: e.g. organic cigarettes or “environmentally friendly” pesticides, this occurred in 17 products or 1% of environmental claims.


    EcoLogo Program

    EcoLogo is North America’s most widely recognized and respected certification of environmental leadership. By setting standards and certifying products in more than 120 categories, EcoLogo helps you identify, trust, buy, and sell environmentally preferable (“green”) goods and services. On this website, you’ll find more than 7,000 EcoLogo-certified products from hundreds of manufacturers.

    Green Seal

    Founded in 1989, Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Our industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end users alike make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life.


    Socially Responsible Investing

    Socially responsible investing is an investment strategy that considers the social impacts of investing and weighs corporate responsibility and social impact along with financial return. Your business may be a good candidate for socially responsible investors if you emphasize corporate responsibility, and promote environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights, and diversity. 

    Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes

    Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.

    Social Investment Forum

    SIF is the only national membership association dedicated to advancing the concept, practice, and growth of socially and environmentally responsible investing (SRI). Our members integrate economic, environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions and SIF provides programs and resources to advance this work.


    Tools for Small and Locally Owned Businesses


    Local First Arizona

    Local First Arizona seeks to promote, support, and celebrate a vibrant and sustainable Arizona economy by educating citizens about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship, and collaboration. If you are a local business owner, you can join LFA.


    Arizona Small Business Development Center

    With an entrepreneurial spirit, the Arizona Small Business Development Center provides high-impact consulting and training to companies with one to 200 employees in any type of business.

    Arizona Job Training Grants (TREO)

    Offered by the Arizona Department of Commerce, this job-specific reimbursable grant program supports the design and delivery of customized training to meet specific needs of employers, create new jobs and help increase the skill and wage levels of employees in Arizona. TREO assists local businesses through the grant process by determining eligibility, development of the grant application document, and reporting.

    Arizona Small Business Association

    ASBA’s mission is to Grow Arizona Businesses and through them the Arizona Economy. We do this by connecting our members to the people, information, and resources they need to grow.

    U.S. Small Business Administration

    The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

    Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

    The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, or BALLE, is the world’s fastest growing network of sustainable businesses committed to building local economies and transforming the community economic development field. BALLE is comprised of nearly 60 local networks of independent businesses in a variety of locales across the US and Canada.

    The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics

    This study was designed to calculate the economic impact of Andersonville’s locally-owned businesses and assess the economic impact of increasing chain store activity in the region.

    American Booksellers Association Economic Studies

    These studies document the positive economic impact of locally owned businesses, and how they contribute significantly more money to the local economy than do retail chains. 


    Other Resources


    City of Tucson Business License and Tax Information

    Through this site you can apply for a new Tucson business license, file a sales tax return, pay license fees and taxes due, review account information, and contact tax and license representatives for help with any questions you may have.


    Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO)

    To meet the needs of a rapidly growing region, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO) was formed in 2005 to serve as the lead economic development agency for the greater Tucson area and its surrounding community partners.

    TREO Economic Blueprint website

    Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

    THCC’s mission is to drive economic development while advancing Hispanic Businesses & providing access to the Hispanic market.

    Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

    The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest autonomous chambers of commerce in Arizona and represents approximately 2,000 businesses with more than 110,000 employees in the greater Tucson area. Small businesses make up 90 percent of the Chamber’s membership.

    Tucson-Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce

    We are a dynamic integrated organization purposed to promote business in the Tucson community. We have several major events annually, involving business and youth to the betterment of the entire community. 

    American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona
    The focus of our Chamber is to provide a format for American Indian entrepreneurs to promote their business, for corporations to connect with American Indian businesses, to act as a liaison on tribal economic development issues and to offer the best in resources, training and networking for the American Indian business.

    Pima Association of Governments (PAG) Economic Snapshots

    The following data provides an economic snapshot of the region in the areas of Population, Housing/Construction, Transportation, Environment, Employment, Education, Quality of Life, Health, Taxes, Tourism.

    EPA for Businesses and Non-Profits

    EPA gateway for information about environmental issues, programs, climate change, and sustainability related to businesses.

    Sustainable Business Institute

    SBI was founded in 1995 to provide companies committed to Sustainability a venue for sharing best practices and promoting shared goals. From small main street store fronts to the executive suites of international businesses, an organization’s attention to sustainable business practices has an impact upon the bottom-line.

    The Global Environmental Management Initiative

    GEMI is a non-profit organization made up of leading companies dedicated to foster global environmental, health and safety (EHS) excellence through the sharing of tools and information to help business achieve EHS excellence. Our mission is "Business helping business improve environmental, health & safety performance, shareholder value and corporate citizenship."

    Global Reporting Initiative

    GRI’s vision is that reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance by all organizations is as routine and comparable as financial reporting. The Sustainability Reporting Framework - of which the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines are the cornerstone - provides guidance for organizations to use as the basis for disclosure about their sustainability performance, and also provides stakeholders a universally-applicable, comparable framework in which to understand disclosed information.