The 2023 Earth Day theme is “Investing in the Planet.” Below is a list of resources that can help to guide you in making environmentally conscious investments through choosing green-certified companies, banks, and restaurants/ food products.
Businesses can gain certifications that demonstrate their level of focus on sustainable and environmental/social justice causes:
1% for the Planet is a company that represents a global network of businesses, individuals, and nonprofit organizations tackling our planet’s most pressing environmental issues by putting people and the planet over profit. To browse businesses that you can support that are part of this global network of giving at least 1% of their annual sales or salary to environmental causes, visit https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/?hsLang=en.
B Corp Certifications is a non-profit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet as they measure a company’s entire social and environmental impact. Learn more about their certification process and browse companies with a B Corp Certification – https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us.
An additional blog that contains a list of certifications that businesses can get that are focused on contributing to a green economy: https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/10/green-business-certification.html
In the case of your literal investments, there are some banks/ money spending options that have more of an environmental/ethical focus. Here are some blogs that have a list of sustainable banking options in which you could do some more research: https://www.aspiration.com/
If you are a foodie, restaurants and food distributors can have their practices vetted and rated to determine their level of sustainability. Below is a list of certifications used in the food industry:
Green Restaurant Association is a “national non-profit organization that provides the only official Certified Green Restaurants® mark in the country. Since 1990, the GRA has pioneered the Green Restaurant® movement and has been the leading voice within the industry encouraging restaurants to listen to consumer demand to green their operations using transparent, science-based certification standards.” https://www.dinegreen.com/
Sustainable Restaurant Association – https://thesra.org/food-made-good-businesses/
Within seafood markets, you can use Fish Watch (https://www.fishwatch.gov/profiles/all-profiles) to look for all types of fish and water-based creatures. Below are two additional resources that help with defining sustainable fishing.
Marine Stewardship Council – https://www.msc.org/what-we-are-doing/our-approach/what-is-sustainable-fishing
Aquaculture Stewardship Council – https://www.asc-aqua.org/
If you need help deciphering labels found on food packaging in grocery stores, here is a link to a blog that may provide more guidance as to how to interpret environmentally friendly labels: https://www.forkintheroad.co/trustworthy-food-certifications/.
**Disclaimer: None of the resources included are DHEC sponsored. Please use them to help guide your own research on how to make wise, sustainable investments.