Our Green Biz Certifications

Office Certification

GreenBizCheck Office CertificationBest suited for office based businesses

Achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze certification and become more accessible to government and environmentally conscious business partners and clients.

Areas covered include: paper usage, recycling, water, energy – computers, lighting, air conditioning, information technology, supply chain, transportation and more.

 

 

Retail Certification

GreenBizCheck Office CertificationBest suited for retail outlet based businesses

Achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze certification and increase on your bottom line while attracting new customers.

Areas covered include: recycling, water, energy – computers, EFTPOS terminals, lighting, air conditioning, packaging, supply chain, service area and more.

 

 

Hotel Certification

GreenBizCheck Hotel CertificationBest for the Hotel Industry

Achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze certification and reduce your consumption of resources and increase your bottom line.

Areas covered include: recycling, water, energy – lighting, appliances, air conditioning, packaging, supply chain, service area and more.

 

 

Food & Beverage Certification

GreenBizCheck Office CertificationBest suited for restaurants, Fast Food Outlets and Cafes

Achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze certification and reduce your consumption of resources and increase your bottom line.

Areas covered include: recycling, water, energy – lighting, appliances, air conditioning, packaging, supply chain, service area and more.

 

 

The Benefits of our Green Business Certification

  • Rapidly increase profits
  • Reduce costs and wastage
  • Create new revenue opportunities
  • Gain market share by standing out in the market place
  • Independent verification of green credentials
  • Utilise for PR and Marketing
  • Create a healthier work environment
  • Take the lead and help protect our planet

SMEs Struggle with Sustainability Expertise, Quantifying Benefits

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) create 80 percent of Canadian industrys harmful environmental impacts and more than 60 percent of commercial waste, according to a report released today by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), Canadian Football League team the Montral Alouettes, World Wildlife Fund, Quebec furniture manufacturer Artopex and 10 other organizations. SMEs also create more than 80 percent of new jobs in Canada every year, according toSME Sustainability Challenges 2012.

In the report, small businesses share challenges they face in being environmentally responsible.

Lack of time, finances, human resources and expertise in sustainability prevent SMEs from implementing sustainability initiative, according to the report, which found SME managers are overwhelmed by the number of corporate social responsibility tools and their varying credibility.

Developing internal expertise or having access to a knowledgeable third party would help SMEs implement sustainability practices, it says.

The report is the result of a one-day roundtable with small business leaders from various sectors of the economy, facilitated by Dr. Marie-France Turcotte, director of the French Office of the Network for Business Sustainability.

The other 10 organizations that participated in the discussion were small businesses IGA Cookshire, Insertech Angus, Jas Filtration, JS David Consultant, Quartz Nature, Savons Prolav (Bio-vert), Soder, St. Jean Collision Centre and Victor Innovatex, along with the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

Translating intangible benefits of sustainability initiatives improved corporate image and reputation, for example into monetary benefits is also a challenge for SMEs, according to the report. It says SME leaders need help selling stakeholders on the business value of sustainability.

While big companies have the budgets to launch large-scale advertising campaigns promoting their sustainable products, services and business practices, SMEs must find more creative ways to inform customers about their environmentally friendly initiatives, according to the report. SME leaders want to know what information will entice customers to buy sustainable products and services instead of their traditional and sometimes less expensive counterparts.

A study funded in part by the Network for Business Sustainability last year found most companies efforts to improve their supply chain sustainability is focused on managing risk and public relations, not on actual improvements to the environment or worker safety.

As an independent third party, ARTA Advisors can help you start your sustainability journey. Often clients are unsure of how to start implementing changes and place the task in the too hard basket. With our comprehensive assessment and action orientated system our report will give you small tasks that will help you get started. Recommended actions will also start you saving on costs immediately. Contact us and sign up for a FREE 1 hour Consult valued at $250 to find out how we can help.

The Benefits of Green Business

With publicity surrounding the threat of global warming on the rise, environmental consciousness is at an all-time high. Here are some benefits of “Green Business”.

1) Capture the business of the ‘Eco-Conscious’ consumer:

The eco-conscious consumer market is becoming a larger demographic in Australia. Becoming more environmentally friendly will help businesses gain a competitive edge by appealing to the growing share of consumers seeking greener products and services. Green consumers globally had an estimated annual buying power of US$500 billion in 2008 (Sustainable Growth, Sensis). Green consumerism is also expected to grow rapidly over forthcoming years despite the economic crises.

2) Enter the Sustainability Supply Chain

Australian SMEs are discovering that companies already on the path to sustainability increasingly prefer to do business with other sustainable companies. Consequently, embedding sustainability into their supply chain operations. Many organisations are now looking at supply chain sustainability and extending evaluation to their suppliers. Companies are no longer only measuring the sustainability of their own business operations.

3) Help Save the Environment

Changes to a business’s everyday activities will help reduce the strain on the environment and promote sustainability to the wider business community.

4) Save Money

By paying attention to the social and environmental bottom line, you can run your business in a more efficient and effective way. This can have a positive impact on your financial bottom line (Sustainable Growth, Sensis). At ARTA Advisors we help businesses save money by helping them quickly implement sustainable environmental practices which conserve energy, water, resources and minimize waste. DLA Piper undertook ARTA Advisors’ certification program at their Brisbane office. In 6 months they saved 38% on their electricity and 20% on office consumables.

Being sustainable means taking into account the impact your business has on the environment and communities in which it operates (Sustainable Growth, Sensis). Sustainability is set to soar and businesses that are involved will be reaping positive benefits.

 

Sign up for our 1 Hour-Free-Consultation to find out how you can start saving immediately.

Making Your Sustainability Program Sustainable

Depending on whom you ask in a company, the word sustainability can have different meanings. It can be used in relation to finances, long-term programs, or the environment. But when you’re looking at a sustainability or environmental program, it has to be set up to endure.

Put simply: your sustainability program has to be sustainable.

Being eco-friendly was once considered trendy, but I believe it is a practice that is here to stay. Its no longer a nice to have. Employees and customers expect it.

Many companies are at different points on their sustainability journey. For those who are just starting, there are some tips that will help ensure that your sustainability program remains sustainable.

  • Top Level Endorsements: For a program to work, it must have the support of your companys top leaders. They are the ones who can turn thought into action and make it clear that being an environmental steward is a priority. The leaders can also help create internal partnerships for you with other departments.
  • Low Hanging Fruits: Sometimes you have to crawl before you can walk, and this is often the case with sustainability programs. If you try to tackle everything at once or take on too many large-scale projects, you quickly run out of budget and enthusiasm. Build your program up by starting with small successes that lead to larger projects. One simple project? Set printers to automatically print double-sided.
  • Business Impact: Look at where your company has a large impact and create projects to focus on that area versus a broad approach. For example, if you have a large fleet, look at how you can green the fleet. Theres often an up-front cost, but the results are favorable for the bottom line and the environment. Fuel-efficient vehicles and reduced mileage cut down on carbon emissions and out of pocket costs to operate the vehicles.
  • Incentives: Once youve started working on larger-scale projects such as generating alternative energy, look for government incentives. Sometimes, you have to choose between multiple locations for a project, and incentives can help you make the decision. And, the dollars saved can be used for additional projects.

These tips can help ensure your sustainability program remains sustainable. And, by showing a good return on investment, you can know that your program is good for the environment and for the business.

ARTA Advisors can help you implement and maintain your sustainability policy with our annual certification program based on the actions you take within your business. The user friendly assessment program is designed to start saving your organisation on costs immediately in addition to the long term benefits. Contact us now and sign up for a FREE-1-hour-consultation valued at $250 to find out how we can help you on your sustainability journey.

Buy Only The Market’s Very Best Companies When You Invest

When you buy a stock, you want to buy the very best merchandise possible. Don’t go for fourth or fifth best. Buying a leader will likely give you better performance.

Many investors like to buy the laggards in an industry for a variety of reasons. First, laggards are usually priced lower than the No. 1 or 2 in a group in dollar terms.

If you have $20,000 to invest, you could buy 400 shares of a $50 stock. But some investors would rather own 2,000 shares of a laggard trading at $10 a share. Well, if you’re dining out, would you rather have six tasteless ground-beef patties or one tender, juicy, flavorful rib-eye?

Laggards may also entice buyers because they’re cheaper on a relative basis, using price-to-earnings and price-to-sales ratios.

Why pay 40 times earnings for a certain stock when there’s one trading at only 10 times earnings? The leader is “overvalued” and the laggard is a much better bargain, right? Not necessarily.

In stocks and most things in life, things tend to be priced at what they’re worth. When you buy a car, you can’t expect the performance of a Porsche if you paid the price of a Yugo.

If you want to drastically outperform the market, put only the bona fide leaders in your portfolio. This means buying the top few companies in their industries. These are the firms with the most innovative products and services that are light years ahead of their competitors.

“The top one, two, or three stocks in a strong industry group can have unbelievable growth, while others in the pack may hardly stir,” wrote IBD Chairman William O’Neil in “How to Make Money in Stocks.”

Apple (AAPL) is king of the Computer-Hardware/Peripherals group. The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm has consistently delivered blockbuster products that people line up for hours to buy.

The company has the highest possible EPS Rating of 99 and has posted solid double- to triple-digit profit growth quarter after quarter. Rivals Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) have much weaker EPS Ratings and both have lackluster growth.

Even today, after making strong gains since its early 2004 breakout, Apple has gained as much as 14% from an early-August breakout. Dell and HP are down from their early August levels.

Read More At IBD: http://education.investors.com/investors-corner/627113-apple-has-stellar-growth-and-hit-products.htm#ixzz27k1kSgqh

Keeping Losses Smaller Than 8% Is Path To Stability

The investment world is full of ideas on how to reduce portfolio volatility.

From fixed income to shorting your long positions as a hedge, most are white-flag strategies: Accept smaller gains.

Yet, the smaller-gains idea is completely backward. Smaller losses, not smaller gains, are a better way to achieve stability.

Volatility in itself isn’t bad. If a stock is gapping up, that’s volatility, but no one’s complaining. What you don’t want is the roller coaster portfolio that rises and then takes you back to the starting point — or somewhere lower.

One tool for fighting that kind of volatility is the 8% loss rule.

Now some folks say the 8% sell rule is flawed. If you take three 8% losses in a row, it will take a 28.4% gain to break even. How is that different than holding a stock through a 28% correction?

The criticism, though, involves an improper understanding.

What’s missing? Several things.

First, the disciplined IBD investor doesn’t need to invoke the 8% sell rule all that often.

Let’s say the portfolio is concentrated on five potential positions of 20% exposure each.

The market is in an uptrend. When a quality stock in a quality industry group breaks out, the investor opens a half position (10% of the portfolio) in the stock. If the stock doesn’t rise at least 2.5%, no additional shares are bought.

In most cases, the stock is sold — sometimes for a small loss, and sometimes for a tiny gain. The investor does not wait for the stalled stock to sag to minus 8%.

Note also how the initial half-position protects the investor. A mistake costs half what it would if he began with a full position.

A second rule can also help the investor avoid the 8% loss. This rule says the investor shouldn’t let a profit cycle into a loss.

For example, suppose a breakout works. The stock rises 15% in three or four weeks. But then the stock begins to fall. A 15% gain becomes a 12% gain and then an 8% gain. At some point, the investor has to start thinking about selling before the stock cycles into a loss. Under no circumstances should the stock be held until it reaches minus 8%.

A third strategy also helps the investor steer clear of the 8% loss. The investor will sell a weaker stock to add shares to a stronger performer as opportunities on the chart develop.

Suppose you have a stock that is up or down by a puny percentage. Selling this stock will raise cash for your stronger performer. It also will help you avoid the minus 8% situation. Your worst stock has a higher probability of becoming a minus 8% position than your best stock does.

Fourth, the investor who misfires on several trades in a row should study not only the failed stocks but the overall market situation.

An investor sometimes blames failed or incomplete trades on his or her stock-picking skills. In some cases, picking second-rate stocks is the problem. But a series of failed trades also could be sending a message that the market is perhaps turning wobbly. If so, the investor needs to start raising cash, and that also means not waiting for a position to turn to minus 8% before selling.

Your portfolio will become more profitable and more stable if you learn how to use defensive rules to limit the downside in top-rated growth stocks.

Read More At IBD: http://education.investors.com/investors-corner/626795-limit-volatility-by-keeping-stock-losses-small.htm#ixzz27k0SrDhn

Concentrating Money In Fewer Stocks Is Key To Investment Success

Many investors believe that buying a wide range of stocks is the key to reducing risk. IBD research shows the opposite is true.

IBD-style investors thoroughly research a stock’s fundamental and technical characteristics before buying, and then continuously monitor its behavior afterward. This takes time, but it tends to produce a highly focused, high-quality portfolio.

Using such a disciplined approach makes it almost impossible for an individual investor to select and manage a portfolio of, say, 20 or 30 stocks or more. Only big institutions have the resources to evaluate and keep tabs on such a large group of stocks.

“Keep things manageable. The more stocks you own, the harder it is to keep track of all of them,” IBD founder and Chairman William J. O’Neil wrote in “How to Make Money in Stocks.”

People with $20,000 to $200,000 to invest should spread their cash over just four or five stocks. Those with $5,000 to $20,000 should consider buying no more than three stocks, and those with $3,000 should buy only one or two, O’Neil writes.

When you’re right, you want to be right in a big way.

“The winning investor’s objective should be to have one or two big winners rather than dozens of very small profits,” O’Neil wrote. “The best results are achieved through concentration, by putting your eggs in a few baskets that you know well and watching them very carefully.”

The table accompanying this column shows how four stocks can sharply outperform a portfolio in which each position makes up just 5% of the entire stake.

Investors should start building a list of stocks to watch, focusing on leaders of strong industry groups. Each stock’s key fundamental and technical characteristics can be found by clicking on the Research tab at Investors.com and selecting Stock Checkup.

Always check the Market Pulse box accompanying the Big Picture column to make sure the market is in a confirmed uptrend before buying any stock. When a carefully chosen stock hits its buy point in volume that’s at least 40% above average, it’s time to buy.

Also, remember to keep monitoring your stocks for follow-on buy points or sell signals that can help you either maximize your gains or limit your losses.

Read More At IBD: http://education.investors.com/investors-corner/627291-concentration-is-key-to-investment-success.htm#ixzz27jyS22Sf

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