Sustainable Businesses: Two Types

Encouragement of sustainable businesses is at the heart of any Sustainable Economic Development Strategy. There is a lot of debate about what is and is not a ― sustainable business. The terms sustainable,  green, clean technology, and low carbon tend to be used interchangeably without much differentiation.

It is important to acknowledge that this is a practice area that is evolving and there will be a bit of ambiguity in the near term.  However, in a very general way, businesses can be divided by whether they are a sustainable producer or whether they are a sustainable user.

Clean Tech Companies

Sustainable producers develop, create and sell sustainable products and services – i.e. products and services that reduce non-sustainable resource consumption.  Producers can be referred to as Clean Tech companies.

Green Companies

Sustainable users seek to embody sustainable business practices in the way they carry out their operations. Users can be referred to as Green companies.

Optimally, a Clean Tech company is also a Green company.

Business Clusters