Growing the Pool of Green Auditors

Growing the Pool of Green Auditors

Riding a wave of growing interest in eco-friendly business operations, a Maryland-based consulting firm is offering training for environmentally focused consultants who want to specialize in green audits for small companies.

The first session in the new training and certification program offered by Strategic Sustainability Consulting (SSC) begins in August and is based on SSC's Green Audit methodology.

"We've been providing SSC Green Audits for more than two years, offering our small business clients a cost-effective, reliable way to assess their current environmental performance and identify ways to go green," said SSC President Jennifer Woofter. "Now, we're offering consultants across the country the opportunity to learn our methodology and apply it with their own clients."

SSC services are geared for under-resourced organizations that want to green their operations and seek help in identifying areas for change, strategies, tactics, resources and tools to realize their goals. 'We offer a top to bottom approach that looks at all the aspects of small business operations," Woofter told GreenBiz yesterday.

"One of the most valuable tools in our Green Audit arsenal is our ability to benchmark clients' carbon footprints," said Woofter. "Instead of a seemingly random number of greenhouse gas emissions, we can tell you how your company stacks up against other similar organizations. That makes it easier to understand where you rank on the 'green' scale, and how much work you need to do."

The demand for such green consultant services is sharply rising, she said. Her firm, for example, maintains a network of 250 freelance consultants and is looking for more as the company takes on at least 20 more Green Audit projects in September and October, Woofter said.

Training and certification in SSC's Green Audit program can be used by consultants who work independently or want to apply their skills in their current employment — in addition to those who want to be considered for SSC's network of consultants, she said.

The first session in the program is a three-day course in August. Another is scheduled in January.  The course covers how to calculate an organization's carbon footprint, how to gauge employees' attitudes and awareness about environmental issues in the workplace and how to assess a firm's green strengths, weakness and opportunities.

SSC expects to certify 60 to 75 people a year through its the program, she said.