Operating a green business helps our environment and makes business sense.

By introducing environmental management practices and reducing your negative impact, your social enterprise can profit from cost savings through efficiency and productivity gains. The Idea2Entrepreneur Inventing Green Tool is an online self-assessment, which will help you to identify areas where you can improve your social enterprise's environmental practices.


Step 1: Map Your Value Chain

The Idea2Entrepreneur Inventing Green Tool uses a value chain framework to identify the different sources of pollution that can exist in any type of enterprise. Use this tool to assess how your social enterprise is performing in five key areas:

  • Procurement

  • Operations

  • Distribution & Client Relations

  • Reverse Logistics

  • Biodiversity

Start by completing a value chain analysis to understand the sources of your business' environmental impact. 

Download the appropriate worksheet to develop a map of the complete value chain of your business and identify sources of potential environmental hazards.

Step 2: Take the Inventing Green Assessment

After mapping your value chain, evaluate areas where you can minimize the environmental impact of your business by completing the Inventing Green Assessment.

The Assessment should take you about 20 minutes to complete, and you can always save and come back to it at a later time.

After completing the Assessment, you will receive an email with your scores for the key areas. 

Use this report as a baseline to develop an action plan for improving the environmental performance of your social enterprise. You may find it helpful to work with a mentor and your team to identify actions that you can take immediately and in the future.



Step 3: Explore Additional Tools

Looking to learn more about how to design your business to support the environment? The Idea2Entrepreneur Inventing Green Tool is part of The Lemelson Foundation's Sustaining Our Planet: A Toolkit for Entrepreneurs. Check out other tools in the toolkit to explore additional ways to plan for environmental sustainability in your business.

Developed by VentureWell
Helps early-stage inventors understand how the lifecycle of their products will affect the environment. Includes a video series and several resources that can be used together, a la carte, or mixed with other tools.

Developed by the Presidio Graduate School
Extends the well-known “Business Model Canvas” (BMC) and guides leaders of start-ups and existing enterprises through a set of questions to make their business models more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

NESsT developed the Idea2Entrepreneur Inventing Green Tool with support from The Lemelson Foundation and Cisco Foundation.