Jonathan Shenk founded Greenleaf Painters, an eco-friendly painting company, over 10 years ago.  Since launching the company, Jonathan has consistently proven that small businesses can benefit from sustainable practices.  Sustainability is widely integrated into the daily business practices of Greenleaf Painters and is embedded in its company culture.  Greenleaf’s commitment to sustainability has helped it to capitalized on the growing consumer demand for environmental paint choices and distinguishes it as a model for other small businesses across the state about how to successfully embrace sustainability.  

Paints, paint thinners and other paint solvents can be a major source of indoor air pollution, and improper disposal of unused paint can lead to contamination of groundwater, and local waterways.  Greenleaf Painters has taken these environmental risks and turned them into opportunities to differentiate itself from competitors. This is illustrated through Greenleaf’s commitment to advocating for environmentally friendly paint products and waste reduction techniques. 

Greenleaf’s adherence to sustainable practices has served to strengthen and distinguish its brand.  Its staff promote and educate customers about the increasing number of low and no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint choices.  Staff encourage customers to consider these options when choosing new paints.  Greenleaf is also dedicated to recycling and reusing its paint products.  All used paint thinner is recycled and reused through an in-house filtration process and paint waste is reduced, by utilizing unused paint for other projects. Greenleaf Painters provides special training to its employees about proper disposal practices, including lead paint removal safety techniques.  Greenleaf Painters has also adopted a number of basic operational environmental practices. This includes providing recycling stations in the office and workshop spaces, utilizing Dropbox, a digital file sharing site rather than printing documents, and reducing energy consumption through shutting off lights and avoiding the air conditioning for as long as possible.  Beyond these environmental efforts, Greenleaf is also an active community advocate.  Greenleaf donates a portion of all its proceeds to the Trenton, NJ Chapter of Habitat for Humanity and takes part in a variety of community events, including the Sustainable Lawrenceville Expo.  Greenleaf Painters is an excellent example for other small businesses interesting in joining the New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry.  Jonathan’s advice for businesses looking to adopt sustainability efforts, is “small actions can add up”.