Published December 19, 2006
Volume 14, Number 12

For Members of the Tri-Valley Sustainable Business Alliance, It’s Easy Being Green

With such topics as alternative fuels, solar and wind energy, and biodiversity making headlines every day, it is clear that we are in the midst of an ecological renaissance. Emerging from this dialogue is a new concept for business: sustainability, a philosophy which involves improving efficiency and profitability while lessening long-term impacts on the environment.

A great local resource for businesses that are interested in sustainable practices is the Tri-Valley Sustainable Business Alliance (TVSBA), a group founded in 2004 which offers a number of opportunities and resources for companies interested in forward-thinking business strategies.

The TVSBA was inspired by the Sustainable Business Alliance, www.sustainablebiz.org, which was founded in the 1990’s as a resource for Oakland and Berkeley businesses. Steve Melgoza, the founder of the TVSBA, was as a member of that group but saw a need for a similar organization with a Tri-Valley focus.

Currently, TVSBA meetings take place from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month (except December). “It’s an opportunity for business owners and managers to network with each other and to find out if there are either partnership opportunities or other business opportunities that they can share, or provide some advice or some kind of insight into an industry that is unfamiliar,” says Melgoza. “We typically host a speaker each month and have them speak a little bit about a sustainable aspect of their industry or their business. There are learning opportunities, networking opportunities, and it’s an outlet for green businesses as a whole.”

Melgoza notes that the group’s members don’t fit the stereotypes that many associate with green business advocates.

“The whole premise to a lot of folks is that we’re granola-eating, tree-hugging types but that’s far from the case,” he says. “These are business owners who are forward thinking and looking at the benefits of going green. It’s energy efficiency, it’s water conservation, it’s how you use your raw materials, it’s how you dispose of any byproducts, and those type of things can effect your business’s bottom line.”

Hacienda’s Roche Molecular Systems is a member of the TVSBA, Melgoza adds, alongside organic farmers and installers of photo-voltaic power systems. He notes that any business can benefit from a green makeover. “There’s a large law firm in Oakland that’s been certified as a green business, so there is really room for any company to do that.”

“A lot of businesses in the Tri-Valley are looking at energy efficiency first off, because that’s low-hanging fruit at this time, and I think any business that comes to one of our meetings will understand that it’s something that makes good business sense.”

The Tri-Valley Sustainable Business Alliance meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at Pleasant Asian Cuisine, 5901 Owens Drive in Pleasanton, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., with the next scheduled meeting taking place on January 25. For additional information, contact Steve Melgoza at (925) 371-6732 or steve@gozagear.com.


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