Green Business Certification Available at No Cost in Tri-Valley

The environmental impact of businesses is a concern and interest for more and more consumers - not just the so-called "green" consumers. As a consensus towards sustainability grows, people everywhere are becoming aware of climate change, pollution, energy use, and other issues that impact us all. What were once considered "green issues" are now a mainstream part of life.

The San Francisco Bay Area has been at the forefront of the green movement from the beginning. The Bay Area Green Business Program, initiated more than 10 years ago, is a pioneering program for pollution prevention and resource conservation that is a model for other communities nationwide.

The Bay Area Green Business Program, a founding member of the California Green Business Program, distinguishes small businesses that protect, preserve, and sustain the environment. The program's partnership of local environmental agencies and utilities assists, offers incentives, and verifies that participating businesses conserve energy and water, minimize waste, prevent pollution, and shrink their carbon footprints. There is no fee to participate.

Earning Green Business certification is a relatively simple process. The Bay Area Green Business Program offers motivated businesses and agencies an easy-to-use framework for improving environmental performance. Since 1997, over 3,000 businesses and public agencies have been certified. Businesses that meet those standards are officially recognized as both Bay Area and California Green Businesses.

The Bay Area Green Business Program serves small to medium-sized businesses in the nine Bay Area Counties. Standards already exist for auto services, printing, hotels, restaurants, landscape design and maintenance, remodeling, garment cleaning (wet cleaning or CO2 systems exclusively), dentists, wineries, janitorial services, offices and retail shops. Other businesses may be eligible as well.

There are a number of benefits to becoming a certified Green Business:

  • Save from $100 to $5000 per year on operating costs depending on business size and type. (Savings most often result from energy and water efficiency, but also from reduced waste costs and improved staff health and productivity.)
  • Receive onsite technical assistance and instant referrals to efficiency rebates and resources.
  • Be recognized as a green business leader and a good neighbor.
  • Operate as part of a recognized 'green' supply chain.
  • Build employee morale, health and commitment.

Once certified as a Bay Area Green Business, assistance is offered in communicating your green business commitment to your customers and the communities you serve. This resource has been created to help member businesses with practical things that any business can do to get their message out using proven marketing ideas that work. For example, participating businesses can display the Green Business logo on their web sites, in their marketing material, and in their windows.

Local program partners include Alameda County, the City of Pleasanton, PGS, StopWaste.Org, Rising Sun Energy Center, and PG&E. For additional information or to enroll online, access . Program staff can also be reached at (510) 567-6770.

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