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November 11, 2011 > County certifies 105 green businesses

County certifies 105 green businesses

Submitted By Zachary DeVine

Now in its thirteenth year, the Santa Clara County Green Business Program continues to attract environmentally-minded businesses that wish to keep their communities green. Launched in 1999, the Santa Clara County Green Business Program certified 105 businesses in the County in Fiscal Year 2010-11. Of those 105 businesses, 72 were certified for the first time and 33 were re-certifications, showing that many continue to participate long after their initial certification.

"Our local businesses are the backbone of our economy; creating jobs, providing services and supporting families," said Supervisor Dave Cortese, President of the Board of Supervisors. "It is great that these businesses take additional steps to also protect the planet for our children's future."

From restaurants to automotive repair shops, from entire office buildings to home-based businesses, each business completes a rigorous review of its energy efficiency, recycling, water conservation and pollution-prevention practices during the certification process.

Businesses complete one of 17 industry-specific checklists. Once submitted, a green business specialist from the County's Integrated Waste Management Division conducts a walk through verifying the environmental measures the business has noted on their checklist. While each business' needs are different, one thing remains the same: their commitment to protect the environment through green business practices.

In addition to meeting the checklist standards, the County verifies that each business complies with local environmental regulations. Green Business certification is valid for three years unless a business changes location or ownership or deviates from compliance. During recertification, staff looks for continuous improvement in energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, water conservation and pollution prevention. Checklists are updated to reflect technological advances, aligning with state and local regulations and best practices.

"We're very proud of these 105 businesses that have made the effort to become Certified Green Businesses," said Kevin O'Day, Director of the Agriculture and Environmental Management Department, which oversees the Green Business Program. "It's especially exciting to see that so many businesses find the value of being a certified green business. That really speaks to the value of the program."

The Santa Clara County Green Business Program is part of the Bay Area Green Business Program. Partnering with local cities, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Pacific Gas & Electric and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Santa Clara County Green Business Program certifies businesses that demonstrate environmental stewardship and responsibility in a way that goes above and beyond what is required by local regulations. Since 1999, more than 550 businesses have been certified in Santa Clara County.

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