This summer, the Walnut Creek office of FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Innovation, decided that it was time that we pursue a Green Business Certification from the California Green Business Network (CGBN).
The certification reinforces our sustainable values and signifies that our office has taken action to reduce our own personal and professional waste and pollution, save energy, support other green businesses, and promote environmental awareness in the office.
Written by Madelyn Dolan and Kathleen McCully.
Maddie joined FCS as an Environmental Services Intern in May 2019. She is a rising senior at the University of California, Berkeley, double majoring in Environmental Economics & Policy and Society & Environment.
Kathleen joined FCS as an Environmental Analyst in April 2019. Kathleen has taken the lead on keeping the Walnut Creek office’s new California Green Business Certification and helping all other California FCS offices begin the journey to becoming an official Green Business.
Read more about our authors here.
What is the Green Business Certification?
Organized by local programs run by cities and counties throughout California, the California Green Business Certification has been around since 1996. The goal of the certification is not only to encourage businesses to reduce their environmental impact, but also reduce waste, save money, and build a sense of community around the California Green Business Network.
And keep in mind—there are rebates available too.
How can you get started?
Other offices and companies aspiring to be a Green Business should find their county’s representative for their office location, as the certification is site-specific. They should pick an energetic employee to spearhead the process. To save time, a Green Business Certification applicant should complete the certification checklist to reflect the current state of the office and allow the county representative to decide what changes need to be made. The county representative is a great resource to utilize for guidance in making Green Business changes to the office.
How can your business become certified?
Whether officially certified or not, we encourage all businesses to take a closer look at their operations and supply chain, and take action to become more sustainable. If you are curious about pursuing a California Green Business Certification, however, here’s what we did:
The process is made simple through greenbusinessca.org. Create an account on the website, complete a checklist regarding the current features and practices in your office, and schedule a site visit with your county’s Green Business Representative.
In Walnut Creek, a Contra Costa County representative came to our office and gave us an easy-to-follow outline of what steps we needed to take to achieve our certification. The process was flexible and tailored to our kind of working environment.
Following the site visit, we changed our paper supply to 100% recycled content, removed toxic cleaning supplies from the office, created an office environmental policy, and more. After sending in evidence of our improvements, we were able to achieve the Green Business Certification. The process was simple and, best of all, it was completely free!
As a new member of the CGBN, not only are we reducing our environmental impact, but we are also part of the CGBN database and can receive local recognition as a Certified California Green Business. We hope to go above and beyond the requirements of our green business certification, implementing practices such as sustainability education and encouraging other FCS offices to follow our lead.
FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Innovation, advances sustainable practices around the world and helps organizations grow and operate responsibly. To read more blog posts from the team at FCS, click here.