In 2012, the City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability Division implemented the Green Business Certification Program for local businesses as a means to reduce Ventura’s footprint and assist local owners with money-saving green practices.
“In her research at the time, Environmental Sustainability Supervisor Courtney Lindberg discovered that many other cities and counties in California were already participating in the California Green Business Network (greenbusinessca.org), a statewide initiative, which at the time, was supported by Cal EPA and the Department of Toxic Substance Control, but run by local governments,” said City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Lars Davenport. “Today, the program is no longer funded by Cal EPA, but it continues to be supported by each participating jurisdiction, who are best equipped to deal with the challenges and aspects their individual jurisdictions may have.”
STEPS TO BECOME A GREEN CERTIFIED BUSINESS
The City of Ventura Green Business Certification process is FREE to local businesses.
Contact Lars Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (805) 652-4595, to coordinate a date and a time when an assessment can be made.
“I meet with the owners to go over a number of different areas covered in the certification process,” continued Davenport. “These onsite visits evaluate everything from water use, to waste management, to purchasing practices. While business owners may be unsure of how they might measure up, we work with them to comply, and continue to make ourselves available for ongoing conversation as a proactive resource even after they become certified.”
Register their business and start the checklist at greenbusinessca.org.
“I tell business owners to fill out the checklist as best they can, even if they don’t comply with all the listed measures. After which, I go over the checklist with them, and develop a plan with to get them certified,” continued Davenport.
After steps one and two are complete, an onsite evaluation with Davenport is next in order to assess compliance with the sections of the checklist. Areas include: general education (adopting environmental initiatives, staff training and education), reducing waste (purchasing practices and the 3 R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle practices), energy efficiency (energy saving appliances, lighting and behavior practices), water conservation (water saving practices for landscaping, water saving devices and reduction practices), pollution prevention (less toxic cleaning substances, practices to reduce a business’ carbon footprint, disposal of hazardous wastes, etc.), stormwater (methods to prevent pollutants from overflowing trash areas, landscape areas, and from traveling into the storm drain).
“The process to become certified varies and is dependent on the business owner, however, our goal is to make this process as easy and non-disruptive to normal business operations as possible,” said Davenport. “In reality, the process is able to be completed in as little as one or two business visits.”
Benefits of Becoming a City of Ventura Certified Green Business
Once a business becomes certified, they will receive a Green Business window sticker from the City, a Green Business logo for their website and marketing purposes, and recognition through the statewide database at greenbusinessca.org.
“The City’s ‘Sustainable Ventura News’ also interviews every new Green Business, and a video news story runs on local TV (Caps-TV), as well as in all City social media outlets. A print article also runs in all City media,” added Davenport.
“There are so many benefits to becoming a Green Business,” said Davenport. “To sum up the benefits in a nutshell, it saves money for business operations, it helps save the environment, it offers impactful community exposure, and it’s a great source of pride for businesses. It’s truly something positive to share with customers in support of the community’s long term sustainability.”
Interested in becoming a City of Ventura Certified Green Business?
Contact: Lars Davenport, (805) 805) 652-4595 or email him at email@example.com
Listen to the “How to Become a Green Certified Business PODCAST” with Lars Davenport, Click Here!