About a year ago, the bank and foundation decided that they wanted to officially “go green.” Both had already been practicing many sustainable behaviors since day one, like recycling all paper and plastics, but both wanted to do more to show their commitment to environmental sustainability–and, as recognition for their green practices, to be certified as Bay Area Green Businesses. The bank and foundation submitted their applications to the Bay Area Green Business Program and started on the road to certification. Now, both entities are just a few steps away from receiving the official Green Business certification. While the process hasn’t been very difficult, it has been enlightening. So we thought we would share with you some of the interesting things we have learned along the way.
To be certified as a green business by the Bay Area Green Business Program, organizations must complete an application that enumerates the changes they will make to their daily operations to incorporate greener practices. There are four main categories in which the business must make these changes: Solid Waste Reduction & Recycling; Energy Conservation; Water Conservation; and Pollution Prevention. Within each of the categories, there are numerous ways to meet these changes. Some ways are mandatory to receive certification (for example, organizations are required to recycle certain materials, such as cardboard, newspapers, cans, and plastic bottles) and other times there is a list of ways and a given number must be met to comply.
Putting It in Writing
In addition, organizations must adopt an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy, stating that the organization makes a conscious effort to “go green.” The Bay Area Green Business Program provides this checklist as part of the application, and can even provide a model Environmental Preferable Purchasing Policy to organizations to help facilitate the application process.