For businesses throughout Santa Barbara County, making the initial decision to go green is often the easiest part. But identifying which green practices—from recycling and reducing waste to conserving or even generating energy—make the most economic sense and implementing them can be a herculean task all of its own.
Enter the Green Business Program (GBP) of Santa Barbara County, a countywide effort to encourage and assist businesses in their efforts to incorporate more environmentally responsible (and profitable) practices into their operations.
The GBP partners with local governments, agencies, special districts, non-profits, utility companies, waste haulers, and chambers of commerce who can help businesses figure out how to go about protecting the environment and their pocketbook. The Community Environmental Council (CEC) is one of the program’s founders and one of 30 current partners.
The program recognizes and rewards the efforts of local green businesses through a certification program that includes a window logo decal, a listing in the directory of Certified Green Businesses, and marketing assistance.
The GBP currently assists local businesses that fall into the following sectors: office and retail, restaurants, lodging, and automotive. Plans to include wineries and dental offices in the program are in development. The program has developed detailed and tailored guidebooks to guide these businesses through the certification process.
While the certification and assistance offered by the program are free, businesses are responsible for the costs associated with upgrades to their facilities and operations. In addition, significant rebates and incentives for implementing environmentally responsible practices may also be available through the GBP’s partners.
For certification purposes, businesses must be inspected at least once every three years by program staff to confirm that the environmental practices promised are being delivered on.
For those who want to support the local businesses that have committed to improving our environment, see a full list of all 69 certified green businesses in Santa Barbara County. Also, the annual Green Business Program Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, February 5 and is open to anyone interested in becoming a certified Green Business.
For more information, call (805) 705-1686 or email [email protected].