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Los Angeles Is Creating a Green Business Certification Program for mid-2009

The City of Los Angeles is launching a Green Business Certification Program in 2009 for hotels, and others business sectors to follow.

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It feels like it's been a long time coming...Los Angeles is developing a green business certification program...due mid-2009. But when you try to find green businesses in Los Angeles it's as difficult as finding that elusive needle in the haystack...a very large haystack!

The City of Los Angeles' Environmental Affairs Department is taking on the challenge of developing a certification program for this amazingly large, diverse city.

EnivronmentLA is actively developing the Certified Green Business Program with support from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The program should be in operation by mid 2009 with the first businesses being certified soon thereafter. Interested business can browse the City's Green Business pages to learn more about the proposed program and get an idea of what it takes to become a green business.

Certified Green Business Program

A Certified Green Business Program gives consumers the opportunity to know which businesses are “green” or "greener" as reality is showing us is more the case.

It is important to support greener systems and product features when purchasing goods and services. Consumer expectations -- and requests -- give businesses an incentive to implement environmentally-friendly policies such as resource conservation and recycling, pollution prevention, and environmentally preferable purchasing thereby reducing their impacts to the environment.

Los Angeles Certified Green Businesses

A Los Angeles Certified Green Business would receive a Certified Green Business decal to post at their front door or window, an electronic version of the logo to use in their promotional materials, green resource guides, and be listed in the EnvironmentLA Certified Green Business website.

Los Angeles Certified Green Hotel Program

The initial thrust of the Los Angeles Green Business certification program will concentrate on the hospitality industry with the non-profit organization, Green Seal, conducting the certifications in partnership with the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau (a.k.a. LA Inc.) with EnvironmentLA providing program oversight.

The State of California currently has a similar program, the California Green Lodging Program, for state employee travelers. Greenseal recently revised its green lodging standard (GS-33 Lodging Properties Provisional Revision) allowing for three tiers or levels instead of two tiers or levels described in the state’s California Green Lodging Program website.

Certified Green Business Program

As LA's Green Business Program's funding becomes available, three additional business sectors – restaurant and auto repair, office and retail will be able to apply to have their businesses certified as a certified green business. Additional industrial and commercial sectors will be added as program capacity and demand grows.

Consider Becoming a Green Business

First, there's nothing stopping you from taking your business green now...before any offical program is funded or implemented. The benefits still help your business. You save money on water bills, waste bills, electric bills -- your employees are healthier and happier -- your customers appreciate it, and yes new prospects will also notice the changes you make.

If you are interested in becoming a green business, visit the City of La's website for examples of checklists from other green business programs such as the Bay Area Green Business Program and City of San Francisco Green Business Program in the state.

The City of Los Angeles will have similar checklists for these business sectors that will be customized to allow for municipal and regulatory variances unique to the City of Los Angeles and the surrounding area.

See LA's Examples of Green Business Checklists/Criteria for Restaurants, Auto Repair, and Office and Retail.

If your business is not one of these business sectors, you can get started with the easy green steps that you know you need to take anyway -- things like recycling office paper, replacing incandescent light bulbs, reducing waste, and putting low flow faucets in place to reduce water use.

Additional business sectors will be added as the program moves forward. In the meantime, businesses are not in the initially targeted sectors can still implement green practices. It's important that we all make progress with resource conservation (water and energy conservation, solid waste and recycling) and pollution prevention measures.

Green Business Program Request for Proposals

The Environmental Affairs Department will be issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking an organization or organizations to develop and administer the program. The RFP will be released in mid January 2009. Information will be posted on the City's website as soon as it is available. Information on city RFP's can also be found at www.labavn.org/.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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