Green Business Bureau green certification
Join Our Free Webinar
“What Green Certification means for your Business”
Date: November 9th, 2011
Time: 11 AM CT
GBB’s newest free webinar helps you understand the basics of going green and green certification for small and medium sized businesses. This webinar is designed for all SMB’s either thinking of going green or are already on the green path. Register today!
Even if you can’t attend live, feel free to register anyway since all registrants will receive recording of the webinar via e-mail afterward.
It all started from a conversation between a father and his son back in 2008, both who have a passion for bringing fun and unique ideas “to the table”. It was from this conversation that this idea of creating and starting a restaurant that specializes in made to order salads first came about. It was only a casual conversation that they both often had on business ideas and as it was further discussed that day the beginning of Mixed brand started to form; even though they both didn’t know it at that time.
After thinking and pondering on this concept for a few weeks the idea stuck and wouldn’t leave the mind of Mixedowner, creator, and Sioux Falls native Cole Shawd. Cole knew that this was something he was interested in and would love to open so he could offer these fast and fresh healthy salad options that are hard to find in most markets. Cole knew his area and city fairly well and thought what better of a place to start this concept then Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He knew he wanted salads to be the restaurants specialty, but offering other items like wraps, soups, and paninis would provide other great tasting varieties to the customers of Mixed.
The Green Business Bureau asked Cole to tell us 2-3 actual examples of things the team at Mixed are doing to be green?
“All of our cups/lids/straws/plates/silverware and compostable. All of our lighting and refrigeration equipment is energy efficient.”
Cole, what have been some of the biggest challenges to going green? ”One is finding items that are ‘green’ to have in the restaurant. There are still some items and technologies that aren’t available yet in the ‘green’ world. Another is pricing. Even though most items have came down in pricing for ‘green’ products and items it’s still a challenge to balance these expenses.
Please tell us more about the positive results have you seen around the restaurant by going green and about some of your favorite initiatives. ”I like the following GBB initiatives because it’s been fun to train the staff on these easy things that you don’t really think of until your more careful of your wasting:
· Reuse paper waste and have a scratch paper bin which people can use the back of unused printouts for drafts, scratch paper or internal memos, etc.
· Donate a portion of your profits to an environmental cause.
· Offer durable, reusable bags at checkout.”
Cole, have you noticed a cost savings since you’ve joined the GBB and used the certification portal? How? ”I’ve seen cost savings, positive feedback from customers, customer loyalty due to us being green, better/cleaner atmosphere in the restaurant, extra fun part of the business to have fun with and for our customers to enjoy.”
Finally, please tell us about your experience with the GBB. ”It’s been a good one. I’ve learned a lot from the GBB on how to help my business be more green and to maintain our green restaurant. I continue to improve our green operation and the GBB is a nice guidance piece to help along the way and a useful resource.”
In 1996, a few industry visionaries got together in Redmond, Washington and laid down the future of PlayNetwork. We set out every day to create sound and visual media experiences so original and authentic, both consumer affinity and our brands’ prosperity reach new heights. 15 years later, mission accomplished.
The PlayNetwork philosophy has always been that being generic is not an option for businesses. Companies who are true-to-brand and stand out, win. Our faith in this notion inspires us to deliver the truest level of customization in the industry by maintaining a creative edge. The world’s top companies rely on us to create a vibe unlike any other.
We venture deep into the soul of a brand and bring it to the world in a remarkable way. This opportunity to stir emotion and affect brands on this core level is PlayNetwork’s passion. All our work is born from this fire.
The magic we create connects customers for 75,000 media subscribers in over 70 countries, more than 23 million times a day. That is the sound of brands flourishing. It’s our holy grail.
PlayGreen Co-Chair, Sara says, “We are very big on recycling, and we even have a program dedicated to recycling our old and broken electronics, CDs, CFL light bulbs and batteries. We also have a pre-tax benefit set up for employees who choose to ride the bus, light rail or train to work, and we’re in the process of setting up a loaner bicycle program for employees so that they can utilize alternative transportation to get to work and have the option of using bikes to run errands and get lunch. And that’s not even the best part! Our loaner bicycle program will be put into place with funds from grant money that we had applied for.”
A photo of an award PlayNetwork won from the City of Redmond for their efforts in getting more employees to travel green.
PlayNetwork found that their biggest challenge was finding a group of dedicated employees that were motivated to carry out their PlayGreen initiatives, but once they found their core group, the wheels were set in motion and they haven’t lost momentum yet.
Some of PlayNetwork’s favorite Green Business Bureau initiatives involve paper reduction. They can see the difference within the company and have the numbers to prove they’re saving a lot of money and making a difference. They love the GBB initiative about planting a vegetable garden, but since they cannot have roof access or create a vegetable garden outside, they provide locally grown organic produce for employees to snack on.
PlayNetwork has seen some powerful results and has saved thousands of dollars while making a positive impact on the environment, and their clients that take the time to look into our company core values and see what they’re doing to be more eco-friendly love everything they have completed all of these initiatives. PlayGreen Co-Chair, Zoe explains, “Just in paper alone, PlayNetwork is saving over $4,000.00 a year by setting printers to double-sided printing, reusing single-sided paper for internal forms and fax receipts as well as reusing single-sided paper to make internally used note pads for meetings. We are also saving a lot on water usage with our sink aerators as well as energy with CFL bulbs for desk lamps and motion-detecting lights. Plus, it makes us all feel great that we’re doing the right thing.”
“We find the GBB to be user-friendly, organized with a friendly staff and comprehensive list of initiatives, so our experience with the GBB so far has been wonderful. They are more professional and better organized than other organizations we researched. Plus, the online link to our green initiatives and accomplishments is a bonus that only GBB offers.”
- AeroVironment electric vehicle charging stations for EV-driving guests
- ENERGY STAR-compliant lighting, ice machines, printers minimize power draw
- Membership in AAA Eco Program, Green Hotels Association, Sustainable Travel International, Ecogreen Hotels, and Wyndham Green
In 2006, Raakesh Patel converted a 25-year-old hotel in Mendocino County, CA to a Super8 property, and began his quest to create the first green hotel in the area. After two years of renovations, along with continual green upgrades and improvements, he achieved his goal, and 54-room Super8 Ukiah now combines modern luxuries with sustainable lodging practices.
“Going green was my personal choice and I truly believe in saving energy, conserving water, reducing waste and recycling,” says Patel. “So I put my green thinking into practice and trained my employees.” Patel has implemented a variety of eco-friendly practices, from serving 100% organic coffee and teas at the daily continental breakfast, to using bio-degradable serving ware. Super8 Ukiah also offers a linen reuse program, while rooms are cleaned using environmentally-safe products from EcoLab. Renovations over the past five years have resulted in the installation of programmable timers for lighting systems, double-paned Low E windows, and ENERGY STAR-compliant lighting, ice machines, printers and other appliance. Periodic audits of the hotel’s compliance make sure everything is running smoothly. These audits cover everything from waste disposal efficiency and water savings to recycling, supply chain and designated eco-initiatives.
“The ownership and management of the Super 8 Hotel [sic] set a great example of environmental stewardship that other business owners could emulate,” says Mark Gosvener of Efficiency Services Group, who conducted an energy audit on behalf of the City of Ukiah of the Super8 Ukiah property in December 2010. “I did not discover any energy efficiency opportunities or recommendations that I could make that would provide any substantial energy savings.”
The strides Patel has made in creating the only eco-friendly hotel in Ukiah have not gone unnoticed by the green travel industry. Super8Ukiah has earned an approved, three-leaf (very good) rating from iStayGreen.com, a leading green travel planning website. Patel also hold memberships in AAA, The Green Hotels Association, Ecogreen Hotels, Sustainable Travel International and Wyndham Green. The hotel’s most recent addition – an electric vehicle charging station – makes Super8Ukiah even more accessible to eco-conscious guests. The EVSE-RS electric vehicle charging station from AeroVironment (AV) (NASDAQ: AVAV) will enable like-minded guests to book a room to recharge themselves while they recharge their cars, so they can start the day in Ukiah just as they do at home – with a full charge. AeroVironment has a long history in the development of EVs and EV support technology, and the company’s solutions have a reputation for quality, reliability, safety and service. It is important for EV drivers to have access to proven charging technology that they can count on to “refuel” their cars reliably and consistently. AeroVironment is the preferred charging solutions provider for the all-electric Nissan LEAF and is currently developing electric vehicle charging networks in Texas, Hawaii and other states across the US.
Patel recently joined the Green Business Bureau (www.gbb.org) to begin the process of becoming green business certified, further demonstrating his commitment to green. “I’m an AAA-approved property, and they recommended that I join the Green Business Bureau,” says Patel, referring to Green Business Bureau’s status as an approved eco-certification program for the AAA Eco Program. The AAA Eco Program identifies lodgings that are certified as eco-friendly by well-established, reputable government and private programs. Properties that wish to become members of the AAA Eco Program must demonstrate a relationship with one of the eco-certification entities listed on the AAA website (http://www.aaa.biz/approved/eco.html).
For more information on the Super8Ukiah and its green practices, please log onto www.super8ukiah.com orwww.super8ukiah.com/green-hotel.html For more information on AeroVironment and electric vehicle charging solutions, please log onto www.evsolutions.com
### About: The Super 8 Ukiah Hotel, the only eco-friendly Hotel in Ukiah, confers on you respite, pleasure and peace of mind amidst the beautiful and tranquil redwood forest. We have recently renovated our two-story hotel in Ukiah, California ornamenting it with the contemporaneous luxuries and modern amenities and highly sustainable lodging to fulfill all the desires of our coveted guests.
Contact: Super 8 Ukiah 693 South Orchard Avenue Ukiah, CA 95482 Ph – 707-468-8181 Fax – 707-468-8383 e-Mail – email@example.com Owner & GM – Raakesh Patel
Green Business Bureau staffer uses plants to beautify office and living space and improve air quality
If you’ve read February’s Green Business Bureau newsletter, you know that The EPA estimates that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Some of the best (and most attractive) air-filtration devices can be purchased at your local plant nursery. In fact, organizations seeking green business certification with the Green Business Bureau and those who are already certified green with the GBB are guided to add indoor greenery via GBB green initiative number 283: Use air-filtering plants throughout the office to improve air quality.
Jamie Clem, GBB’s Member Services Director talks with organizations seeking green certification on a daily basis and has brought green initiative 283 home, literally. “I’ve tried to bring the outdoors in, in my office and in my living space too. Plants brighten any room and thanks to the fact that they convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, they improve my indoor air quality too; it’s a win-win situation.” Jamie’s collection includes a Ming Aurelia, several varieties of Bromeliads and different types of succulents.
Certain species of plants have also been shown to effectively absorb various toxic compounds such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene. Research conducted at NASA concluded that placing 15 to 20 carefully selected plants throughout an 1800 square foot space will result in significantly cleaner air. Recommended plants that are cheap and easy to take care of include: Spider Plant, Boston Fern, Chinese Evergreen, English Ivy, Gerbera Daisy, Janet Craig, Marginata, Mass Cane/Corn Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Pot Mum, Dracena, Golden Pothos, Peace Lily, Philodendrons, and Areca Palm.
Chances are YOUR organization has at least one employee with a green thumb. Speed your way to green business certification by adding some living air purifiers – plants! To find out how your business can earn green certification with the industry’s leader, click here.
We are very excited to share some pictures of Green Business Bureau member Ayres Associates and employee Paul Braun who drives an electric car!
Paul is absolutely leading the way with sustainable methods of transportation; hybrid cars are not environmentally friendly enough and even without a national infrastructure for electric cars it doesn’t stop Paul for driving to work in his GEM (no pun intended!). Some technical notes from Paul for those that are interested, we of course at the GBB found it fascinating:
“It’s a 2001 GEM, which stands for Global Electric Motorcars LLC (http://www.gemcar.com <http://www.gemcar.com/> ), which I believe began as an independent company in 1998 and then became part of Chrysler. It has cranked out close to 50,000 of these gems (pardon the pun). Mine is a 2 passenger, but they make a 4 and a 6 too.
It’s pretty low-tech, operating off six 12-volt deep cycle batteries (lead acid or variations thereof called gel or AGM batteries) that are supposed to provide a range of 25 miles or so…
Ayres Associates lets me charge my vehicle while I am at work, which is essential during the bitter cold months. The batteries would otherwise freeze because I drain the batteries pretty low on my way to work. Charging it costs 15-20 cents or thereabouts…
Top speed is 25 miles per hour, classifying it as a “low speed vehicle,” previously termed a neighborhood electric vehicle. It is legal on streets posted up to 35 mph speed limit. Electric cars have great low-speed torque, so I beat most fume-belchers across the intersection when the light turns green. But then they sail on past when I hit 25 and stay there…”
Congratulations Paul and Ayres Associates on all that you do, and as always, for being a Green Business Bureau member – one of the leading green business certifications in the country.
Are you a GBB member? Have other exciting stories around sustainability in your business? Send them to the GBB at firstname.lastname@example.org!