L.A. Area Chamber Helps Announce City of Los Angeles Certified Green Business Program


December 3, 2008

Los Angeles, CA - Today, Los Angeles City Councilmember Richard Alarcón joined with representatives from the Department of Water and Power, the Environmental Affairs Department, LA, Inc., the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, GREEN LA and local businesses to announce that funding has been secured to start the Los Angeles Certified Green Business program. The initial $150,000 for the program will come from the Department of Water and Power.

“So many businesses within our city have taken steps to operate in an environmentally-friendly manner, and the Los Angeles Certified Green Business program will reward them for their commitment to our environment,” said Councilmember Alarcón.  “This program is a triple win, a win for the city, the environment and businesses, and it is an important part of the larger commitment the City has made to being the greenest big city in the nation.”

H. David Nahai, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and said, "The Certified Green Business Program will encourage small businesses to be as conservation-minded, clean and energy efficient as possible.  The highest-rated businesses will save money on their water and power bills while raising the bar of environmental consciousness for themselves and their piers.  Green, indeed.  Our participation in this program is a natural."

"L.A.'s green marketplace is growing and businesses who can demonstrate environmentally-friendly operations stand to gain," said Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.  "The Green Business Program, created by Councilmember Alarcon, provides a new opportunity for local businesses to save money and resources while attracting new customers who want to support green businesses."

Jonathan Parfrey, Director, GREEN LA Coalition said, “The green business certification program gives businesses the tools to clean the air, reduce trash, preserve water, and create a healthier workplace. And this voluntary program will also help businesses lower their monthly energy bill, and at the same time enlisting them in the fight against global warming.”

Based on the highly successful Bay Area Green Business program, the Los Angeles Certified Green Business Program provides a certification and an official Green Business seal to businesses that meet standards of environmental sustainability, including increased recycling, water conservation, reduced electrical usage and providing plans and programs to help employees participate in environmental stewardship.  The Green Business program will give consumers the opportunity to know which businesses are ‘green’ when they choose which goods and services to purchase, and  it also serves as an incentive to businesses who are considering increasing conservation of resources and implementing other environmentally-friendly policies.  Businesses which are certified receive a Certified Green Business seal, the opportunity to promote themselves as Certified Green Businesses and listing on a City website.

Initially, five business categories will be certified: lodging/hotels, office space, retail, restaurants and auto repair shops.  The Green Lodging piece will be administered through LA, Inc, through the non-profit Green Seal.  This piece of the program will be launching shortly, and the remainder of businesses that qualify will be able to apply for certification after the RFP or RFQ process and the creation of the checklists, outreach and educational components of the program. The Green Business program will also provide informational classes to those interested in certifying their businesses, and help them through the process.  Cost for application to be a Certified Green Business will be minimal to ensure increased participation.

At today's press conference, representatives from three different businesses were on hand to voice their support for the program and pledge to apply for certification.  These businesses were Gingergrass (a restaurant in Silverlake), Sonnenshein, Nath and Rosenthal LLP (a law firm) and the Pacoima Development Credit Union.  For businesses that would like to sign-up to receive more information as the program moves forward and to “pledge” to apply for certification, the Environmental Affairs Department has created added information on the Certified Green Business program and a sign-up form at http://www.environmentla.org.  The site also includes examples of checklists, so businesses can begin to prepare for certification. 

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