Washington Cities, Counties and Utilities Unite to Launch “One-Stop” Green Business Program

The City of Seattle is announcing a program, EnviroStars, that will provide green business services from around the region under one tool.

The amplified EnviroStars program will be a central hub for Washington businesses to receive assistance and recognition for saving energy and water, reducing waste and pollution, choosing safer products and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

EnviroStars businesses can track environmental performance online and see how their actions save operational costs and positively impact the environment. “The EnviroStars program will help businesses use fewer resources, which means they can dedicate that saved money for other priorities,” said Mayor Tim Burgess. “It’s exciting to see a growing number of businesses adopt an environmentally aware mentality. Every city should have a no-cost, pro-business, pro-environment effort like this.” This free program helps businesses see what programs are available to help them address negative externalities, and can help busy small business owners set out a plan to achieve their environmental goals.

For 20 years, Seattle Public Utilities’ Green Business Program has helped businesses take actions to save money, conserve resources and contribute to a clean and healthy community. “By joining forces with other agencies and streamlining services offered throughout our region, we are making it even easier for businesses to achieve their green business goals,” said Mami Hara, Director of Seattle Public Utilities.

Over 17 agencies from around Western Washington have pooled resources to develop and launch the program, which includes a central web portal that allows businesses to find referrals for local sustainability services and incentives and start on a path to recognition. The program will also help small businesses connect with one another so they can learn from and support their peers.

Consumers can use the EnviroStars directory to find local businesses who share their environmental values—from restaurants and grocery stores, to hotels and auto body shops, and everything in between. They can also look for the EnviroStars mark on storefronts of recognized businesses in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, Edmonds and other member cities starting this fall.

“The program allows consumers to make empowered choices about where to take their business,” said Laurel Tomchick, creator of the original EnviroStars program at the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County. “Choosing local EnviroStars recognized businesses reinforces better business practices—which in turn creates healthier, safer communities and motivates more businesses to ‘work green.’”

“It’s a Pacific Northwest tradition—connecting green-minded consumers with green businesses. It’s an economic and environmental win. We are committed to providing the clean energy that powers this vibrant community,” said Larry Weis, General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light.

Seattle’s first EnviroStars recognized business is Madres Kitchen, a full-service catering and events company based in Seattle, which also participated in the City’s past Green Business Program.

Businesses that engage with EnviroStars will benefit by learning to operate more efficiently, strengthening their bottom line, improving employee health and gaining recognition for environmental leadership.

“The new EnviroStars program will provide a one-stop shop for businesses to access information about building sustainability into their ongoing business plan,” said Sara Nelson, Co-owner of Fremont Brewing. “We are excited to be part of a program that will help share our environmental accomplishments with our customers and work towards addressing climate change.”

To learn more or to get started, visit http://www.envirostars.org.