The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $173,479 to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to help small and medium-size businesses across the state reduce their environmental impacts. Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, announced the grant at Mandela Foods Cooperative, in West Oakland, one of several local businesses to “go green” with CARB’s assistance.
“Pollution prevention efforts can save money by increasing efficiency and lowering utility and waste disposal costs,” said Ms. Strauss. “I encourage all California businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint and improve their bottom-line to become certified Green Businesses.”
CARB will use the funds to improve the technical assistance and training efforts of the California Green Business Network, a non-profit organization that helps businesses adopt green practices. The program has expanded to support sustainable businesses in economically-disadvantaged communities. To receive Green Business certification, companies must demonstrate how they conserve resources and prevent pollution, such as using LED lighting and purchasing ENERGY STAR products.
“Small business operators are not only real, local, economic assets, they are community role models, daily demonstrating climate leadership one step at a time,” said La Ronda Bowen, CARB’s Ombudsman.
The California Green Business Network oversees 25 green business programs operated by chambers of commerce, cities and counties throughout California. To date, 3,396 California Green Business participants have saved more than $41 million through green practices. They have also prevented emissions of more than one million tons of greenhouse gases, diverted more than 1.5 million tons of waste from landfills, and saved more than 754 million gallons of water.
EPA’s Pollution Prevention grant program supports projects that reduce or eliminate pollution from air, water, or land. Since 2014, EPA has awarded three Pollution Prevention grants to CARB, totaling $478,641, to expand and improve the California Green Business Network. The funding has supported enhancements in the program’s data system, outreach efforts, and provision of technical assistance and training.
Learn more about the Pollution Prevention grant program: https://www.epa.gov/p2/grant-programs-pollution-prevention
Learn more about the California Green Business Program: http://www.greenbusinessca.org/ (note: link goes to non-federal Web site)