The Soquel Creek Water District is proud to announce that it has been officially recognized as a Certified Green Business. This highly-regarded certification was provided through the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program.
The Green Business Program recognizes businesses and government agencies which conduct operations that strive to reduce environmental impacts and hazards to employees and the community, including conserving water and energy, preventing pollution, and reducing solid waste production. The District participated in a green business audit late last year, and was found to generally operate in a "green" way, meeting many of the Green Business requirements. After pledging to achieve Green Business Certification, the District made a number of changes in how it operates and was successful in gaining full certification.
To achieve this, the District created a staff-led "Green Team" to oversee the implementation of a variety of actions to reduce the District's environmental footprint toward Green Business Certification standards. Here are just a few of the greening actions that were taken in the last year:
- Adopted a green purchasing policy, aligned with green business best practices
- Added weekly green tips and green resources to the staff intranet to help all employees do their part to operate in a more environmentally-responsible manner
- Implemented the use of non-chemical pest prevention measures
- Reduced the use of paper and single use kitchen products
- Ensured the purchase of products with the highest percentage of recycled content
To gain certification as a Green Business Program, expert staff from the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program conducted onsite assessments to verify compliance with environmental regulations and Green Business standards. The District office was audited over the last year by five representatives of the Green Business Program to ensure that the District is complying with the required standards of the program.
"We're very happy to gain official recognition as a Green Business! Environmental stewardship is a core value of the District and permeates through all of our activities," says Ron Duncan, District General Manager. "We wanted to ensure we are not only doing what's right for the environment, but also setting a positive example for our community. Whether in our policy decisions or in our day-to-day work, we're putting a renewed focus on reducing our operations' impact on the environment, and we urge others to do the same."
The Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program is part of the California Green Business Program, endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (TSC). It provides a three-year certification to encourage businesses and public/governmental agencies to adopt best business practices which meet or exceed environmental standards. The District is committed to continue to seek more opportunities to become greener, and to be fully prepared for recertification in three years.
Shawn Orgel-Olson, Director of Sustainability Services with Environmental Innovations, in support of the County of Santa Cruz' Monterey Bay Green Business Program, presented the official Certificate in recognition of the Soquel Creek Water District as a Certified Green Business at their last board meeting on November 7th.