Go Back to School for Green Business!

The Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County (GBPSBC) is now accepting businesses for the newly designed Green Business Academy, a four-month-long series to help organizations implement and gain certification for using environmentally-friendly practices.

Establishments of all sizes are welcome to participate and are encouraged to attend a South County kick-off event for the 2015 cohort on Thursday, October 8 from 3 – 5 p.m. at Sonos, 419 State Street in Santa Barbara. The event will allow businesses to hear first-hand about the positive impact that the Green Business Program has on its participants and the community at large.  In addition to launching the Academy, the Green Business Program is offering a free public mixer immediately following the South County event from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the same Sonos location.

“Our new modular-based program allows enough flexibility for businesses of all sizes to participate, while also providing structure so that the certification can be completed in a timely fashion,” stated Frances Gilliland, Program Director.  The new structure streamlines the certification process so that a business can complete all necessary steps in as little as four months, working in a cohort that allows them to support and learn from each other along the way. Registration fees are made on a sliding scale, depending on the size and type of company.

Upon program completion, businesses receive a certificate, a sticker to display, and recognition at the annual GBPSBC Luncheon. They also receive free advertising by being listed in the Directory of Certified Businesses on the GBPSBC and California Green Business Program websites, recognized on chamber of commerce websites, and highlighted through free print and online advertisements.

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is one example of an organization that has been highly impressed with the results of the program. “What I love about the Green Business Program is that they encourage change and help keep more money in your pocket through education, collaboration and guidance from highly experienced experts,” said Mike Hendrick, General Manager of the Marriott. “In the first two years after getting certified, we saved over a million gallons of potable water, not to mention significant savings through reduced energy use, smarter paper consumption, and lower waste production.”

Those interested in participating can learn more by visiting http://www.greenbizsbc.org/get-certified/green-business-academy or by contacting Program Director Frances Gilliland at (805)729-3472.  Admission to the mixer is free, and includes food and beverages. RSVP for the mixer by contacting Elizabeth Davidson at elizabeth@loa.com.