“Double green” your business this gold season!

In 2013, EcoAction Partners created a Green Business Certification program dedicated to recognizing, helping, and encouraging local businesses to become more sustainable. Since its implementation, 13 local businesses (Ah Haa School of the Arts, Alpine Bank, Alternative Power Enterprises, Bootdoctors/Paragon, Fairmont Heritage Place Franz Klammer Lodge, Hotel Madeline, Inn at Lost Creek, Jagged Edge, La Cocina de Luz, Picaya, Telluride Historical Museum, Telluride Realty & Investment, Wilkinson Public Library) have been certified and are leading the way towards a sustainable future.

EcoAction Partners, our region’s sustainability organization, formed the Green Business Certification program to encourage improvements in energy efficiency, water conservation, waste diversion, land stewardship, and renewable energy. The organization helps businesses navigate, identify, prioritize, and select optimal sustainability actions via a checklist of efforts to help the business become more sustainable. Once certified, EcoAction Partners showcases the business’ sustainability accomplishments through a variety of marketing tools including website listings on EcoAction Partners’ website, town and tourism board websites, an official window cling and certificate, and also promotes the business at local events.

As applying sustainable efforts can be a bit overwhelming with so many options available, EcoAction Partners and its environmental advisors are here to help identify attainable, cost-effective solutions that ultimately help out both the business and the environment. Many sustainability changes in businesses are “double green”, meaning that they save money as well as provide environmental benefits. Checklist items can be extremely low-maintenance while tremendously effective. For example, the simple task of powering down office equipment at night or changing to a LED lighting system can make all the difference in both energy and cost-saving efforts.

Local businesses have been implementing green practices for some time, and we applaud them for these continued efforts. The green business certification program has truly conveyed an added awareness to become more sustainable, and the program is making a difference. Local business efforts have included changing to low-flow water fixtures, implementing a guestroom towel/linen saving program, utility bill tracking, and communicating with suppliers to reduce the packaging of inventory. More specifically, Ah-Haa School for the Arts completed a full LED lighting retrofit, and will see an annual savings of 12,264 kilowatt hours, which equates to a carbon footprint reduction of almost 27,000 lbs of CO2. Alpine Bank, implementing sustainable efforts throughout all of its Colorado offices, has reduced travel resources, saving money and energy as a result of its staff utilizing a videoconferencing system to communicate. Inn at Lost Creek, our most recently certified business, has been very active in implementing sustainability measures including lighting improvements, programmable thermostats, and composting food wastes from their associated restaurant, Talay Grille. The possibilities are endless and recommendations are tailored to each business; making sure sustainable goals are not only attainable, but also achieved.

If you are a local business, join us in leading the way towards a sustainable future. For more information to become a Green Certified Business, in addition to information about local businesses and their sustainable achievements, visit our website http://www.ecoactionpartners.org/green-business-certification/ and give us a call this coming off-season. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can help start the process through an initial consultation, and together we can find solutions to help your business become more sustainable!