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County of Santa Clara Certifies 97 Green Businesses

Santa Clara County businesses take steps to reduce, reuse and recycle
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. Earlier this evening at a recognition event held at the County of Santa Clara Government Center the County of Santa Clara Green Business Program honored its 97 businesses that were newly certified in Fiscal Year 2011-12.  Now in its 14th year, the County of Santa Clara Green Business Program continues to attract environmentally-minded business owners and assist them in the process of lowering their environmental impact in their communities.  Of those 98 businesses, 43 were certified for the first time, 51 were re-certifications, and three were recertified for the second time, illustrating that businesses continue to find value in participating in the Green Business Program long after their initial certification.
“Involvement with the Green Business Program shows a level of commitment that goes beyond just operating a business; it shows that these business owners care about creating an environment that will continue to thrive in generations to come,” said Supervisor George Shirakawa, President of the Board of Supervisors. “I’m delighted the efforts these 97 businesses have made toward a cleaner, healthier and more vibrant Santa Clara County are being recognized and celebrated.”
From hotels to automotive repair shops, from entire office buildings to restaurants, each business participates in a rigorous review of its energy efficiency, recycling, water conservation, and pollution prevention practices during the certification process. 
To become certified, businesses complete one of 17 industry-specific checklists.  A green business specialist from the County’s Integrated Waste Management Division verifies each environmental measure the business has noted on their checklist. While each business’ needs are different, one thing remains the same:  their commitment to environmental stewardship through green business practices. 
In addition to meeting the checklist criteria and standards, the Green Business staff verifies that each business complies with all applicable local environmental regulations.  Green Business certification is valid for three years unless a business changes location or ownership or falls out of compliance.
During re-certification, program staff looks for continued improvement in all of aspects of their operations.  As advances are made in technology and regulations become more stringent, checklists are updated to reflect those changes, aligning with state and local regulations and best practices.
“We are very proud of the Green Business Program’s Class of 2012 – the 97 businesses that have made the effort to become Certified Green Businesses,” said Kevin O’Day, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Management, which oversees the Green Business Program.  “It is especially exciting to see businesses being re-certified, some for the second time.  The continued participation speaks to the ongoing value of the Green Business Program.”
Launched in 1999, the County of Santa Clara Green Business Program is part of the Bay Area Green Business Program and a founding member of the California Green Business Program. Partnering with local cities, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Pacific Gas & Electric and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the County of Santa Clara Green Business Program certifies businesses that demonstrate environmental stewardship and responsibility that goes above and beyond the minimum required by local regulations.  Since 1999, over 560 businesses have been certified in Santa Clara County.

Media Contact: Zachary DeVine, Integrated Waste Management Division (408)282-3186
Posted: September 13, 2012