Earth Day Panel: Greening Your Business

This week at Business Impact NW we had our annual Earth Day panel with special guests from the City of Seattle’s Collaborative Green Business Program. Stephanie Noren and Stephanie Gowing co-hosted a brilliant presentation outlining what it means to be a part of Seattle’s thriving culture of sustainability.

Their interactive panel placed a focus on what we’re already doing as a community to be our best, greenest selves, without recognizing it.

“What is so fascinating about Seattle is that we’ve all been surrounded by a sustainable system and we do things to conserve resources automatically, we don’t have to think about it,” Noren points out. “Take waste disposal for example, so many places you go in Seattle you are accustomed to seeing the three bins for compost, recycle, and trash.” A part of Noren’s job is making sure those receptacles are recognized by everyone, so that we divert everything we can, and ultimately, throw less in the trash.

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In fact, the numbers are clear when it comes to sustainable business models, companies large and small who are mindful of green options rather than focusing all of their attention on their bottom line, just do better. In the Pacific Northwest, the benefit it three-fold: First, being greenest is being a good neighbor and our green minded consumer base wants to shop at businesses that share their conservation based values, second, because Seattle city ordinances are so frequently and aggressively changing to support green business, the greener you go, the more incentive you are eligible to receive and the fewer penalties you incur. Finally, every way you look at it, conserving waste, water and energy will always save your small-business money; that’s money you can put back into your business.

This year, our city programs are working to converge into a single platform, a one-stop-shop for your sustainability needs that will make accessing rebates, tools and resources geared towards greening your business even more accessible.

“Small-businesses in our area just don’t recognize how many rebates are available to them,” Gowin comments. “We have an opportunity for broadly shared prosperity across such diverse profiles in our neighborhoods.” Noren adds, “Everything from changing out your lighting, to upgrading your old toilet, there are rebates for so many facets of your business.”

The city’s program will send an assessment team to your business to identify your green practices and suggest alternatives free of charge. They focus on the many ways in which businesses are already operating greener and collaborate with you to help market those sustainable practices through their online program, Get on the Map. Utilizing this platform businesses and consumers can look up the green, greener and greenest businesses in Seattle and see a detailed list of every effort each company is making to work with the environment in mind.

With a broad and expanding toolkit, the city is dedicated to helping your small-business thrive at its greenest. From a marketing boost online, to a long list of potential rebates, to offering advice for conscientious owners, our city is here for us in a big way. We are so grateful and inspired to have had the opportunity to learn so much from these two women, working towards a more sustainable culture for our region and our world.

 

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Check out the links below to get a sampling of the different types of programs our city offers for your small-business:

 

 

 

 

 

City of Seattle Green Your Business:

http://www.seattle.gov/util/ForBusinesses/GreenYourBusiness/index.htm

Get on the Map!

http://www.seattle.gov/util/ForBusinesses/GreenYourBusiness/GetontheMap/index.htm

Office of Economic Development

http://www.seattle.gov/economicdevelopment/business-owners

Cascadia Consulting Group

http://www.cascadiaconsulting.com/

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