The City of Irvine has long been a leader in environmental policies, green technology, and environmental awareness. Irvine’s environmental programs have been on the leading edge of advances in green building and construction, environmental education, industrial and household recycling, composting, water conservation, waste disposal, and energy saving. Irvine has also demonstrated its commitment to green buildings through the enactment of the Irvine Build Green Program, which encourages builders to create environmentally sensitive, healthier developments for its residents, businesses, and visitors.
In addition, Irvine’s Green Ribbon Environmental Committee, under the jurisdiction of the Community Services Commission, advises the City Council on matters related to climate protection, energy, recycling, waste management, sustainability, transportation, and water, and seeks to increase public participation in energy conservation and sustainable practices, helping the City serve the community through advancing environmental policy initiatives and programs.
Now Irvine is getting even greener as the Irvine Chamber of Commerce launches its Irvine Green Business Certification Program. The program is designed to help improve its members’ bottom lines by reducing energy and waste costs, and by providing access to tax credits, rebates and incentives. This certification will also allow the Chamber to encourage Irvine businesses to take steps to “green” their business as a means to protect the environment, save money, and use energy more efficiently.
Sustaining a high quality environment is the goal of the program and the Chamber’s 800+ membership will be invited and encouraged to take part in implementing important actions that will both save them money and improve the environment.
Sponsored by seven founding companies dedicated to green initiatives – Eberle Co., Waste Management of O.C., Ware Disposal Co. Inc., Atria Senior Living, Rancho Santiago Business & Entrepreneurship Center, Goodwill of Orange County, and Enlightened Energy Services – the Chamber has created an innovative program that recognizes small to medium sized businesses that strive to protect, preserve, and sustain our environment.
To be considered for certification and recognition, a company must be an Irvine business demonstrating green business practices in each of the following areas:
- Waste Reduction & Recycling
- Green Purchasing
- Energy Efficiency & Conservation
- Alternative Transportation
- Water Conservation & Pollution Prevention
- Staff Training & Public Awareness
“The Chamber is developing a model,” says Steve Eberle, owner of Eberle Company and Chair of the Chamber’s Green Task Force, “that builds awareness and establishes a benchmark for building owners, managers, and tenants who want efficiencies, cost savings, and bragging rights.”
Eberle also believes that just as the USGBC LEED Program recognizes buildings and its owners for completing a rigorous site, water, energy, atmosphere, materials and indoor environmental air quality and efficiency program, the Chamber program provides building occupiers the opportunity to adopt simple practices that will immediately save the company money, raise consciousness among employees and industry colleagues, and earn recognition for helping to sustain the quality of life in Irvine.
The Chamber’s message to Irvine’s businesses is that participation in the Irvine Green Business Certification Program makes financial as well as environmental sense, will build a more sustainable community, and will have the potential to increase market demand for local green products and services.
In the words of Irvine Chamber’s President and CEO Tallia Hart, the Green Certification Program “is designed to help our Irvine business members easily adopt simple, smart practices that can save you money immediately, improve your company bottom line over time and contribute to preserving and enhancing the quality of our business life now and into the future.”
Irvine will be the first city in Orange County to implement this innovative program.
The Irvine Green Business Certification Program is available at no cost for retail, wholesale, manufacturers, distributors, refineries, and legal and medical offices — in fact, any Irvine company is eligible.
Congratulations to the Irvine Chamber of Commerce for creating its new Green Business Certification Program, a very welcome addition to Irvine’s tradition of public and private environmental leadership!