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For Immediate Release: 2/13/2012
|Montgomery County Marks Two Year Anniversary of Green Business Certification Program
Montgomery County is celebrating the two year anniversary of the Green Business Certification Program, launched through a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) and Montgomery College. Thirty-five diverse organizations have been certified so far, including a bank, IT consultant, religious institution, beverage company, orthodontist, furniture company, international hotel chain, law firm, accounting firms, non-profit organizations, an architect, engineering firm and defense contractor.
The Green Business Certification Program helps County businesses by providing them with a “greenprint” for introducing sustainability into their day-to-day operations and supply chain decisions. Organizations that embrace green practices enhance environmental quality while promoting economic development.
“Montgomery County is doing its part to spark the transition to a sustainable and green future through the Green Business Certification Program,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Businesses are doing their part by pursuing the Green Business Certification -- and I thank these leaders for their vision. They recognize that from an economic standpoint, environmental stewardship and innovation are becoming key drivers of financial success. I hope their example will inspire many other organizations in the County to become certified green businesses.”
To be a certified green business, an organization must demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship, conservation of energy and water, carbon footprint reduction, waste reduction and recycling and environmentally responsible purchasing.
“We embrace sustainable business practices because they provide our members a competitive advantage,” said Gigi Godwin, President and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. “Moreover, companies recognize that aligning values, such as environmental stewardship, with business operations helps to reduce risk and attract and retain the best and the brightest. We are delighted to be a partner in the Green Business Certification Program.”
Montgomery College provides on-going courses to assist businesses in “going green” so they can get certified. While not required for certification, many businesses have found the courses to be extremely helpful in getting started.
“We understand that businesses are investing significant time in going green,” said Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College. “Green Business Certification can also open up new business opportunities. The College helps to empower businesses by providing them with a clear path forward so that businesses taking our courses can pursue certification with confidence.”
Certified green businesses are recognized for their environmental stewardship, are listed in the County’s online Green Business Directory and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce website, have use of the program logo, benefit from various MCCC outreach efforts, and may be profiled on the County’s cable television programming. Previous programs have highlighted the efforts of Marriott International, Honest Tea, MCCC, Hallman Orthodontics, Reznick Group and Clean Currents.
Businesses and organizations can benefit from the Green Business Certification Program regardless of their size, sector or where they are in their sustainability journey. The reasons organizations have given for becoming certified include enhancing their marketing opportunities, distinguishing themselves from competitors, cutting waste, saving money or responding to employee and consumer demands. For certified green business profiles and testimonials, please see below.
For more information about the Green Business Certification Program, go to the website at http://mcgreenbiz.org/. For information about Montgomery College’s Green Business Certification Crash Course, as well as other sustainability courses, go to “Green Training Programs” in their Schedule of Noncredit Classes at http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce/WDCE_Spring2012_Catalogue/flipviewerxpress.html
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Green Business Profiles and Testimonials
Below is a sample of the innovative steps certified green businesses and organizations are taking to reduce their ecological footprint and save money and testimonials from decision makers. For a comprehensive list of actions being taken by all the certified green businesses, see the Green Business Directory.
Hildegarde Sylla, President, AIS Engineering, Inc.
Dave Taghipour, Founder and Owner, All Eco Center
“Being a green business is essential in today’s world. It is exciting and refreshing to know that as an accounting firm we can do more than help our clients’ businesses with their finances; we can work together with our clients, coworkers, friends, and families to spread smart, environmental-friendly, and healthy habits.”
Emily Stovicek, Berlin, Ramos & Co., PA
Ralph Smith, President of Smith Design/Construction, and Bethesda Green Board Member
“Given that our core business is investing in sustainable and environmental companies, it is important that our own house is in order. The Certification Program helps us track many areas of the company where we can incorporate green products or habits. The certification process is great in and of itself.”
Elizabeth Le Vaca, Director of Corporate Communications, Calvert Investments
“Being in the Green Business Certification Program means that we stand alongside other Montgomery County businesses that put sustainability at the forefront of operations and, as a group, we show the importance of green leadership in the business sector of our county.”
Alterra Hetzel, Corporate Relations Manager, Carbonfund.org Foundation
“As consumer interest in green products grows, it’s become increasingly important for companies to be able to verify that their green claims are legitimate and not just an attempt at marketing. Montgomery County’s Green Business Certification Program recognizes businesses that are committed to sustainability in their operations through a high standard third-party certification process – just what a business needs to differentiate their green operations from others in their field.”
Gary Skulnik, President & Co-Founder, Clean Currents
• Congressional Bank formed “Gang Green,” a team of associates who help generate and implement new green conservation efforts and run an employee contest offering cash rewards for the best green ideas. The bank provides continuous training and communication to keep staff focused on “green” operations and has a centrally located bulletin board dedicated to spreading the word about green news and initiatives. They provide free parking to employees that carpool, and encourage some of its staff to telecommute or flex their schedules. The bank’s two Montgomery County branches use 100 percent wind energy and the company has established environmentally responsible purchasing guidelines. The bank is proactively seeking to expand its lending portfolio to include more companies that provide green products and services and/or embrace sustainability practices.
“Earning our Green Business Certification is changing how we do business not just in our day-to-day operations but also among our clients. We’re expanding our lending portfolio to grow relationships with businesses that share our conservation values – those that provide green products or services or are implementing ways to improve their environmental stewardship. That shared commitment takes our partnerships in a new direction that feels really great for us and for our customers.”
John Lane, President and CEO, Congressional Bank
“For more than a century, Goodwill® has been an entrepreneurial leader and environmental pioneer. Goodwill is ranked amongst leading organizations across the United States and in industry sectors for its leadership in reducing its carbon footprint by reducing the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. We have taken steps at our headquarters in Rockville, MD to decrease our energy consumption and reduce the risk of climate change through green power purchasing. We will continue to place an emphasis on sustainable building and operations practices.”
Jim Gibbons, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries International
“As an organic beverage company, Honest Tea is engaged in sustainability efforts on a daily basis, but the application process for Montgomery County’s Green Business Certification gave us a chance to review our company operations through a more expansive lens.”
Seth Goldman, President and TeaEO, Honest Tea
“Being certified as one of Montgomery County’s Green Businesses creates a sense of duty and accountability in our organization; we are always looking for ways to continuously improve. We are currently engaged in an extensive lighting retrofit using new LED bulbs and our employees are enthusiastically supportive.”
Jim Young, VP Corporate Facilities and Real Estate, Marriott International
Gigi Godwin, CEO & President, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
Nikeisha Henry, Operations Manager, Radius Technology Group
Jim Martinko, Co-Office Managing Partner, Reznick Group’s Bethesda office
Don Rogers, Shareholder, Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.
Eddie Snyder, Chairman, Snyder Cohn
James J. Lynch, PhD, President and CEO, Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.
Ed Hagarty, Program Development Manager, URS’ Germantown Office
Robert Johnson, President, Wildlife Habitat Council
|Release ID: 12-045
Media Contact: Esther Bowring 240-777-6507
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