Have you realized how many resources for sustainability are available to you as a business owner in Alameda County? There are quite a few!
An abundance of resources exist here that facilitate the process of getting started in the greening process. Looking for free energy audits? You can find that. Interested in recycling options? You can get help with everything from setting up recycling programs to figuring out how to properly dispose of almost anything you can imagine. Would you like to get involved with a networking and advocacy group for local, independent businesses? Not a problem!
Let’s take a closer look at some of the resources that you have available to you:
- Stopwaste: Stopwaste is focused on reducing the waste stream in Alameda County. How do they do this? By offering technical assistance, funding assistance, and a wealth of resources to help businesses reduce what they send to the landfill.
- Recology: An employee-owned business that provides recycling, composting, and disposal services for businesses, Recology is a great resource. They’ll even do a free waste consultation for you to help you determine how you can save money by implementing recycling and composting services while reducing your waste pick-up.
- Smart Lights: Would your business benefit from a free energy audit that would help you identify how you can be more energy efficient, saving both money and natural resources, while also identifying available rebate opportunities for the retrofit? If so, Smart Lights can do just that and help you if you’re in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany or parts of Contra Costa County.
- B.E.S.T. Program: Is your business in an area not covered by Smart Lights but still interested in a free energy audit and assistance with rebates? The Business Energy Solutions Team offers a similar service to businesses in other parts of the East Bay, including San Leandro, Hayward, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.
- Smart Solar: Have you ever wondered if installing solar panels would be possible for your business? Smart Solar can help you answer that question. They offer free solar assessments and project assistance to businesses that are PG&E customers throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
- Food Service Technology Center: If you’re in the restaurant industry, the Food Service Technology Center is an amazing resource for you. They specialize in promoting energy efficiency in food service and can help you with site surveys (free to PG&E customers), finding rebates for kitchen equipment (did you know you could get a $500 rebate for an energy efficient fryer?), and more.
- Bay-Friendly Landscaping: Stopwaste is one of the sponsors of the Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening Coalition, which promotes sustainable landscaping that conserves water and reduce pollution. If your business has landscaping, consider using a Bay-Friendly Qualified Professional (and be sure to use drought-tolerant, California native plants!).
- Sustainable Business Alliance (SBA): The SBA is a business association committed to building a vibrant community of locally-owned, sustainably-minded businesses in the East Bay. SBA offers networking and business development for members, educates the public about the benefits of local economies and spending money locally, and supports public policy changes that promote sustainable economic development.
- 511 Rideshare: Driving has huge implications for the environment, so identifying alternative ways for employees to get to work rather than driving is important. 511.org has a wide range of services available to help you and your employees, ranging from a free consultation about commute alternatives to matching employees with carpool partners.
- Green Business Program: Last but certainly not least, the Alameda County Green Business Program can provide your business with resources and support to receive Green Business Certification. The Green Business Program sets standards in areas such as energy efficiency and water conservation and partners with cities and utilities to help businesses to reduce their environmental impacts.
Have you worked with any of these organizations? What has been your experience?