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Carlsbad City Hall. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Carlsbad joins California Green Business Network

CARLSBAD —The city is now part of a new green network and is aiming to draw as many businesses as possible.

During its Dec. 10 meeting, the City Council approved the city’s inclusion with the California Green Business Network, which helps businesses establish with being more eco-friendly. As part of the program, if Carlsbad certifies 15 businesses by Feb. 28, 2020, the city will receive a $30,000 grant from the state to augment the program.

Mike Grim, who is overseeing the program, said upgrading will help businesses save money in addition to conserving resources. Also, the city and its contracted partner, Environmental Innovations, Inc., have streamlined the process to make sure small- and medium-sized businesses don’t feel rushed to complete the recommendations.

“The programs are intended to encourage small- and medium-sized businesses to be more sustainable through a certification process,” Grim said. “All the certification areas are not only going to help the business but help the environment. We can walk them through everything. We don’t it to be so daunting that a small business owner … who wants to be sustainable feels it’s out of reach.”

Timaree Nelson of Environmental Innovations said the California Green Business Network is a statewide program with more than 3,100 businesses actively participating. Carlsbad is the first municipality in the county to join the network.

As for the process, business fill out a short application and Nelson’s team from Environmental Innovations will come out for a site visit to walkthrough the property. The checklist depends on the size and sector of each business, so it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Home businesses and those business owners who are tenants can also apply, Grim said. Home businesses are reviewed in their immediate workspaces and bathroom. Tenants, meanwhile, will be reviewed on the items they can control, such as LED light bulbs and water regulators on faucets.

Businesses can qualify for up to a $500 rebate from the state to help ease the burden of the cost for upgrades, Grim said. To become certified only takes a couple of weeks, Nelson said.

The six sectors measured include energy, pollution prevention, wastewater, solid waste, water and community, she said.

“They can get a rebate from us for anything that helps them reach their measures,” Nelson said. “We contact them and start the process. There are core measures they have to meet.”

According to the California Green Business Network, in 2018 those in the network saved $7 million in utility costs, 64 million gallons of water, 50 million kilowatts of energy, reduced greenhouse gasses by 110,000 metric tons and diverted 33,000 metric tons of waste from landfills.

Most of those businesses part of the green network are classified as small- to medium-size, Grim said. Of the 5,353 businesses in the city, 88% are considered small or medium, he said.

Some of the aspects Environmental Innovations will review include water flow from faucets and sinks, lighting, landscaping (if applicable) and appliances.

Bret Schanzenbach, chief executive officer of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, said his organization is currently going through the process to show leadership and initiative. He said the process has been enlightening as the reviewers have found small gaps in places he didn’t think to look, such as energy-efficient appliances.

The chamber’s Green Business Committee partnered with the city to bring the program its businesses, Schanzenbach said.

“We wanted to get certified to be a leader and encourager of the program,” he said. “We wanted to actually engage in the process to say this is a legit thing and encourage our members to participate. It’s a very comprehensive program.”

1 comment

Steve December 21, 2019 at 9:56 am

I detect a subservient loyalty to a handful of businesses/manufacturers
which will be selected to sell the necessary gadgetry to bring small businesses up to a “code” devised to siphon dollars into a few pockets. a few folks will be dollar enriched but no “greener” standards will be evident. Jmhofwiw.

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