Organics/Food Waste recovery and recycling
Food facilities are required to donate their edible food reserves to charitable causes. EI has made these connections for municipalities and can help connect individual businesses as well. If your business is located in one of our municipal client areas, it is likely that we can assist you for free.
Beyond the edible food, food scraps must be recycled through composting. Many municipalities have set up food scrap collection programs. Where they don’t exist, food facilities are required to find commercial haulers/composters to recycle their inedible foodscraps. EI can help facilitate this process. Let us help you set up your facility for successful food donation and food composting by putting you in touch with food donation organizations, compost haulers, collection bin set up, and staff training.
Green Business Certification Assistance
Getting Certified as a Green Business is the clearest way to show your community and customers that you care about sustainability. It shows them that you are committed to taking action to conserve resources and prevent pollution in both the facility and operations. It means that your business complies with environmental regulations in the areas of waste, energy, water, pollution prevention, and air quality. But getting Certified as a Green Business can also save you money by streamlining your operations and eliminating waste. It’s a win-win!
Are you interested in getting certified, but there isn’t a local Green Business Program in your area? Environmental Innovations can help! We are staff to the California Green Business Network and have received additional funding from the State of California to certify businesses state-wide in areas that do not already have a local program. If you’re outside of California, we can put you in touch with colleagues that can help you.
Contact CAGBN today to learn more and start your certification process. If you are outside of the State of California, visit the Green Business Engagement Network to learn if your State has a program.
Simplified Savings – Energy Efficiency Assistance for Microbusinesses
EI has provided energy assessments to thousands of businesses, linking them with resources and rebates to upgrade their lighting, HVAC, appliances, and oftentimes their source of energy to save energy and money. Many of the resources and rebates that are available to small businesses through utility conservation programs are denied to microbusinesses and businesses that were in underserved communities, or whose owners didn’t speak English.
That’s why we started the Simplified Savings program with our partners, Resource Innovations and The Ortiz Group, and secured funding from utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas and Electric to be able to serve microbusinesses with a focus on equity.
Are you a small business looking to become more energy efficient? Take advantage of this free incentive program to get upgrades to your business such as LED light bulbs, air filters and purifiers, low-flow faucet aerators, pre-rinse spray valves, and much, much more!
If you are a business that wants to explore how to be more energy efficient and/or source more renewable sources of energy, we can consult with you on options, link your business up with financing opportunities, and calculate the return on investment for making changes to give you a roadmap to making changes that are in alignment with cost savings.
Visit the Simplified Savings website today to sign up! Hurry – this project ends in 2025.
The Federal Government, the State of California, and local municipalities are all incentivizing electrification of commercial buildings, while also implementing regulations to limit and/or ban the sale of natural gas appliances in the future. With substantial monetary incentives and financing programs available to help make the switch, now is the time to get ahead of these imminent regulations and start phasing out natural gas from your facility. Navigating what incentives you qualify for can be hard to figure out as they are often based on where you are located and what type of upgrades you want to implement. Applications and paperwork can be confusing and complicated, and may only be available in English. Environmental Innovations can help navigate these incentives programs, help you qualify for rebates, and connect you with contractors to complete your project. We can also connect you with programs that offer 0% interest, on-bill financing, and low interest government backed loans available for this work.
Spending a little bit of investment on energy efficiency in your business has a very short payback period; generally under two years, often within six months. EI works with partners and utilities to provide these services to businesses for free in large parts of California. Where it’s not free, it’s worth enlisting us to see who else we can link you up with or whether we can provide services that save you money in the long run. Let us do the math for you and solicit trusted contractors for the best price and team to do the work, and provide you with your options.
Solid Waste Assessment and Reduction
We have seen the full gamut of things that can go wrong at a business that is trying hard to save money by reducing their waste and increasing recycling and compost. The most common mistake we see? The separation of waste being completed by employees during the day and then nighttime janitorial services re-combining all the waste/recycling/organics into one bin on wheels to take outside to the trash enclosure, completely ignoring the recycling and compost bin for the sake of ease. The other thing we see is a lack of signage and employee awareness that contributes to higher quantities of waste and higher costs of disposal. It may seem old hat to sort recyclables from waste but not everyone understands the modern nuances of that separation and it has become more confusing in recent years, resulting in people giving up on recycling. In addition, most everything can be digitized and stored on the cloud these days, saving you real estate for paper file storage, the cost of paper and printing supplies (copiers, printers and cartridges are expensive!), and the cost for disposal which is inevitable. A small amount of retraining and efforts toward reduction can result in re-engagement of employees to do the right thing and save you money.
The other thing we see? The creation of waste and even something recyclable for no good reason: office supplies that come wrapped in plastic, in boxes, with lots of styrofoam when there are vendors that will deliver without the packaging waste, or waste from a product that careful design and engineering can eliminate. Sometimes it takes an outside eye to even recognize these things.
Let us come and do a full assessment of your waste streams, pull apart your indoor and outdoor bins, ask all the questions, and see if we can’t save you some waste volume and money in the process.
Bilingual team members are essential to EI. We are strong in Spanish language services and partner with community based groups that offer Asian and other language capabilities. But language translation is not the only focus. We strive to ensure that fieldwork is done by people who are the right cultural fit for a community. We are a diverse team able to assist any business with their conservation and cost-saving goals with people with the right linguistic and cultural fit.
If your business needs help with bilingual staff training on waste management, energy or conservation, contact us for assistance.
Becoming a B corp
B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. This growing worldwide certification is gaining traction and incorporates prioritizing people, planet, profit, and equity into all levels of a business’s operations. As leaders in the movement for economic systems change, B Corps build trust with consumers, communities, and suppliers; attract and retain employees; and draw mission-aligned investors. As they are required to undergo the verification process every three years in order to recertify, B Corps are by definition also focused on continuous improvement, leading to their long-term resiliency.
Getting B corp certified is also extremely daunting. Where do you start? Learn from those that have done the thing you want to do! As a certified B corp, we use our certification as a road map to ensure a powerfully diverse team that is well supported, all while prioritizing sustainability in our business. Let us help you gain that status. Not only is it good for recognition, but it’s a great framework for doing good and looking after employees while running a profitable business. However, it’s not easy. The wording on the B corp measures are complicated. There aren’t very many tips or resources on how to accomplish the measures. The Assessors ask for a lot of documentation and can only help so many businesses, so if you stall, they will stop moving you through the process and put you on a stagnant list. Let us help you cross the finish line efficiently and effectively.
Environmental, Social, and Governance Business Design and Reporting
Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Your company likely has made great strides towards sustainability already but might need help in envisioning the future and what more can be done. This can be accomplished by conducting a company-wide Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) assessment. Done early on in a company’s evolution, assessing and reporting on ESG can lead a company to success. As your company navigates from a small business to an investor owned business or even a publicly traded company, starting down the ESG path early will ensure that your company grows sustainably without having to correct costly mistakes.
ESG reports have become increasingly important not just for large, publicly-traded businesses but for mid-sized businesses growing into their strengths. An ESG assessment and report can lead to increased customer numbers and loyalty, increased investors and investment amounts, and decreased risk as your company grows. The ESG will not just be a report to put in front of customers and investors, but will be a valuable guide to both celebrate your achievements and plot a course for the future. The process of developing the report will garner support from your top decision makers down to your entry-level employees. It will embed you in the communities you operate, manage your risk and protect your brand and it may even identify some opportunities that your competitors have not explored. Unfortunately, a poorly conducted ESG report can become a green-washed, graphically pleasing document with lots of empty promises for the future, with no tangible steps towards reaching your goals. We’ve seen it all too often.
There are many expensive software programs to track data for companies on their ESG efforts, and expensive consultants who will charge big business bills. Let us help you find the right software and solutions fit for your company and leverage bulk licensing discounts with an efficient and effective team that will deliver results that exceed your budget. We want to be there for your company in the early stages to help guide you to an environmentally beneficial, socially equitable future in which your governance and profit are not mutually exclusive, but rather working together hand in hand to benefit people, planet, and profit.