Businesses will receive certification in nine areas of sustainability. Certification will focus on the following categories:
The goal of energy conservation is to reach a high level of efficiency and lower energy usage without hindering a business’ ability to operate. This is the largest of the nine areas of certification and examines the equipment and lighting in use, best practices for heating and air conditioning units and systems, and the human dimension of how power is consumed within the business. The Illinois Green Business Association works with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center to conduct energy audits and assessments as requested. The IGBA also works with utility companies to help provide businesses with incentives and rebates to help them obtain higher efficiency equipment and save money.
Better water conservation practices help identify and eliminate areas of leakage or inefficient usage. IGBA helps educate on flow rates, water fixtures, and the amount of water used by different types of equipment as well as other strategies for conservation.
This area focuses on reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills by increasing the purchase of recycled products and maximizing supply efficiency. Participating businesses that recycle and divert reusable materials away from landfills may be eligible for federal and state subsidies. IGBA provides businesses owners with information on these subsidies and local recycling resources and can help develop a recycling strategy.
Pollution prevention entails a comprehensive audit of all the chemicals, cleaners, toners, and business supplies. IGBA promotes utilizing green products that are conducive to a clean air environment. This section provides resources to educate employees on preventing chemical spills that could be harmful to the environment, as well as guidelines for proper storage and disposal. Pollution prevention and education in the workplace can improve employee health, reduce dangerous spills, and even decrease supply costs.
A more sustainable transportation system should reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, increase safety, provide equal access to destinations for all groups of society, and enhance quality of life in our communities. This area of the checklist program focuses on helping employees to find health-promoting alternatives to driving cars to work every day, finding sustainable transportation programs for employees, and providing information on ride sharing options in the community.
The landscape area of the checklist focuses on native species, water use within landscape and chemical use on outdoor areas. The checklist will assist businesses with environmentally-friendly landscaping techniques to beautify their building and highlight native vegetation.
General employee practices focus on everyday tasks that employees can take to reduce their environmental impact in a business. Tasks such as holding meetings on sustainability in the workplace, employee incentive programs, and referring the program to another business are all part of the section. If all members on the business team are on the same page about sustainability in their workplace, efforts to keep green and reduce environmental impact will increase.
The purchasing section identifies areas where a business may be able to reduce waste or even the amount of goods they need to purchase. This area of the checklist provides a green assessment of the types of materials bought by the business and the impact of purchasing decisions both environmentally and economically in purchasing sustainable products. We look not to inhibit business, but to create a higher efficiency and environmental awareness in purchasing.
The community development section highlights how a business can become more involved in their community and connect with other environmental organizations. Sustainability in this category means not only the environmental, but the social and economic well-being of the community as well. We hope to increase connectivity between different businesses and enhance sustainability conversations between multiple entities and industries. Checklist items include donating to an environmental event in the community and serving on a committee for an environmental event, although businesses are free to suggest their own!
15,552faucet aerators installed
2,572metric tons of carbon emissions saved per year
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The Illinois Green Business Association (IGBA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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