Organizations in Four States Earn Designation
The Institute for Sustainable Development announced that six organizations in four states earned Green Plus Certification in the third quarter of 2011. The most recent businesses to achieve full Green Plus Certification are:
- Celito (Raleigh, NC)
- Chartreuse (Lakewood, OH)
- Fleetwood Fixtures (Leesport, PA)
- Four Seasons Produce (Ephrata, PA)
- National Council on Compensation Insurance (Boca Raton, FL)
- Ocean Grown (Clearwater, FL)
“In a sustainable economy, ‘green jobs’ don’t only come from clean energy or energy efficiency businesses — they’re created by Main Street businesses becoming more competitive through sustainable practices,” said Chris Carmody, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development.
Created by the North Carolina Research Triangle-based Institute for Sustainable Development, Green Plus is a road map for smaller enterprises looking to save money, make new connections and build their brand as they become better environmental and community stewards. Businesses in 18 states have undergone the rigorous Green Plus diagnostic process and more than 55 have attained the highest level of recognition within the program, Green Plus Certification.
Learn more about each newly Certified Green Plus organization below.
Celito is the first internet-service provider and computer consulting company in North Carolina and second in the country to achieve Green Plus Certification. Part of the Triangle business community for more than 10 years, Celito works with businesses large and small, for profit and non-profit, to help them stay better connected with their clients and employees through a wide variety of services.
Celito’s commitment to sustainability is deeply ingrained. The company’s equipment and appliances have all been replaced with energy efficient models, and its offices rely mainly on natural light for daily operations. Celito also purchased a fuel-efficient company vehicle and participates in opportunities to raise awareness around sustainability in the Triangle community.
Chartreuse is a boutique design firm in Lakewood, Ohio. A small but mighty group headed by Charity D’Amato, Chartreuse was started almost 10 years ago. Besides encouraging biking to work, using energy efficient lighting, and recycling all possible materials, Chartreuse took advantage of the Council of Smaller Enterprise’s sustainability programs and qualified for an energy efficiency grant which allowed the team to make more significant improvements to their space.
Chartreuse also gives back to the community through many different avenues. The team is an avid supporter of the “We Run This City” program sponsored by the Lakewood YMCA as well as a host of other non-profits in the area. Chartreuse also recognizes the importance of supporting the arts community and hosts annual “Art in the Parc” events to feature local artists in their very own Petit Parc.“[Green Plus Certification] is not something that ends our ‘adventure to be more green’ but rather acts as a starting point in the journey to make this world a better place to live and work in…we are “green” with excitement!” said Charity D’Amato, founder of Chartreuse.
Fleetwood Fixtures is an employee-owned manufacturer of store fixtures and furnishings in Leesport, PA. A member of the community for more than 40 years, Fleetwood started a sustainability committee after customers began inquiring as to the company’s sustainability policies more than two years ago.
“Other companies focus on the environment when they strive to be green,” Doug Oswald, information systems and facilities manager, said. “We focus on the triple bottom line: people, planet and performance.”
Fleetwood Fixtures went above and beyond to earn Green Plus Certification. They upgraded the shop’s lighting with new energy efficient fixtures and continually educate customers and employees about sustainable materials through a display in their facility. Fleetwood Fixtures also created a store, staffed by volunteer employees two Saturdays a month, where the public can purchase their extra inventory at significant discounts. Not only does this provide an extra source of revenue, but it also keeps what would have been waste out of the landfill. They also started a program called Sweat Green to encourage company-wide exercise during lunch or after work, as well as creating the space for employees to learn about and discuss sustainability issues during weekly meetings.
Four Seasons Produce
Four Seasons Produce, in Ephrata, PA, is one of the largest produce wholesalers in the country and the first to be Green Plus Certified. In business since 1976, Four Seasons is active in the local sustainable agriculture movement and started working on its current sustainability initiatives five years ago. Since then it has reduced overall electricity consumption by 25%, diverted 88% of its waste through recycling (as of 2009), and eliminated 1.2 million fleet miles (in 2007-09) through routing and delivery improvements.
“[Since starting the program over a year ago] the Green Plus’ Diagnostic Survey opened new avenues towards our sustainability efforts,” said Randy Groff, director of facilities and energy. “The survey provided focus on the energy and sustainability areas for improvement but also highlighted our areas of strengths. We will continue to use the results as a tool for our future initiatives,” he continued.
National Council on Compensation Insurance
National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is the largest provider of workers compensation and employee injury data and statistics in the nation. In the last three years, NCCI has upgraded lighting by installing motion detectors and LEDs, reduced the amount of waste it sends to the landfill, and upgraded the equipment that cools its data center, a move which has single-handedly saves the company $125,000 a year.
“Internally, we have known about and seen the many sustainable practices NCCI has put in place, so it’s nice when an outside expert organization recognizes those efforts,” said Joanne Barbour, division executive—IT Infrastructure. “Over time, our commitment makes a difference not only on the company’s bottom line, but in our daily lives and in the environment we leave for future generations.”
Ocean Grown, in Clearwater, FL, is a company that makes OceanSolution, a non-toxic “mineralizer” made from ocean water that can be used in place of fertilizer for farmers, landscapers, and gardeners. Wanting to make their organization as sustainable as their products, Ocean Grown started working with Green Plus in February and is only the third company in Florida to earn the Green Plus Certification.
In 2008, Ocean Grown received the Sustainable Business Award from the Earth Initiative Institute, and it works with local nonprofits and charities like the Miami Metro Zoo and St Jude’s Children’s Hospital to increase awareness of sustainable agricultural solutions.