The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) will be the first Pennsylvania organization to offer Green Plus, a program to help small businesses save and make money while being good environmental and community stewards. The Lancaster Chamber will kick off the program with its membership Tuesday, June 16. LCCI has 2,800 business members with over 119,000 employees.
“The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry recognizes that the well being of our members and our environment are integral to our economic prosperity,” said Tom Baldrige, President of The Chamber. “We are working to connect businesses with resources to help them implement green practices in their purchasing, day-to-day operations and employees’ lifestyles. Green Plus is a great tool to connect our members with expertise.”
Smaller enterprises comprise the vast majority of employers in the United States and are responsible for most new job creation – but have the least time and money to afford sustainability expertise. The Institute for Sustainable Development created the Green Plus program in recognition of this fact to help small businesses become more competitive while being better stewards of their communities and their environment.
The Institute for Sustainable Development is an initiative of universities, chambers of commerce, business and philanthropic foundations to connect small business with academic and peer expertise in sustainability. Partners include the Duke Center for International Development, the UNC Center for Global Initiatives, the UNC School of Social Work, the Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, the Durham Chamber of Commerce, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo and the Fenwick Foundation.
In 2007, the business plan for the program was commissioned by Tony Waldrop, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, and the plan was developed by the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. Since then, the Institute has worked with centers at UNC and Duke University, chambers of commerce in the southeast and Midwest, businesses and philanthropic organizations to build the Green Plus program.
Chris Carmody, Director of the Green Plus program, said, “Green Plus was created in large part to help chambers help their members succeed while being better stewards of the environment and their communities, and to give them affordable access to world class expertise.” “The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a real leader among chambers in terms of triple bottom line sustainability,” Carmody continued. “We look forward to working with them and are excited about the new connections we think will occur between Pennsylvania and North Carolina businesses through this partnership,” Carmody concluded.