Seven Businesses in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina Earn Green Plus Certification


The Institute for Sustainable Development is excited to welcome seven new organizations in four states Green Plus Certified community.  The newest organizations to achieve Green Plus Certification include

“Green Plus™ is about making smart business decisions with an eye toward supporting your community, employees, and local environment,” said Chris Carmody, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development.

Created by the NC Research Triangle-based Institute for Sustainable Development, Green Plus is business improvement program that provides a roadmap on triple bottom line sustainability issues for smaller enterprises across the United States. Businesses in North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as well as the first chamber of commerce in South Carolina all underwent the rigorous Green Plus Certification process and attained the highest level of recognition within the Green Plus program. To date, 50 smaller enterprises out of a field of 250 participants have achieved full Certified Green Plus status.

New Green Plus Certified Organizations

Ad Spice

Ad Spice Promotional Marketing is based in Durham, NC and provides a full range of promotional products as well as screen printing and embroidery. Locally-minded and committed to sustainability, Suzanne Robinson started Ad Spice with these values in mind. Making their processes transparent to their customers, Ad Spice helps educate their clients about responsible options that they might not be aware of, like giving clients a quick tour of their organic cotton garden. Seeing the difference between how organic and traditional cotton are grown are one way their customers can choose from the best products to increase the value of their marketing efforts. Sourcing locally and using water-based inks are other ways Ad Spice shows its commitment to minimizing its impact and supporting the local community.

“Ad Spice Promotional Marketing is joining forces with other purpose-driven companies to demonstrate how businesses can positively impact our communities and our environment,” said Suzanne Robinson. “In an industry where most of our competitors are trying to sell more, more, more – we steer our clients in the direction of buying less and buying better,” said Robinson. “At the end of the day, our clients find that this approach brings their brand real value,” concluded Robinson.

Robinson said, “Our numbers this year speak for themselves: 1st Q 2010 to 2011 our sales for organic and sustainable product purchases are up over 900% because we’re teaching our clients about the value of these products and how to use them.” “Our Green Plus and B Corporation certifications let our clients know that we tell the truth and practice what we preach. In a world of green-washing, our highly credible certifications tell our clients they can trust us,” Robinson concluded.

For more information go to

AlphaGraphics Cary

AlphaGraphics Cary is a locally owned and operated printing and marketing services company in Cary, NC. Recognized as one of the leading locations worldwide, AlphaGraphics Cary also received local recognition their efforts to help fight hunger in Wake County. As a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified printer, AlphaGraphics Cary is able to meet their customers where they are and provides them with the sustainable services they require.


“The Green Plus program focused our ad hoc efforts into a strategic, cohesive plan,” said John White, Manager of AlphaGraphics Cary. “The resources, the practical support and potential networking opportunities will yield a tremendous return on our initial investment and efforts,” White continued. “In our role as a service provider to other area business, not only does the Green Plus Certification process compliment our current financial planning and sustainability initiatives, but it also provides a framework to help our customers with these same challenges,” said White.

For more information go to

Counter Culture Coffee

Counter Culture Coffee is a Durham, NC institution. Counter Culture’s dedication to creating a sustainable, fair trade coffee supply chain is readily apparent to anyone involved with the company. By creating and maintaining personal relationships with coffee farmers across the world, Counter Culture is able to multiply its impact and make sustainable livelihoods possible in places where opportunities can be hard to come by.

Counter Culture also created their own Sustainability Scorecard and sustainability goals (in the CUPS initiative – Coffee as an Unrelenting Pursuit of Sustainability), which allows it to holds itself to a higher standard and, in the spirit of transparency, invites their customers and clients to follow along on their journey of achieving carbon neutrality by 2015.

“A core value of our business, the drive toward real environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability, informs every decision we make,” said Brett Smith, President of Counter Culture Coffee. “We’re excited about the network, feedback channels, and other opportunities to improve the sustainability of our business afforded by our Green Plus certification,” Smith concluded.

For more information go to

High Associates

High Associates, headquartered in Lancaster, PA, is a developer, broker, and manager of commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential properties. Striving to be a responsible steward of the environment and a leader in the community, High Associate’s team of LEED-accredited and Green Space program-certified professionals are setting a new standard for responsible environmental management and were recognized by PPL Electric Utilities on the Energy-Smart Business Honor Roll for significantly reducing energy usage in its facilities.

“High Associates has always maintained a high level of sensitivity to the environments in which we operate and been guided by a smart-growth-driven approach to real estate development,” said Mark Fitzgerald, president and chief operating officer of High Associates. “Going through the Green Plus Certification process was invaluable as it helped us to expand our triple-bottom-line approach to sustainability that includes fostering a positive work environment, being responsible environmental stewards, and bettering our community for the generations to follow,” Fitzgerald said.

For more information go to

North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce

The North Myrtle Beach Chamber is a leader around sustainability in the South Carolina business community. The first South Carolina chamber to offer the Green Plus program to its members, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber is also the first chamber in South Carolina to achieve Green Plus Certification itself. The chamber will be moving to a new location in the fall and in the process of updating the new location based on recommendations from a recent energy audit.

Leading the charge in renewable energy, particularly wind energy, the chamber spearheaded the creation of the North Strand Coastal Wind Team, not only to lead the community towards energy independence but with the long term goal of establishing North Myrtle Beach as an example to other cities. Other members of the team include the city government, the Savannah River National Laboratory, Coastal Carolina University’s Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Authority, and the South Carolina Energy Office.

“In January 2010, when we announced that our Chamber was the first business association in SC to offer the Green Plus certification program to our members, I stated that the focus of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce was on a sustainable economy for our city and region,” said Marc Jordan, President and CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce. Jordan continued, “At that time, we saw Green Plus as a visionary and valuable tool to assist our members in creating a sustainability plan for their business.” “Nothing has changed to lesson our commitment to this vision today, and by becoming Green Plus certified, we are holding ourselves up to our members as an example of how valuable this tool is in remaining focused on sustainable development,”Jordan concluded.

For more information go to

Tremont Electric

Tremont Electric, a rapidly growing company in Cleveland, OH, is changing the way we generate renewable energy through an innovative technology called nPower™. Named “One of America’s Most Promising Start-ups” by Bloomberg Business week in 2009, Tremont Electric has since received numerous accolades for ingenuity as well as its leadership in sustainability.

“Sustainable business practices are becoming a new benchmark for early stage companies,” said Aaron LeMieux, foundation and CEO of Tremont Electric. “Attaining Green Plus Certification clearly demonstrates that Tremont Electric Inc. has mastered and committed itself to continuous improvement of sustainable business practices,” LeMieux continued. “We are very proud to have attained Green Plus Certification this early in our life cycle,” LeMieux concluded.

For more information go to

William H Bunch, CPA

William H Bunch, CPA is the second CPA firm to be Green Plus Certified. A small but growing CPA firm in Chapel Hill, NC, William H Bunch is a great example of a business working to make their local community stronger and helps educate other businesses about what is achievable with regards to triple bottom line sustainability. A renovation in 2006 brought more in natural light, allowing employees to keep lights off unless needed and a new employee wellness plan has been implemented in the last 6 months allowing employees to access a National database of wellness programs, among other benefits.

For more information go to
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