Thirteen Businesses in Three States Receive Green Plus Recognition


Thirteen Businesses in Three States Receive Green Plus Recognition

Four North Carolina Businesses Become Green Plus Certified; Companies in Pennsylvania and Connecticut Complete First Stage of Certification

Thirteen businesses in the Green Plus program were recognized by the Institute for Sustainable Development for their exceptional efforts toward triple bottom line sustainability. Four businesses received full Green Plus certification, and nine were recognized as Green Plus Movers – businesses that have completed the first major step in the Institute’s sustainable small business certification process. Businesses receiving full Green Plus certification included The Redwoods Group, Riley Life Industries, Inc., Bland Landscaping and Zemo Trevathan & Associates.

Laser Plus, a printer and remanufactured toner company, became the first Pennsylvania business to be recognized by the Institute’s Green Plus program. One Minute Green, a sustainability consulting service, became the first Connecticut business to complete phase one of Green Plus certification. Other Green Plus Movers include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Business Class, Inc., Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center, Homewood Suites by Hilton, MG Capital Maintenance, One Minute Green, Quality Staffing Specialists, and Springleaf Strategies. (Please see below for a full description of each business or see

“Green Plus is a triple bottom line sustainability business certification – Planet plus People plus Performance,” said Chris Carmody, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development. “One of the most exciting things about this new class of Green Plus certified businesses is that they are exceptional in the People part of the triple bottom line.”

Bland Landscaping, for example, requires monthly community service by of all of its senior management and has noteworthy programs to engage all of its employees in the success of its business. “The future of any business will impend on its ability to be a responsible corporate citizen that makes a positive impact on society while earning a profit,” said co-owner Kurt Bland. “Using the Green Plus tools and pursuing the certification, business owners are empowered to better guide their organizations along the path of long term success. We are proud to be part of the most recent Green Plus graduating class,” Bland concluded.

The Redwoods Group, the largest insurer of YMCAs in the country, was one of only fifteen businesses in the country to receive The Wall Street Journal’s Top Small Workplaces award in 2008. Kevin Trapani, President and CEO of The Redwoods Group, said, “We strongly believe that business can and should be a powerful force for positive social change. What I love about Green Plus is that we have to assess the efficacy of our products as well as the robust nature of our profits.”

The Institute for Sustainable Development is a public-private partnership between centers at Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Greater Durham Chambers of Commerce, the Fenwick Foundation and the Foundation for a Sustainable Community. Major corporate supporters include GlaxoSmithKline and Lenovo. The Institute’s overall business plan for Green Plus was commissioned in 2007 by Tony Waldrop, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business developed the plan, and a partnership of centers at UNC, Duke University, chambers of commerce and philanthropic foundations built and tested the program with small businesses in North Carolina and Ohio in 2008. The program was formally launched in North Carolina in February and in Pennsylvania in June.

Green Plus is designed to provide small and medium sized employers with affordable educational tools and university assistance in becoming sustainable, access to a network of peers, and brand support in the form of certification for those organizations with exceptional sustainability performance.  “It has been a wonderful learning and networking process, becoming part of the Green Plus program,” said Zemo Trevathan of Zemo Trevathan & Associates.  “I have been very impressed with the track record the Institute for Sustainable Development has with providing concrete help to companies in fulfilling triple bottom line objectives.”

New Certified Green Plus Businesses

Bland Landscaping

Since 2005, Bland Landscaping has implemented a variety of environmental and social initiatives to reduce costs to the company, improve the lives of its employees, clients, vendors and reduce waste to the environment. Among other environmental initiatives, Bland Landscaping uses hybridized 4-mix engines instead of traditional 2 cycle engines when purchasing handheld tools, has an extensive recycling program, uses vehicles powered by B20 biodiesel, and uses environmentally friendly pesticides.  Bland Landscaping also prides themselves on social initiatives such as mandatory paid community service days each month, cultivation of elementary school gardens, and Habitat for Humanity landscaping projects.  Bland Landscaping is committed to a triple bottom line approach where people, profit, and planet are all equally emphasized.

Riley Life Industries, Inc.

Riley Life’s corporate values are passion, integrity, innovation, and sustainability. Riley Life, located in Durham, NC, provides outsourced service support including order fulfillment, kitting and packaging, product distribution and warehousing to sustainability-minded companies. Riley Life’s business philosophy relies heavily on the triple bottom line of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.

In their own words: “The namesake of Riley Life Industries – Riley Bingham – is a vivacious 2-year-old with her whole life ahead of her. With that in mind, we seek to understand the future implications of our actions by focusing on the economic, social, and environmental impacts of our business. We use 100% recyclable packaging materials, pay for gas for employees who carpool, and partner with sustainability-minded vendors. As a company, we participate in monthly community philanthropic activities and make the schedule available on our website.” While “going green” is generally associated with drinking lattes, wearing sandals with socks and smelling of patchouli oil, we like to think of it as making the world a better place for the cutest little girl on Earth.”

The Redwoods Group

The Redwoods Group, based in Morrisville, North Carolina, is the largest insurer of YMCAs in the country. The Redwoods Group’s motto is Serve Others, and it is dedicated to improving and protecting the communities that it serves.  In the company’s focus statement, President and CEO Kevin Trapani declares, “We strongly believe that business can and should be a powerful force for positive social change.”

The Wall Street Journal and the nonprofit organization Winning Workplaces named The Redwoods Group one of 15 winners of the 2008 Top Small Workplaces award. Redwoods, the first North Carolina company to win this prestigious award, competed against 800 businesses across the nation. The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce selected Redwoods to receive its Smith Seal of North Carolina Sustainable Business Award, part of its 2009 Pinnacle Business Award competition. The company was recognized in April 2009 as a Green Plus Mover, having successfully completed the first phase of certification for Green Plus. The Triangle Business Journal recognized Redwoods as one of the 2008 50 fastest growing private companies in the Triangle and ranked the company sixth in its list of Top Corporate Philanthropists (first in size). The United Way of North Carolina selected the firm for its 2008 and 2007 Spirit of North Carolina award for Redwoods’ overall commitment to United Way and the community. Redwoods won the 2008 Best Model Campaign Award from the Triangle United Way. The Raleigh News & Observer touted Redwoods as the third “greenest” company in the Triangle for its 2007 environmental efforts. Sustainable North Carolina honored Redwoods with its 2007 Corporate Social Responsibility award.

Zemo Trevathan & Associates

Zemo Trevathan & Associates specializes in sustainability consulting, business value analytics and leadership coaching. Trevathan is known for his ability to create training environments that foster deep trust, collaboration, and effective communication in which team members and individuals uncover new skills and enhance existing ones.  In Zemo’s executive coaching as well as in trainings and team interventions, the focus is on aligning individuals and groups with their own intrinsic values and motivations so they can contribute fully and excel in the endeavors that matter most to them.

New Green Plus Movers

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national professional association of CPAs. It has more than 350,000 members, including CPAs in business and industry, public practice, government, and education; student affiliates; and international associates. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies; federal, state and local governments; and non-profit organizations; and develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.

The AICPA is one of 16 global accounting bodies holding membership in the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability Forum.  Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO, and Bob Laux, member of the board of directors, represented the Institute at the Forum’s first event in December 2008 in the United Kingdom.

Business Class

Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Business Class provides resources for managers and business owners who want to boost productivity and morale. “We have a passion for business and making it fun, satisfying and productive for all involved,” says Founder, Jan Bolick. Bolick has combined her experiences as a CEO, general manager, salesperson, leader, follower, organizer, volunteer, fundraiser, teacher, student and parent, to develop customized training and coaching programs to suit the needs of each client.

Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center

Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center is Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Chatham county’s oldest family-owned tire and auto repair facility. Founded in 1953, Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center has woven itself into the fabric of the surrounding community. Over the years, Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center has become the place to go for auto service and tires, and has come to symbolize excellence in tires and auto service.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Durham-Chapel Hill

Homewood Suites in Durham is an extended stay hotel that is committed to providing excellent service and accommodations to customers as well as setting an example to the industry about outstanding employee and environmental treatment.  Homewood Suites in Durham has recently retrofitted their facilities with energy efficient light bulbs and made a shift to a more environmentally friendly laundry detergent.  Homewood Suites hopes that its triple bottom line approach will serve as both a competitive edge in the hospitality industry as well as an example for other hotel chains to follow.

MG Capital Maintenance

MG Capital Maintenance is a minority owned and operated commercial janitorial company located in Morrisville, NC, that adheres to environmentally responsible cleaning practices by providing chemicals, equipment, paper and other supplies that are certified by the Green Seal and the CRI Green Label Testing Program. MG Capital Maintenance is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. MG Capital Maintenance recognizes that diversity contributes to the bottom line by increasing employee retention, lowering costs by developing skills in-house, and developing a reputation that helps attract new employees. 

Laser Plus

Laser Plus has offered quality recycled toner cartridges for 25 years. Over time Laser Plus has created a unique solid waste savings report, which customers can use internally and externally as proof of efforts they are making to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, last year one of Laser Plus’ insurance companies kept 1,724 pounds of solid waste out of our local landfills at a financial savings of $21,000. Laser Plus is committed to performing well in the profit margins, while treating employees well and doing their part to maintain environmental integrity.

One Minute Green

One Minute Green, based in Connecticut, provides a community web site with information about new green products, businesses, jobs, local green initiatives and projects. One Minute Green also works directly with consumers, small-to-medium sized businesses and organizations to identify cost-effective ways to save money, products and resources by going green.

Quality Staffing Specialists

Quality Staffing Specialists is a full-service staffing agency serving the needs of companies all over the Triangle area of North Carolina. Quality Staffing has grown to become the largest woman owned business in the Triangle. Quality Staffing Specialists began providing temporary help to the Triangle area of North Carolina in 1995. Their Triangle staff has over 122 years cumulative staffing and human resources experience. This, as well as their commitment to service, has led them to become one of the largest independently owned personnel services in the Triangle.

Springleaf Strategies

Springleaf Strategies helps companies to create a sustainability vision and marketing plan. By incorporating sustainability-focused decisions into daily operations, Springleaf Strategies is committed to making a positive impact on the business community. Sustainability is integrated into their mission.  Springleaf Strategies is always asking, “Is this the best alternative for the environment, the community, and the business?”

Redwoods Group

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