- What kind of businesses can become Certified?
- How much does it cost to become Certified?
- What do you get when you become Certified?
- What’s the process for getting Certified?
- How long does it take to earn Certification?
- What if I don’t have the time or money to make the recommended changes?
- What is the required score to earn Certification?
1.) What kind of businesses can become Certified?
ANY KIND! We like to think of Green Plus as a process certification, rather than a product or building certification. The program is available to anyone willing to commit to the high standards of our green business Certification. We work with businesses from a variety of sectors, including restaurants, accounting firms, mechanics, and nonprofits.
2.) How much does it cost to become Certified?
- $75 for sole proprietors, which we define as organizations with two or fewer employees.
- $275 for all general businesses.
3.) What do you get when you become Certified?
What you get…
- “Green Plus Certified” status for two years
- “Green Plus Certified” window decal
- “Green Plus Certified” certificate
- Use of “Certified” logo
- Customizable Press Release
- Vendor Proof of Certification
- Press from Green Plus
What you can use…
- Green Plus Directory and the chance for other businesses to see that you are a Green Plus Certified business.
- Green Plus marketing materials, including a guide to best practices for twitter and
facebook, and a press release template.
- One-on-one coaching with experts. Even as a Certified business, you still have access to
our sustainability coaches. There is ALWAYS room for improvement, and our coaches can help you identify those opportunities.
- Social Media best practices guide. Facebook, Twitter, Four Square, Pinterest. Most businesses have a presence in at least one of these social media outlets. We provide you with the best practices a business should perform in order to have a strong presence in social media, particularly on Facebook and Twitter (We use them too! Check us out on Facebook (GoGreenPlus) and Twitter (@GreenPlus)).
4.) What’s the process for getting Certified?
There are five steps to earning Green Plus Certification.
Step 1 – Subscribe to Green Plus and take the Diagnostic Survey
Anyone may take the Diagnostic Survey for free, but only members of Green Plus can earn Certification. If you decide Green Plus Certification is for you, all you need to do is sign
up for the program, and after you’ve taken the Diagnostic Survey, we’ll send you a
customized report and your individual score. Remember, you need to achieve an overall
score of 80% on the Diagnostic Survey, with at least a 70% in each of the People, Planet, and Performance categories to qualify for Certification. If you do earn the appropriate score, skip to
Step 2 – Receive personalized instruction from our expert sustainability coach
After you have received your customized score report, our sustainability coach will contact you to make an appointment for personalized instruction based on your answers. They will go through your Diagnostic Survey answers with you (which are included in your Score Report), identify where you excel and where you have opportunities for improve, and help you map out goals for the future and for your future Survey submissions.
We realize every business is different, and may not necessarily have the resources to move quickly through the program. That’s okay!! Our coaches are experts in the environment and business, and will make sure to set you on a path toward sustainability that is feasible for you.
Step 3 – Resubmit your Diagnostic Survey
Once you’ve worked with our sustainability coaches to set goals for your organization, and once you’ve implemented and realized those goals, we encourage you to log back into your Green Plus profile and resubmit your Diagnostic Survey. Your answers from your previous survey will still be available, so you can change any appropriate answers, rather than filling out the entire survey again. You may resubmit your answers as many times as necessary before reaching the required score for Certification.
Step 4 – Submit documents for verification
All organizations that qualify for Green Plus Certification must complete an assurance step in order to become officially certified. This step involves the review of a handful of documents related to your answers in the Green Plus Diagnostic. Typically, we ask for between four and ten documents or evidence of practices; the number we ask for depends on the amount of information provided in the Diagnostic Survey. Naturally, we encourage you to provide as much information as possible in the Survey’s comments section so that we can get a better idea of exactly what kind of sustainable practices you implement.
Step 5 – Earn Green Plus Certification
After you’ve earned the required score and Green Plus staff approves the documents you have submitted for verification, you will officially be Green Plus Certified. Green Plus staff will inform you when this decision has been made, but it is typically within a week. You will receive an email confirming your Certification, and will also receive marketing materials, including a press kit and various “Green Plus Certified” web logos that you may use for promotional purposes.
5.) How long does it take to earn Certification?
Certification from start to finish can take anyone from three weeks to six months. We encourage businesses to take their time, allow themselves the opportunity to set definitive goals in their sustainability initiatives, and implement those goals. We have found that Green Plus Certified businesses are more engaged and motivated when they’ve taken the time to set feasible goals, reach those goals, then make sure they get a tangible return.
However, if you’re ready to get Certified right away, we certainly won’t mind! Just make sure that you’ve fully implemented the goals you set for yourself.
6.) What if I don’t have the time or money to make the recommended changes?
We understand that every business is different; where some might have the resources to install energy-efficient equipment or install solar panels, those practices might not necessarily be feasible for some others. The Green Plus program is completely customizable and we make sure that each of our member business’s progress through the program is feasible for them, taking into consideration both financial and staff resources.
Periodically, we provide scholarships to businesses thanks to the generous sponsorship of philanthropic organizations and chambers of commerce. Click here to check out our current scholarship opportunities.
7.) What is the required score to earn Certification?
A business must earn at least an 80% overall on the Diagnostic Survey, with at least a 70% in each of the People, Planet, and Performance categories.