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Keeping in the green

Posted: June 1st, 2018 | East Village News, Featured | No Comments

By Robert Carr | East Village Biz News

Sustainable business practices help businesses save

It’s no longer a secret that going green saves you green. The East Village Association (EVA) knows this and have started promoting sustainable strategies and best practices that can help businesses use less energy, water, and produce less waste in their operations. To help promote these strategies within its membership, the EVA formed a partnership with the San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC). Together the SDGBC and EVA are collaborating on educational content and events that spread the word about how businesses can incorporate sustainable business practices and save money in the process.

How does being sustainable save businesses money? Simply put, businesses that use less energy, less water, and produce less waste can have lower utility bills. The money saved on those utility bills can then be reinvested back into the business or help increase the bottom line. And let’s not forget, another equally important benefit of being sustainable is that it’s also great for our environment. Businesses that use less resources are helping reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted each year. With this reduction in greenhouse gases, businesses are helping the city of San Diego meet its Climate Action Plan goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2035.

(Courtesy of San Diego Green Building Council)

In order to get the word out about the benefits of going green, the SDGBC and EVA have a two-pronged strategy. The first is to hold events designed to educate EVA membership about the benefits of going green, the tools available to do so, and provide testimonials of local businesses that have successfully implemented these strategies. The second is to publish, through social media and the EVA newsletter, sustainable tips, strategies, and best practices that EVA businesses can implement.

At a recent event at Mission Brewery, the EVA and the SDGBC hosted a panel of sustainability experts that focused on the implementation of sustainable strategies and best practices designed for small- to medium-sized businesses. The panel included a sustainability expert from the SDGBC, an outreach specialist from SDG&E, and EVA’s very own board member, Harry Schwartz, whose business (Downtown Ace Hardware) has gone green and saved lots of green in the process. A main focus of the panel was to discuss the various strategies Harry implemented, what programs he took advantage of to do so, and why he chose to go green.

Soon the EVA will start posting SDGBC’s EcoCorner sustainability tips series, developed with the city of San Diego’s Green Business Network (GBN), which provides a sustainable tip of the month designed to save businesses money. For example, one tip that will be sent out encourages businesses to install light sensors that turn off lights in rooms when no one is present, saving energy and money. Many of the tips and best practices promoted by the EcoCorner series are either no-cost or low-cost projects to implement, especially considering the numerous rebates and incentives provided by local and government utilities.

The hope is that if enough local businesses become educated about sustainable practices, whether through events or EcoCorner posts, their bottom lines will become energized and our local environment will benefit as a result. In the future, if you see an announcement for a San Diego Green Building Council and East Village Association-sponsored sustainability event, don’t ignore it — join it! Also, keep a look out for EcoCorner posts that can educate you on how to save some green. Remember going green is easier than you think and can save you money at the same time.

— Robert is on staff at San Diego Green Building Council which is a 501(c)(3) environmental nonprofit dedicated to providing education, outreach, and advocacy around green building in the San Diego community. Learn more at usgbc-sd.org.

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