Small Business Benefits from the Green Economy

Los Angeles – September 29, 2010

Dear Small Business Owner,

This is the sixth email in our series that highlights businesses like yours, all across California, that are cutting costs and supporting the public and private efforts to create a cleaner, more efficient, and more robust economy. The Los Angeles area businesses featured below have taken practical, productive and straightforward actions to save energy, gain new customers, and boost their bottom line.

Learn about the specific things you can do as a progressive entrepreneur and small business owner to grow your company in the green economy while cutting costs at the same time. Download a brochure with five easy steps to help you profit from sustainable practices.

Read more about these and other local businesses, just like yours, that are benefiting from being at the forefront of California's new sustainable economy.

  • Green Home Furniture: ELKA Home is a furniture maker that uses raw materials sourced from as close to the manufacturing facility as possible, produces all products in the U.S., and uses only organic and non-toxic materials and the lowest Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) finishes possible.  ELKA also uses reclaimed wood whenever possible and the wood it does use is FSC Alder, a sustainable crop. ELKA is also a member of several sustainable business organizations and has third-party certifications by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), International Oeko-tex Association, Scientific Certification Systems, and GREENGUARD Environmental Institute.
  • Sustainable Paint: Acrylatex Coatings & Recycling, Inc, located in Azusa, sells recycled latex paint, but does so much more. Acrylatex takes unused latex paint dropped off at community collection events, filters it, adds new compounds and tinting, and mixes it with new paint to produce a new high-quality product for many different applications. By taking the unused paint from contractors and the public, Acrylatex prevents unused paint from being dumped in a landfill or improperly disposed of in drains or sewers. And they even crush and recycle the cans!
  • Green Building Consultants: Eco | ConsultingUS, founded in L.A., specializes in assisting their commercial and residential clients keep sustainability, health, energy efficiency and the bottom line in mind. Their staff and consultants include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professionals from the US Green Building Council, Certified Green Building Professionals/Green Point Raters from Build-it-Green, and members of California Building Performance Contractors Association (CBPCA).
  • Translating Green To The World: Green Translations (Green T) is a leading translation company offering a range of high-end translation services to help their clients grow and manage their international businesses more profitably. Green T employees make it a point to turn off unneeded lighting, reduce water use, use “Econo-mode” on their printers, turn computer monitors to “sleep mode”, minimize driving to work alone, recycle and reuse office supplies, and use environmentally preferable office supplies. In addition, Green T is committed to contribute 1% of their revenue to organizations helping environmental and humanitarian causes.
  • A Green Hair Salon: Nori’s Eco Salon in Encino has been designed to have minimal impact on the planet. They are powered by the wind; their walls are painted with a zero VOC paint, insulation is made of recycled denim, floors are natural linoleum, lighting is provided by compact florescent bulbs, and they only use non-toxic and biodegradable hair care products. Their brochure and business cards are printed with soy ink on 100% postconsumer recycled paper.

The Los Angeles Area has a strong and diverse green economy with green transportation (vehicles, parts, and clean fuels) as a major component. In terms of employment size and concentration, LA leads the state in energy storage and recycling and waste jobs. The Los Angeles area benefited from a 35 percent growth in jobs related to renewable energy generation between 1995 and 2008. The Los Angeles area also boasts the largest number of jobs in energy efficiency. (Next10, Many Shades of Green, 2009)

Thank you for being an entrepreneur in California! Your innovation, drive and commitment to excellence will continue to ensure that California is at the forefront of green economic development and job creation, putting people to work and creating a better world for future generations.

La Ronda Bowen
CA Air Resources Board

Additional Sustainable Activities in the Los Angeles Area

  • Advancing Sustainability: Bowman Design Group set out to see whether a small business could significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and remain financially viable.  In just two years, Bowman Design Group saved 59 percent on fuel costs and 29 percent on reimbursed mileage for business driving in employees’ cars. Bowman Design Group reduced electricity use by 27 percent after consolidating office equipment, eliminating “vampire power” (cutting power to equipment that sucks energy in standby mode), and replacing faulty air conditioning equipment with a more efficient model. They installed compact fluorescent lighting with free bulbs from their utility company. These changes yielded a 40 percent savings on electricity costs, totaling $1,370 annually.
  • Dreaming Of A Green ChristmasThe Living Christmas Company allows families to invite the same tree over for the holidays year after year.  The company gives people the chance to rent Christmas trees from nurseries, and return them once the holiday season is over.  Using delivery software to plan optimum delivery routes and track real time efficiency, drivers are able to deliver up to 40 trees per route.  This software is coupled with energy efficient delivery trucks fueled by biodiesel to substantially reduce delivery costs and emissions.  Through innovated ideas and technologies The Living Christmas Company is helping bring about a green Christmas.
  • Greening The Pier: The Lobster Restaurant is doing what it can to make the Santa Monica pier a greener place.  In 2008, SunTechnics installed 54 solar panels on the restaurant’s south-facing roof.  The new solar system provides about 10% of their electricity needs.  Although the solar system cost approximately $65,000 up front, General Manager Jack De Nicola expects the rebates and tax credits to bring the final cost down to about $20,000. He estimates the cost will be recovered through energy savings in about six years.  Participating in the Santa Monica Green Business Program, The Lobster has made improvements in conservation.  The Lobster diverts 50% of its waste from being landfilled through an on-site recycling and green purchasing program, and they installed ultra-low flow flush-o-meter toilets.
  • Cleaning With CO2: Brentwood Royal Cleaners uses a CO2 cleaning process rather than Perchloroethylene, used by traditional dry cleaners, which is known to be a carcinogen and ground contaminant. The CO2cleaning process is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and dry-cleaned clothes lack the chemical smells associated with traditional dry cleaning. The process is also less expensive than traditional cleaning, saving Brentwood Royal Cleaners $2,544 a year.  Brentwood Royal Cleaners also employs many other green business practices. They use reusable bamboo hangers instead of metal hangers. They also use a product called Green Garmento, which is a durable polypropylene garment bag. This reusable garment bag helps eliminate the dry-cleaner bag, which reportedly accounts for three hundred million pounds of landfill-clogging waste each year.

Learn more about how you can benefit from the Green Economy and other AB 32-related policies:

For questions, please contact Jerry Hart at (916) 324-5941

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