Small Business Benefits from the Green Economy

Sacramento – July 6, 2010

Dear Small Business Owner,

All across California, small businesses are cutting costs and supporting California’s public and private efforts to create a cleaner, more efficient, and more robust economy. These entrepreneurs, just like you, are at the forefront of California’s new sustainable economy.

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

This e-mail is the first in a series. It highlights businesses like yours in the Sacramento Region that are taking simple and straightforward actions to save energy, gain customers and boost their bottom line. Future e-mails will introduce you to entrepreneurs in other areas of the state.

  • East Sac Natural Dry Cleaners uses a nontoxic, biodegradable solvent that is better for the air and water and creates a healthier work environment for their employees. All of the washing is done in-house, meaning there’s no transportation costs for fuel, vehicle maintenance, and staff driving time. Business has been steady since they made their changes to a green business and the transition to more sustainable practices has been easier and better than expected.
  • Federico Beauty Institute has installed a solar-panel carport, ceiling fans and skylights, compact fluorescent lighting, occupancy sensors to control lighting, and a heating and air conditioning system to maximize efficiency. They have branched out to other sustainable practices such as nontoxic janitorial supplies and recycled-content paper products and continues to consider, test, and evaluate additional sustainable business practices.
  • G&S Produce had an energy audit conducted on their refrigeration units that identified numerous weaknesses including a defective pressure regulator that resulted in wasted energy from the compressors and fans running continuously, poor temperature control in the coolers, and waste when coolers were empty or near empty. A new energy management system allowed maximum efficiency, temperature, and space controls, and produced monitoring and usage data that led to further energy use reductions and cost savings.
  • Meridian Pacific, Inc. is a campaign management firm that has led the effort to green their business and those of the other building tenant businesses. Meridian Pacific cut energy use and expenses by installing low-flow toilets and energy-efficient lighting; implemented a building-wide recycling program; stopped purchasing bottled water; installed a programmable thermostat; uses a video conferencing system instead of traveling to meet clients, and uses reusable dishes and utensils to cut waste.
  • Quick Quack Car Wash reclaims 100 percent of the water used in its wash tunnel, reducing fresh-water consumption to 8 gallons per vehicle, about one-tenth of the water used by do-it-yourselfers. Quick Quack uses only biodegradable and nontoxic soaps that break down naturally in the community sewer system. Being a certified green business has increased their percentage of return customers because they value the quality and inexpensive service they receive.
  • Visual Impact Design, a flower shop, offers free bike delivery to many local customers to cut down the cost of fuel and to promote a car-free culture. The shop features locally grown, pesticide free flowers, and encourages customers to reuse vases by offering discounts on future purchases. While organic flowers still tend to be more expensive, growing public demand is driving costs down, a shift already reflected by the many advertisements featured in Bridal magazines.

The Sacramento Area led all regions in the state in green job growth between 1995 and 2008 with 87 percent (Next10). SARTA reported over $130 million in clean technology grants received in the region in 2009, and $300 million by the beginning of 2011. Twenty new clean tech businesses emerged in the region and Sacramento was recognized as the 7th most “environmentally smart” city in the US by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Thank you for being an entrepreneur in California! Your innovation, drive and commitment to excellence will continue to ensure that California is at the fore-front 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

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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