Release 09-70
August 4, 2009

    Stanley Young
CoolCalifornia Small Business Award nominations being taken
New award program recognizes those who demonstrate climate leadership

SACRAMENTO -- The California Air Resources Board is now taking nominations through Sept. 3 for its new CoolCalifornia Small Business Award program that will recognize small businesses from across the state that demonstrate climate leadership.

California businesses with fewer than 100 employees who demonstrate and promote a commitment to climate-friendly practices are eligible for awards. Measures may include energy efficiency, clean vehicle fleets, green purchasing and water conservation.

"Small businesses that are going above and beyond what's required should be recognized for their contributions to overall climate change efforts," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "This awards program highlights the leadership that forward-thinking small business owners embody and shows how their commitment to energy efficiency translates into real dollars-and-cents savings for their bottom line."

Each business will be scored according to their climate change management practices, energy improvements and related communication strategies. Up to 20 "CoolCalifornia" and approximately five "Small Business of the Year" awards will be presented at a November ceremony in Sacramento. In addition, winners will be featured on the website with links to the business's webpage.

The ARB is working with small businesses around the state to meet climate change emission reduction goals and enable them to participate in the benefits of improved energy efficiency, and other actions to cut emissions. In April, the Board endorsed a toolkit to assist small businesses assess their carbon footprint and save money on energy costs. The toolkit offers a menu of options for cost-effective actions, funding opportunities, success stories and a carbon calculator, along with this small business recognition program.

The toolkit and award program was created to help small businesses participate in the implementation of AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and the AB 32 Scoping Plan adopted by the ARB in December 2008. AB 32 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2006 and calls on California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards program application form and further information can be found at:

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.