Introducing the Arizona Green Business PROGRAM
Since Local First Arizona was founded over a decade ago, the changes to the independent business ecosystem have been many. In order to provide support to Arizona’s entrepreneurs, LFA is proud to create programs that address the challenges they face, ensuring that they are best prepared for the future.
An area that we feel is imperative to the success of our local business community (and our state) is environmental sustainability. Climate change is affecting Arizonans, and we feel a strong responsibility to work towards real solutions to cope with these challenges.
Local businesses have told us sustainability is a priority, but it can feel overwhelming and hard to determine which steps to take. We’ve also met many entrepreneurs that are working hard to be part of the solution yet the public is unaware of the amazing things they are doing behind-the-scenes. On the consumer side, citizens tell us they value the impact of environmentally conscious companies but don’t always know how to find companies that are values-aligned with them. As we look for solutions to these challenges, we found one – the Local First Arizona Green Business Program.
This certification program helps Arizona owned companies recognize how to improve their environmental impact and promotes those that are taking steps to lessen that impact. It is developed from the California Green Business Program, which has launched into several other states including Washington and Colorado. Businesses go through a checklist of questions that focus on seven key areas: energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction, pollution prevention, transportation efficiency, wastewater practices and general sustainability in the workplace. A custom report is developed for each business, which acts as a sustainability plan to help prioritize the next steps to take, and once the business is certified they get promoted through multiple platforms include a mobile app and online directory.
How can your business get involved?
We’re thrilled to be piloting this program over the next few months. Locally owned businesses located in Tempe and Phoenix can apply to be part of the pilot as long as they are an office, brick-and-mortar retail or a restaurant/café. During the pilot phase, we are inviting fifteen businesses to go through the certification at no cost. To be one of them, email [email protected].
Sustainability in business operations is an ongoing, ever-changing process and we’re ready to help local businesses take action steps to be the best stewards they can. This program would not be possible without funding received from the City of Tempe Innovation Fund and from the City of Phoenix. We are grateful for their support and their passion for supporting locally owned businesses.