Successful 2017 for the Green Business Partnership
The Sarasota County Green Business Partnership Program had another successful year in 2017. The program continues to grow in numbers and interest, and used a number of educational delivery methods to reach out to businesses under the direction of the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service. These methods included workshops, individual businesses consulting sessions, business incentives and media outreach programs.
In 2017, 18 business consultations were set up with businesses looking to become green. Twelve of these businesses were officially recognized as Sarasota Green Business Partners. In becoming a designated partner, businesses received a new partner kit: USB card with digital GBP logos, application report card, vinyl door stickers. Additionally, businesses were recognized on the Sarasota County GBP website via a business write up highlighting their green efforts and initiatives.
The goal of the 2017 program was to transition the program, from a certification program to more of an educational designation program with measurable objectives. These included the following:
Objective 1: Promote and educate sustainable business practices through the green business application process and educational resources. As a result of participating in the Sarasota County Green Business Program, over 75% of businesses will gain knowledge on business operations, waste reduction and recycling, and energy and water conservation strategies and implement in their operations. The results will be measured using a green business partnership application and site visit.
Results: Using the green business partnership application:
- 18% businesses have implemented methods to discuss environmental measures at staff meetings; 20% encourage employees to suggest new conservation ideas; 98% have created a recycling program that encourages participation; 98% have created a green team at their business; 90% have completed a waste assessment of the business; and 35% have started using LED, compact fluorescent or low-voltage track lighting.
Objective 2: Evaluate the effectiveness of the green business partnership program using an annual survey and performance data. The survey will identify behavior changes that businesses have implemented since becoming a designated green business and report environmental impacts.
- 45% of the respondents indicated that they had implemented new green practices in the past year.
- 87% of the respondents indicated that the program assisted their business with implementing new green practices.
- 20% of the respondents indicated that the program was very effective, 67% moderately effective, 7% slightly effective, 6% not effective.
- 78% of the respondents indicated that they had cost savings from becoming a green business. This savings ranged from:
- Up to $1,000 – 40%
- $1,000 – $2,499 – 20%
- $5,000 – $9,999 – 7%
- Greater than $20,000 – 2 business
- When asked how becoming a green business partner has impacted their business, the following responses where indicated:
- Saved money – 16%
- Increased income/revenue – 5%
- Conserved water – 14%
- Reduced energy usage – 17%
- Improved and/or increased recycling programs – 26%
- Attracted new environmentally focused consumers – 9%
- Improved customer relations – 7%
- I have not benefited from being a green business – 6%
For those businesses looking to become our next partner in 2018, please visit our website and start the application process.