On Jan. 19, 2006, Dave’s Auto Repair became the first Sarasota County Green Business Partner. Join us in this blog series over the next several months as we highlight our partners by looking back over the past 15 years of this fantastic partnership!
Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting our GBP members to show how important each is to our efforts and to recognize their importance in our community. To learn more about our partners and how to join the program visit our participating partner’s webpage.
Sarasota County Green Business Partners: 2011-12
Good News Pest Solutions was founded in 1989 and specializes in eco-friendly pest control. They use non-toxic organic, botanical, and all-natural products to control pests. Office measures such as double-sided copying to reduce paper use, a comprehensive recycling program, and replaced high energy fluorescent bulbs with low energy T-8 lamps, has greatly reduced their environmental impacts.
Not only are Baby Boot Camp and Karna Fitness inspiring change through fitness and nutrition, but we are also on a mission to improve the health of our earth for future generations. As a Green Business Partner, Baby Boot Camp implements several environmentally responsible practices and measures including, but not limited to; office paper waste reduction, purchasing products with recycled content, using low VOC cleaners, setting energy-saving settings on electronics, and promoting carpool, vanpool, public transit use, and walk and bike to work options.
The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce exists to provide the leadership to achieve a diverse balanced economy that enhances the quality of living and working in Sarasota County.
As a Green Business Partner, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce became one of the first Chambers in the southwest Florida region to take advantage of producing its own power, utilizing solar. Additionally, the Chamber conserves energy by using lighting controls such as occupancy sensors, setting energy-saving and stand-by settings to the minimum time intervals on electronics, and instituted a policy that all electronic devices and lighting be turned off in unoccupied rooms and offices. The Chamber also exceeds the program standards in paper waste reduction.
Blue Sky Solar Group is a consulting/engineering procurement and construction provider for commercial solar projects. The headquarters of Blue Sky Solar Group is a zero energy building, meaning there is zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. As a Green Business Partner, Blue Sky Solar Group is committed to reducing waste, increasing recycling, and conserving water and energy, where possible. Blue Sky Solar Group also participates in FPL’s “Business On Call” program.
At Florida Native Plants Nursery and Landscaping we stock over a hundred varieties of native and Florida-friendly plants. As a Green Business Partner, Florida Native Plants Nursery and Landscaping exceeds minimum program requirements in solid waste, water and energy. Florida Native Plants encourages the use of Florida native, low maintenance drought-resistant plants and trees. Removes invasive exotic plants, uses organic fertilizer (only when necessary), and does not use pesticides. Also adhering to a ’10 to 30-foot no-fertilizer, no-pesticide zone along retention ponds and swales to protect water quality. Florida Native Plants Nursery & Landscaping consciously evaluates operations regularly and looks for more ways to be environmentally friendly.
The mission of Beautiful Ponds is to make aquatic environments a little healthier each month. Beautiful Ponds uses less invasive and environmentally friendly approaches to manage aquatic communities. By implementing aeration techniques, water quality management, erosion control, fish stocking and biological control methods, they can provide their clients a safer, more natural alternative. As a Green Business Partner, Beautiful Ponds aims to reduce all waste in their operations through further recycling efforts, elimination of printed materials, reduction of herbicides, and implementation of company policies that save gas, time, water, and energy. Beautiful Ponds also encourages their supply chain and office complex to introduce waste reducing measures.
Green Business Partnership (GBP) certification was a breeze for Hyatt regency Sarasota as Hyatt’s Thrive Corporate Responsibility Program shares many of the same principles as GBP. Hyatt’s Thrive Corporate Responsibility Program focuses on four main components: environmental sustainability, economic development and investment, education and personal advancement and health and wellness. To reduce waste, inventory is carefully monitored by an inventory management company, increasing “just in time” buying. Toiletries and tissue from guest rooms are donated locally to Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Inc. (SPARCC). Additionally, electronics, toner, paint, batteries, kitchen oil and recyclables are all sent out or collected by recyclers.
The Exchange is a self-sustaining, debt-free organization of vital importance to the community. Through the consignment operation, which consists of more than 200 volunteers and 5,000 consignors. Not only does The Exchange support sustainable shopping options, but it also paid out roughly $1.7 million (fiscal year) to consigners, further strengthening the local economy. Unsold items are regularly donated to the Pines of Sarasota and Habitat for Humanity. The Exchange collects used bags, boxes and newspapers from volunteers to re-use in its local retail establishment. During the recent remodel, 40-plus used shelving units, displays, check-out counter, rug room racks and cabinets were purchased from local retail establishments, such as: Borders Books, Leather Express, Robb and Stucky and a Jewelry Store on St. Armand’s Circle.