DEEP: Opportunities For Greening Your Business

Opportunities For Greening Your Business
 
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There's room for sustainability in every aspect of your business from purchasing environmentally preferable office supplies to reducing operating costs with energy efficient equipment and everything in between. Below you will find opportunities to green your business, save money and even reduce environmental regulatory requirements.
 
Getting Started Water
Pollution Prevention (P2) Green Office
Energy Conservation and Renewables  Measuring Your Success
Purchasing Marketing Your Success
Green Building  Other Tool and Resources
Transportation Grants & Financial Assistance
Waste and Recycling DEEP Contacts
Permitting and Compliance Assistance  Do you know what environmental permits you need? Do you need to know how to stay in compliance with environmental regulations? DEEP staff can provide guidance about regulations, but we can also provide information about reducing your environmental compliance responsibilities - and operating costs - by suggesting, where appropriate, pollution prevention strategies.
  
 
Getting Started
CBIA reports from their 2010 survey that 47% of CT businesses say they are "going green". Are you? Many businesses are ready, but don't know where to begin. Take a look at some of these resources for ideas and inspiration.
Resources 
 
Pollution Prevention or P2 means eliminating or reducing the amount and toxicity of potentially harmful substances at their sources, prior to generation, treatment, off-site recycling or disposal. It emphasizes preventing or minimizing pollution, rather than controlling it once it is generated.
Fact Sheets
Climate Change Learn about initiatives that can help your business address the risks and leverage the opportunities of climate change.
Continuous Improvement
  • EPA's The Lean and Environment Toolkit offers practical techniques and strategies that can help "deliver environmentally protective Lean decisions as a routine task.."
  • Learn how DEEP is using Lean principles to improve the way we do business.
Green Chemistry
Green Chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. (EPA) Read why green chemistry is good for business.
Mercury
Mercury information, including safe disposal of lamps
Toxics in Packaging
Toxics in Packaging prohibits the use of cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead and mercury in packaging, including packaged products, sold or offered for promotional purposes in the state.
Energy Conservation and Renewables 
Energy Star estimates that up to 1/3 of the energy in a typical commercial building is wasted. In addition, most energy used comes from fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases and damages our environment. Fortunately, small changes in energy use can add up to big savings for your business and lessen the impact your business has on the environment.
Efficiency
  • Learn about energy consumption, conservation, energy efficiency and climate change.
  • Read energy efficiency case studies for commercial, manufacturing, retail and warehouse spaces.
  • EnergizeCT is a great resource for businesses.
Energy and Water Assessment Tool
Portfolio Manager is an online, interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption.
Renewable Energy
  • Learn about wind, solar and geothermal power.
  • Biomass is renewable organic material (e.g. plant materials, animal waste, landfill methane gas, sewage and solid waste) that can be used as a fuel or energy source.
  • Learn about Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) programs and funding opportunities for businesses interested in clean energy sources.
Each phase of a product from acquiring raw materials, processing and disposal can cause pollution of our air, land and water and can have potential health impacts. Green products can minimize these effects. Purchasing environmentally preferable products (EPPs) can save money and natural resources, reduce environmental impacts and create a healthier work place.
Greening The Supply Chain
Greening the supply chain means that as a purchaser, you demand a  level of environmental responsibility in supplier and vendor business practices. Read more about how to green your supply chain.
Independent Product Certifications
  • EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) helps purchasers make better choices by identifying safe and effective products.
  • Green Seal develops life cycle-based sustainability standards for products, services and companies and offers third-party certification.
  • Ecologo provides the public, corporations and consumers with assurance that the products and services bearing the logo meet certain standards of environmental leadership.
  • Underwriters Laboratory (UL) offers independent green claims validation, product certification, training, advisory services and standards development.
Environmentally Preferable Products
Food
Do you offer food service to you employees? Encourage your food service vendor to buy local, CT-grown food.
A green building is one where the indoor and outdoor environmental qualities (buildings and landscape setting) have been considered and protected during its design, construction, maintenance and use.
LEED Certification
  • The CT Green Building Council (CTGBC) promotes intelligently designed and constructed high performance energy efficient buildings. They hold workshops on green building topics, networking opportunities and CT based LEED™ training.
  • EPA's Green Building Gateway has information on environmentally preferable building materials and specifications, improving air quality and more. There is also information specific to commercial buildings.
Vehicles of all types have a huge impact on our environment. These " mobile sources" burn fuels, release CO2 and many pollutants into our air and can cause health problems. Businesses can save money and reduce pollution by being more efficient with vehicle use, buying more fuel efficient vehicles and if possible, using telecommuting to keep more vehicles off the road.
Anti-Idling Turn off that engine while waiting! Make it clear to your employees that idling vehicles - your or theirs - gets zero miles per gallon, pollutes our air and wastes money!
Fuels
  • Everything you want to know about fuels .
  • Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, produced from either virgin vegetable oils (such as soy, canola) or from waste greases or other renewable resources.
Efficient Vehicles
Reduce Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT)
Encourage employees to avoid single passenger car travel. Here are some options:
  • Carpooling information is being offered by vRide; The Rideshare Company may also have information.
  • Bus information and schedules at CT Transit .
  • CT Rides has a list of available vanpools, trains and other commuting options.
  • NuRide matches people who want to share a ride occasionally. They also have a rewards program.
  • Employees who live close enough to their work place might consider walking or biking. For more information visit Bike Walk CT.
Business Travel
  • Do you travel for business in large cities? You may benefit by joining ZipCar, or Car Sharing if your staff does a lot of traveling in major cities in the U.S. or abroad.  
  • Look for a certified green hotel when you travel and encourage your business visitors to stay in a DEEP certified green hotel. (Look for the CT Green Lodging logo.) 
Telecommuting
Can you offer telecommuting to some of your employees? You may be able to cut some office-related expenses and reduce pollution from commuting. Telecommute CT offers free assistance to help you set up a program. 
Managing and disposing of all the wastes your business produces takes staff time and is a very large expense for a business. Learn strategies to reduce, reuse and recycle and cut disposal costs.
Waste Reduction Business Guide To Reducing Solid Waste (EPA) Provides an overview for developing and implementing a waste reduction program. It includes a series of worksheets designed for conducting a waste audit and developing a program tailored for your company's specific goals.
Recycling
Visit the Business Recycling Assistance gateway page to information and resources for reducing, reusing and recycling.
Electronic Waste

E-waste is the fastest growing part of our waste stream. From mining of the raw materials to the recycling or disposal of our electronic products, electronics have a significant impact on the environment.

Reuse DEEP resources for material exchanges and reuse centers
Donation
Do you offer a food service for your employees? Cut down on waste and find ways to recover or donate what you cannot use.
We are fortunate in CT to have a plentiful supply of clean water. However, water is a precious resource and we should make every effort to conserve it and keep it clean. Businesses can protect water in their manufacturing processes as well as conserving water in plumbing, landscaping and storm water management.
Efficient Products
WaterSense is an EPA-sponsored partnership program that protects our nation's water supply by promoting water efficiency and efficient products, programs and practices. More water efficiency ideas for business.
Water Conservation Tracking Tool Manage energy and water consumption for all your buildings using EPA's Portfolio Manager Tool.
Green Roofs A green roof is planted with vegetation. It slows water run-off and keeps the building cooler, which helps save energy. They also can be beautiful and add to the architectural interest of your building.
Landscaping
  • Does your business have plantings and gardens? Consider having a rain garden. A rain garden is a depressed garden bed filled with water and drought resistant native plants. It collects water run-off from impervious surfaces so it can more easily infiltrate the ground.
  • Read more about rain gardens in the P2 View Newsletter, "You've Got Free Rain".
  • Learn about the Green Capitols Project which incorporates rain gardens, pervious concrete and porous asphalt and a green roof.
  • Does your business maintain grounds? Reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and toxics pesticides using organic land care and sustainable landscaping and lawn care practices.
Protecting Water Resources
Recycling, eliminating disposables, double-siding copies--these are just a few things you can do to green your office operations.
Getting Started
  • Need some inspiration? Here's how we are greening our offices at 79 Elm.
  • Materials from the DEEP workshop, Going Green Makes Sen$e will help you start a green team, increase recycling, reduce waste and save money.
Green Meetings
Every business has meetings, conferences or trainings to set up. Find out how to reduce the environmental impacts of your meetings.
Measuring Your Success
How do you know if your greening efforts are successful? Learn how to measure your success and calculate the benefits to the environment.
Waste Tracking
Learn about the EPA's WasteWise program to track waste and calculate the environmental benefits of reducing waste.
Green House Gas Reductions
EPA's Warm Model helps you to calculate your green house gas reductions.
Marketing your Success
Share your success and market your green accomplishments by applying for an award from DEEP, EPA or other organizations. Make sure your customers are aware of what you've accomplished.
DEEP Awards
Has your business implemented any practices that help keep CT's environment clean and green? Apply for DEEP's Green Circle Award to let your customers know about it.
DEEP Certifications
If you manage a large hotel or even a small B & B, a DEEP CT Green Lodging Certification will let your guests know that you care about the environment. 
Climate Change Awards
EPA's Climate Leaders Awards program recognizes businesses that have taken action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other actions aimed at reducing the affects of climate change.
EPA Recognition
  • EPA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) co-sponsors the Green Power Leadership Awards to recognize actions of organizations, programs, and individuals that advance the development of green power sources.
  • WasteWise (EPA) recognizes achievements of their partners in with their annual award program. A free WasteWise membership offers many other benefits as well.
Health Care Industry Awards
Practice GreenHealth Awards are available to members of their organization who are in the health care field or businesses that support health care.
Stay Informed
Green Jobs
Find information about Green Collar Workforce and green jobs from the CT Institute for Sustainable Energy.
State Resources
EPA Support for Small Business
Technical
Other
  
Disclaimer: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) maintains the content on this web page to enhance public access to information and facilitate understanding of environmental issues. The DEEP is not recommending these resources over any others and recognizes these represent only a partial listing of resources on this subject.
 
 
 
Content last updated February 2014