Going Green for Business

Developing Climate Action Plans

It is true that every little bit helps when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  While global warming is an issue that countries around the world are discussing, each business here in Newark, California can make a significant contribution to decreasing GHG’s harmful effects.

The City of Newark is committed to reducing GHG emissions, and wants to motivate businesses to share this commitment.  On January 28, 2010, the City of Newark adopted the Climate Action Plan Initial Framework.  This document was completed as a result of a generous grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  The plan includes actions the City has successfully implemented, as well as sections that guide the City, residents, and businesses to participate in future greenhouse gas emissions reduction activities.  Based upon resources and interest, the plan will continuously be updated to reflect changes in this rapidly evolving field.

The Climate Action Plan represents the City’s commitment to increasing sustainability, and accomplishes yet another goal in addressing climate change.  The City has now completed 3 of the 5 step process established by ICLEI, an organization that is leading the way for local governments to take action on climate issues.  The five step process is:

Step 1.  Inventory Baseline Emissions - ICLEI assisted the City of Newark in collecting 2005 data to create an inventory of baseline emissions from the government (City operations) and community (residential and business) sectors.

Step 2.  Set a Reduction Goal(s) - The City of Newark aligned its goals with the State of California, and included them in the Climate Action Plan (see link below).

Step 3.  Create an Action Plan - The Climate Action Plan initial Framework was adopted by the Newark City Council on January 28, 2010.  This plan includes reports on emission reduction projects such as the Recreation Centers Lighting Fixture Replacement, as well as research on potential future projects such as increasing our alternative fueled vehicle fleet and station.  An additional report on energy efficiency options for the Silliman Activity and Family Aquatic Center is also attached.

Step 4.  Implement the Action Plan - The City of Newark will seek grants and other opportunities to pursue action plan activities.  Community outreach will be included, when City resources are able to coordinate these efforts.

Step 5.  Monitor the Results - The City of Newark has access to many local government tools to evaluate the greenhouse gas emission reductions from Climate Action Plan activities.  Using these tools and sharing our success stories with each other will ensure we continue and replicate those activities which provide the best results.

Just as the City created its action plan, you can create your own plan for your business.  First, start by taking inventory of your greenhouse gas emissions.  Many websites offer calculators to establish your current emissions.  You may be surprised by what you are already doing to contribute to a greener Newark!

Next, write down ways you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Three great resources are the California Air Resources Board, StopWaste.org, and the U.S. Department of Energy.    Review your plan and set a realistic, achievable goal with a specific timeframe and target GHG reduction number.

Share your plan with your employees, and get them involved in GHG reduction activities.  Review your plan regularly, and make changes as needed to ensure your actions will allow you to achieve your goal.  Talk with other businesses, and share ideas.    

Please share your business climate action plan with us, too!  Email your plan, or a simple pledge, to maintenance@newark.org.  Thank you for helping Newark “Go Green”!

Green Business Recognition

In today’s climate, many businesses are looking for ways to lower operating costs while continuing to be a responsible community partner and highly frequented establishment. The Bay Area Green Business Program helps small to medium businesses do just that.

This program, coordinated by the Association of Bay Area Governments, offers free resources and technical assistance to a wide variety of businesses interested in improving environmental performance. Nine Bay Area counties participate, and have developed regional standards for businesses to meet in order to be recognized as a Bay Area Green Business. Established partnerships help local businesses comply with environmental regulations and take actions to conserve resources, prevent pollution, minimize waster, and reduce their carbon footprint. Once businesses are verified as meeting the Program’s standards of performance, additional resources are made available to businesses, including a marketing toolkit and promotional opportunities.

Congratulations to these two Newark businesses that have already achieved this coveted recognition:

Gateway Cafe
7677 Gateway Boulevard
(510) 742-0400

Tri-Cities One-Stop Career Center
39399 Cherry Street
(510) 742-2327

If you represent a Newark business and would like to learn more about being recognized as a Bay Area Green Business, please contact Pamela Evans, Alameda County’s Green Business Program Coordinator, at pamela.evans@acgov.org. For general information about the Bay Area Green Business Program, visit www.greenbiz.ca.gov or contact Ceil Scandone at ceils@abag.ca.gov .

Other resources for businesses:

Air Quality
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Energy Efficiency and Green Building
Energy Analysis and Efficiency