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Originally published: 2013-03-14 11:48:52
Last modified: 2013-03-14 11:49:19

Green Business Plan workshop scheduled

by Staff Reports

Local businesses are invited to a workshop April 3 to learn more about the Watauga Green Business Plan.


The voluntary program allows businesses to show their commitment to preserving the High Country's assets by becoming independently certified as green businesses.


The program aims to reduce small businesses' environmental impacts and build a sustainable community.


"The purpose of the program is to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to adopt practices that reduce their environmental impact, improve their operational efficiency and enhance their business reputation," Economic Development Commission Director Joe Furman said.


The workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 3 at the Watauga County Agricultural Extension office in Boone. The event will walk participants through the process of becoming a certified green business.


There is no charge to attend, but participants must pre-register since lunch will be provided. Lunch is sponsored by MountainKeepers and Bandana's. Please call Lisa Doty at (828) 265-4852 or email lisa.doty@watgov.org by March 29 to register or learn more.


There are three steps to becoming a Watauga Green Business Plan participant: self-assessment, implementation and certification. Based on the level of performance, a participating business is awarded a Level of Green Excellence ranking of one, three or five stars. Certification is valid for two years.


The basis of the evaluation is the "Green Business Scorecard." The scorecard reflects best practices in eight areas of environmental and community stewardship: regulatory compliance, solid waste management, environmentally and socially responsible purchasing, energy conservation and efficiency, water conservation and quality, protecting and promoting natural and cultural resources, alternative transportation, and community involvement and leadership.


Businesses just getting started but still wishing to participate in the program may be awarded provisional certification for up to one year. During this period, the business commits to put best practices in place and meet minimum implementation goals.


To learn more about the Watauga Green Business Plan, visit http://www.greenbusinessplan.com.