Positioned in a state long considered to be a green business hub, Fresno is curiously lacking companies with green business plan initiatives. In fact, only 25 companies in or near Fresno are plotted on a California green business map compiled by the Environmental Defense Fund for having green buildings and utilizing energy efficiency. No Fresno companies are plotted on the map as having green practices.
This lack of green business practices leaves the door wide open for Fresno business owners to set their companies apart from the pack by developing green initiatives. Check out these top green business alliances and programs in California, as well as tips on how to get started.
Making the Green Switch
No hard-and-fast guidebook exists for businesses to make the green switch. Rather, the changes adopted by business owners are often based on the industries they serve. For example, some business owners can hire more teleworkers while others must rely on in-office workers and, instead, develop green office handbooks.
Check out these top ways that other businesses in California are going green:
- Making building changes – Several businesses in Fresno have either updated their buildings for increased energy efficiency or specialize in making those updates for other companies. ACCO Engineered Systems and AECOM are just a few of the area’s firms that help business owners improve the efficiency of their structures.
- Buying used furniture - Small, in-office changes often add up to big results. Buying used furniture offers business owners several benefits, including lower costs and decreased consumption.
- Reusing and Recycling – Plastic cups and disposable eating utensils are often off-limits in green businesses. By developing policies of reusing and recycling products, business owners decrease their in-office waste and, thus, cultivate greener business practices.
- Offering employee incentives – Green employee incentives reign supreme at Clif Bar headquarters in Emeryville. At Clif Bar, workers who carpool, ride bikes, use public transportation or walk to work earn points toward a max of $960 in annual rewards. Of course, green incentives needn’t be large to be effective.
California Green Business Programs
From green business alliances to green business conferences, several support outlets exist for Fresno business owners thinking of adopting environmentally-friendly practices.
Here are just a few of the region’s top programs:
- California Green Business Program – The California Green Business Program is government-run and assists/recognizes businesses that operate in environmentally-friendly manners. No Fresno businesses are currently listed as part of the California Green Business Program, making it an attractive option for business owners in the city wanting to set their companies apart from competitors.
- Green California Summit and Exposition – Termed as an outlet for business owners to discover innovations in green policies, practices and technologies, the Green California Summit and Exposition is an annual conference offered each spring. Keynote speakers, educational programs and exhibits are just a few of the summit’s highlights.
- California Green Business Alliance – The California Green Business Alliance is an outlet for business owners who support a clean energy future in Fresno and throughout California. After joining the alliance, business owners can display the alliance’s logo on their company website.
While California’s overall green economy is strong, Fresno businesses have some catching up to do. Whether you’re joining green alliances, adopting green business practices or making other changes, the benefits that come with developing environmental initiatives are strong, says Tim O’Connor, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund and an expert on the state’s green economy.
“These are the companies that can lead the world in innovative solutions that create jobs and increase our global competitiveness,” explains O’Connor.Visit Susan Jennings on Google+