Upcoming Conference: Sustainable Dairy Products

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invite you to a day packed with information and conversation on environmental and economic sustainability in value-added dairy products manufacturing. Come learn how to increase profitability through best practices for improving energy efficiency, conserving water, managing wastewater, and optimizing cleaning and sanitizing operations. Whether you are just getting into dairy products manufacturing, expanding an existing operation, an established business, or if you work with dairy processors, this day is for you.

Register Now!

Sustainable Dairy Products: Northeast Summit
February 12th, Norwich, VT, 
8:30am – 4:30pm

For more information and to register, go to: www.newmoa.org/events/event.cfm?m=299.

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Becoming a Benefit Corporation in VT

Purpose. Transparency. Accountability.

These are the three required elements of becoming a Benefit Corporation (B Corp).  The Vermont benefit corporation law allows for the creation of a new and voluntary corporate entity that will allow businesses to consider profit as well as society and the environment. This form of incorporation allows a business to balance fiduciary duty between its shareholders and stakeholders. At present, B Corps are permitted in 33 states. B Corps meet stringent standards, and must demonstrate on multiple levels how their company leads on social and environmental values, and drives positive impact across sectors.

So why become a B Corp? Benefit Corporation status can generate press, attract investors, attract and engage talent, save money and benchmark company performance. To learn more about becoming a Benefit Corporation in Vermont, the certifying entity, called B Lab, has designed this guidebook.

B lab.PNGList of Vermont Benefit Corporations

*= Also a VT Green Business member

 

 

West Hill House B&B Goes 100% Solar

In the scenic Mad River Valley, you’ll find a very green place to rest your head: West Hill House B&B. Owners Peter and Susan MacLaren feel sustainability is important and are hoping to lead by example and inspire others to reduce their environmental impacts. A Vermont Green Business, the B&B welcomes its guests with complimentary electric vehicle charging, recycling bins in every guest room, and a composting program.  West Hill House B&B has gone above and beyond by installing a pre-heating hot water system on their roof and investing in net-metered solar, accounting for 100% of their electric energy needs. Peter and Susan say that the changes they have made to benefit the planet do not go unnoticed by guests. The couple recently leased a Tesla themselves, and they note how the car begins many engaging conversations on sustainability with guests. Wanna hear more about sustainability at West Hill House B&B?  This video offers an in-depth look at all of West Hill House B&B‘s sustainability efforts. The Vermont Green Business Program is proud to have members like West Hill House B&B!

solar west hill.PNG

Photo above: West Hill House B&B has a more than 25% share of the Same Sun Solar Society solar farm in Poultney, VT.

 

 

 

Become a Vermont Green Business

 The Green Mountain State has a reputation for taking care of the planet through our sustainable economy. The Vermont Green Business Program recognizes businesses demonstrate these values. We are here to help you achieve your company’s cost savings and sustainability goals so you can be successful. Becoming a green business is the smart way to do business in the 21st Century.

Why become a green business?

• Customer, community, and statewide recognition
• Free and confidential technical assistance
• Cost savings from energy and water conservation
• Brand association with environmental stewardship

Here’s How to Join:

Thank you for your interest in the Vermont Green Business Program! Follow the simple steps below and you’ll be on your way to becoming a VT Green Business.

STEP 1 – REVIEW PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS & ASSURE COMPLIANCE

Make sure your business has all the required environmental permits. If you are unsure, contact a Permit Specialist for assistance.

STEP 2 – ADDRESS YOUR ENERGY FOOTPRINT

We’ve partnered with Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department to help you address your energy usage, so that you can save money and lighten your footprint on the planet. To be eligible to become a Green Business, you must have had an energy efficiency consultation. If you are located within Burlington, contact Burlington Electric at (802) 865-7300 for an energy efficiency consultation. Outside of Burlington, contact Efficiency Vermont at (855) 317-2254.

Once you’ve implemented the tasks in the above list, you are ready for Step 3. Walk-through Assessment.  To schedule a Walk-through of your facility, email catherine.craig@vermont.gov or (802)622-4358.

Green Cleaning: Keeping the Air Clean in Your Office All Winter Long

 

We all know that using green cleaning products is a great way to reduce harsh toxic chemicals in the workplace. But we might not think about how green cleaning products are part of up-keeping healthy indoor air quality. During the winter, when all the windows are closed and there is less ventilation, using green cleaning becomes even more essential. Here is a short list on how you can breathe easily:

  1. Don’t rely on air-fresheners or room sprays, which can be toxic (many contain endocrine disruptors).
  2.  Choose cleaning products that are safe. Make sure to avoid cleaning products that contain dangerous chemicals like phthalates, formaldehyde, and “chemical surfacants.
  3. Use LEED- certified cleaning products.
  4. Steam clean carpets, rather than using (often toxic) carpet cleaners.

Cite: http://www.greencleaningmagazine.com/10-tips-for-a-clean-green-office/

Keep it Local + Green this Cyber Monday!

Many Vermont Green Business Program members are having sales for cyber Monday! Check out all the great products available right here in Vermont in their online stores:

Champlain Valley Apiaries
Vermont Gear
Gardener’s Supply Company
High Mowing Seeds
Jed’s Maple
Johnson Woolen Mills
Keurig Green Mountain
King Arthur Flour
Maple Landmark
Massage Vermont
Origins of Food
Outdoor Gear Exchange
Pomerantz Woodworking
Solmate Socks
Stonecutter Spirits
Strong House Spa
Turtle Fur
Vermont Cookie Love
Vermont Soap
Way Out Wax

VT GBP Welcomes 3 New Businesses

Pictured: Chas Mraz, Owner of Champlain Valley Apiaries in the bee yard.

Champlain Valley Apiaries, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and Northeast Recycling Council are the most recent businesses to join the Vermont Green Business Program. We are thrilled to welcome these businesses/organizations, as they truly exemplify the elements of sustainability.

“We at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund love our clean Vermont air and water and are committed to protecting the environment, the health and safety of our employees, and the community in which we conduct our business and we are proud to be a Vermont Green Business.”
-Ellen Kahler, Executive Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

To qualify as members, each of these organizations has taken many steps to reduce their environmental impact. Here are a few of their notable achievements: Champlain Valley Apiaries addressed their packaging waste- they use shredded cardboard from used shipping boxes to package their goods. Northeast Recycling Council uses all green cleaning products and recycled paper supplies. And Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has implemented in-office composting. Welcome to the Vermont Green Business Program!

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