The Culver City Sustainable Business Certification Program celebrated its fifth anniversary by certifying twelve more Culver City businesses, for a total of 77 business certifications since the Program’s inception five years ago.
Non-profit Sustainable Works, and local consulting firm Balanced Approach developed and currently administer the Program for Culver City, which targets businesses in the retail, office, restaurant, grocery, school, lodging and theater sectors. The two-tier Certification Program includes a “Certified” and a “Certified Innovator” level. Certified businesses must complete a minimum number of measures in the areas of water use, energy conservation, clean energy, waste reduction, pollution prevention, and sustainable transportation. Certified Innovators are exemplary businesses that, in addition to meeting the “Certified’ criteria, provide their employees with living wages, benefits, and demonstrate innovative practices in environmental preservation and community engagement. Both levels of certification are valid for three years.
The 5th Annual Awards Event took place on September 12th, 2023 at West & Co Restaurant located inside the Hilton Hotel in Culver City. Seven of this year’s businesses achieved the “Innovator” level and five received the “Certified” level. The “Certified” businesses recognized are Akasha, All That & More boutique, Marina Martial Arts, TrueLove Post, and Röckenwagner Bakery Café. The new “Certified Innovators” are Empowered Yoga Studio, Letter Four Inc, NRG Marketing, and Treehouse Design Partnership LLC. Envoy Technologies, Poon Design Inc, and ReKon Productions graduated to achieving the higher “Innovator” level upon their recertification.
In recognizing that a more resilient and sustainable community is diverse, equitable and inclusive, the Program is stepping up its efforts to seek out Black, Hispanic/Latin, LGBTQ and Certified Minority-owned businesses to encourage them to participate in the Program. Of the 12 certified businesses this year, five are owned by Black, Indigenous and people of color.
Certified businesses received City Council commendations, a framed certificate made from FSC-certified solid oak wood, window clings, and digital “certified” logos to proudly market and set themselves apart to customers as companies that prioritize running a sustainable operation.
Many of the businesses received free water fixture retrofits and new high-efficiency fixtures over the years via the Program’s partnership with Golden State Water, collectively saving over 4.7 million gallons of water annually since the Program’s inception. These businesses are also saving 345,000 kWh of energy, diverting an estimated 24,000 pounds of waste from the landfill, avoiding 248 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saving an estimated $90,000 in utility costs each year.
“The Culver City Sustainable Business Certification Program is helping our community reduce its carbon and ecological footprints and improve the wellbeing of their employees and customers. It was an honor to deliver the Commendations to businesses who demonstrate their sustainability stewardship,” said Culver City Mayor Albert Vera, who presided over this year’s awards event.
Developed under guidelines established by the California Green Business Network (CAGBN), participating businesses are guided through a comprehensive onsite sustainability assessment of their building and operations. The assessments include a review of their energy and water use, waste management, procurement, transportation and community engagement. Upon completion of the assessment, customized Sustainable Business Action Plans, including measures to increase energy and water efficiencies, establish green purchasing, and create a better working environment for staff, are created by the hands-on sustainability consultants. Businesses are guided along the entire process to ensure they have the resources they need to implement the necessary measures to achieve certification. Through a CalEPA grant received by the CAGBN, this year’s certified businesses received rebates totaling $7,500 to cover costs associated with implementing the measures necessary to become certified.
Culver City is one of 50 cities and counties in California that participate in the CAGBN.
For more information about the Certification Program and to register to become a certified business, visit our website at www.culvercity.org/Services/Business-Resources/Become-a-Certified-Sustainable-Business
City of Culver City