For businesses and organizations, large and small, time is limited and budgets can be tight. Despite our environmental interests and aspirations, ‘going green’ can sound overwhelming, time-intensive and potentially budget-constraining.
These are all reasonable concerns, and addressing these helped shape the development of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Green Business Network (CGBN). The FREE, technical assistance and environmental recognition program is designed around community development, business support, marketing and recognition.
As a Regional Partner of the state-level program, the Colorado Green Business Network of the Yampa Valley (CGBN-YV) makes it easier to connect local businesses and organizations with state-level funding and resources, and skills that make sustainability attainable. Our Yampa Valley-based team has the knowledge and tools to walk you through the CGBN registration and application process, and we are familiar with the local opportunities and challenges facing businesses in this region.
A great opportunity to get involved is coming up January 23, during CGBN-YV’s first Business Leadership for Climate Workshop. The free workshop is the first of a four part series aimed to educate business owners about the many opportunities and resources available to them through a collaboration with CGBN-YV.
Presented by the Steamboat Springs Chamber and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, the workshop will take place from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Routt County Community Room (135 6th St) and includes lunch from Wild Plum. The event is free and open to businesses and organizations, but registration is required.
Why should you join?
There are a LOT of reasons, and it just depends on what your business or organization is most interested in.
Free on-site technical assistance and ongoing coaching and support help businesses achieve their sustainability goals. Sustainability practices, particularly if linked with resource reduction, lead to more efficient internal operations and a reduction in a business’ bottom line.
“An increasing consumer base is also seeking out businesses that are verifiably demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. They are getting wise to greenwashing, and they want to see the specific details of what a business has done.”
The most common benefit CGBN hears about from all of its members is the element of community, and the expertise being in the community provides — both from CGBN-YV teams and also from other like-minded businesses. Businesses have so much support from us and others like them, that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch learning what projects to take on. This really reduces the time commitment needed.
An increasing consumer base is also seeking out businesses that are verifiably demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. They are getting wise to greenwashing, and they want to see the specific details of what a business has done. CGBN offers that third party certification at no additional cost, and we are here to help market those businesses and teach businesses how to tell that story themselves.
Why is now the time?
Right now we are seeing more federal and state funding put toward sustainability than ever before. This is helping businesses reduce the upfront costs of installing resource reduction equipment and incentivizing efficiency investments. We want to bring these resources to our local community and recognize that businesses have limited time to seek out these opportunities.
As a member of CGBN-YV, you are one of the first to know of these and upcoming opportunities, and we are here to help you take advantage of those. For certified businesses, CGBN also writes letters of support for grant applications and provides priority permitting and regulatory assistance. All members can currently apply for CGBN mini-grants regardless of recognition status.
Importantly, legislation, such as single use plastics bans, emissions reporting and polystyrene foam restrictions, are either in place or coming down the pipeline. Our members will be the first to hear about these, so they won’t be scrambling later.
Finally, the time to take climate action is now. 2023 was the hottest year on record, and reducing carbon emissions is important now more than ever. Businesses in the Yampa Valley have a unique opportunity to position themselves as climate leaders and take actions that are good for business and the community!