12 city businesses achieve sustainability certifications

This year BIPOC led certified group

Courtesy photo GOOD BUSINESS—12 newly certified sustainable businesses were honored on June 1.

Culver City Mayor Dr. Daniel Lee commended 12 newly certified sustainable businesses on June 1 as part of the City’s Sustainable Business Certification Program (Certification Program) at Temple Akiba in Culver City. The awards ceremony was hosted by project managers Sustainable Works and Balanced Approach as well as Temple Akiba, who received its own certification. These 12 businesses mark a total of 58 certifications since the program’s inception in 2017. “We are pleased that Culver City businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity to receive hands-on assistance to become certified as sustainable,” said Mayor Lee. “The Sustainable Business Certification Program is helping Culver City reduce its carbon footprint and improve the wellbeing of workers, customers and the entire community.” Culver City’s Sustainable Business Certification Program Honorees Temple Akiba Co-Opportunity Market Jag Gym Schmidli Backdrops Village Well Books & Coffee OsteoStrong (renewed its certification for another three years after achieving certification in 2019) New “Certified Innovators” Green Dinosaur, Inc. KFA Architecture Servicon Systems, Inc. Hi-Lo Liquor Market (renewed certifications this year, this time achieving the higher “Innovator” level) Reformation Culver City Headquarters and Store (renewed certifications this year, this time achieving the higher “Innovator” level) This year, the Certification Program focused its outreach to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, [and] People of Color), certified minority and diversely-owned business and joined the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) and the Latin Business Association (LBA), which helped certify two of the five BIPOC-owned businesses that enrolled in the Certification Program this year. Culver City is one of 48 local governments in California that offer a Certification Program to their business community. On June 27, 2022, a report highlighting the success of the Certification Program was presented to the City Council. Since its inception in 2017, the 58 businesses that have been certified have collectively reduced their annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 246 metric tons, decreased their water use by 4.6 million gallons each year, and saved 343,000 kWh of electricity. About the Sustainable Business Certification Program Developed under guidelines established by the California Green Business Network (CAGBN), participating businesses are guided through a comprehensive on-site 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 are created by the hands-on sustainability consultants, which include measures to increase energy and water efficiencies, establish green purchasing and create a better working environment for staff. Businesses are guided through the entire process to ensure they have the resources they need to implement the necessary measures to achieve their certification. This year, many of the businesses received free water retrofits and new high efficiency fixtures via the the Certification Program’s partnership with Golden State Water Company, with an estimated annual savings of over 1.3 million gallons of water annually. This is especially appreciated given California’s unprecedented and persistent severe drought. The annual energy saved by this year’s group of businesses is the equivalent of permanently removing 15 cars off the road and eliminating 70 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. In addition, these businesses are diverting an estimated three tons of solid waste from the landfill and saving an estimated $24,000 in utility costs. Since the Certification Program’s inception, Culver City’s 58 Certified Businesses are collectively saving 4.6 million gallons of water and eliminating 248 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. In 2017, Sustainable Works and Balanced Approach developed a customized Certification Program on behalf of the City that adheres to the California Green Business Network (CAGBN) guidelines. The Certification Program assists participating businesses with resources for reducing energy and water use, preventing pollution, reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and diverting waste from landfills. Adopting sustainable policies and promoting cleaner modes of transportation are key components of the Certification Program. Businesses may choose from two certification tiers, “Certified” or “Certified Innovator”. Certified businesses meet core resource efficiency and community engagement criteria, while Certified Innovator businesses add innovative practices to offset GHG emissions, participate in their communities and adopt socially responsible practices. These certified businesses acknowledge their achievement and commitment to operating in a sustainable manner by proudly displaying the Certification Program logo and certification seal in their promotional materials and on their websites. They are also included in the statewide CAGBN directory, and on a new Shop Green smart phone app for iPhones and Androids, which feature certified green businesses across the State of California. Culver City is one of 45 cities and counties in California that participate in the CAGBN. Learn how to participate in the City’s Sustainable Business Certification Program. About Sustainable Works and Balanced Approach In collaboration with the City of Culver City in 2017, Sustainable Works and Balanced Approach developed and implemented the City’s premiere Sustainable Business Certification Program. Balanced Approach is a Culver City-based consulting firm led by Principal and Chief Sustainability Strategist Shea Cunningham who also works in corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and program development and municipal climate resilience planning. Sustainable Works is a nonprofit organization that administers various community sustainability programs including the Green Business Certification Program for the City of Santa Monica. To date, Sustainable Works has certified over 250 businesses in Santa Monica and is co-led by Executive Directors Susy Borlido and Gina Garcia.