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Green Working

Green Business Programs

Cupertino Green Business Resources

As an innovation capitol, Cupertino looks to its business partners not just as technology leaders, but also as creators of pioneering environmental programs. Many high profile high-tech businesses with Cupertino addresses have been recognized for implementing actions that exceed environmental compliance, enhance our natural resources and contribute to the sustainability of our community.

Our collective aim is to help commercial businesses recognize cost savings while producing less waste and consuming less paper, energy and water. To stimulate this process, Cupertino staff developed resources available on this webpage to get businesses started in designing programs to ensure efficient use of resources (financial and natural). Staff members are also on hand to assist you with your planning, building, environmental compliance and green business questions.

Join GreenBiz Cupertino
Calling all Cupertino businesses! Interested in distinguishing your business as an environmental leader by saving energy, water and money? Learn how you can join.

Find Resources
Visit these one stop shop green business resources:

Review how other Cupertino businesses are working protect the environment:

Convene a Team

Convene a team of employees to identify opportunities to expand your business’ existing environmental activities:

  • Evaluate and benchmark existing environmental policies (i.e. building, purchasing, waste management) and related activities.
  • Establish a baseline of (1) energy/fuel consumed (2) water consumed (3) waste generated and (4) indoor air quality working with internal departments, external regulatory bodies and local utilities.
  • Build upon your past and present environmentally-focused activities to create a commitment to reduce your business’ climate change impacts by crafting an environmental action plan with short and long-term targets (i.e. toxic-free purchasing plan, recycling/composting program, IT monitoring software) to reduce these impacts.
  • Develop a communications strategy to introduce and engage employees, partners, board of directors and other stakeholders in your new environmental action plan.

Finalize Action Plan
Finally create, implement and monitor your action plan, including:

  • Engaging employees through hands-on activities to green your business -
    • Encourage employee participation to implement your environmental action plan by hosting competitions between individuals, departments or offices.
    • Teach resource stewardship by allocating environmental action plan responsibilities among employees such as tracking your business’ energy and water use, managing the transformation of your cafeteria or monitoring ecological and cost benefits associated with an environmentally preferred purchasing program.
  • Growing green spaces, lunchrooms, and cafeterias -
    • Minimize impervious surfaces and evaluate options for removing asphalt for creating an outdoor break area or meeting space.
    • Consider partnering with a local famer or community garden to buy local (and organic!) produce for your cafeteria and make certain employees have healthy food choices for meals and snacks.
    • Always encourage the use of reusable dishware – for employees that buy or pack lunch.
    • No cafeteria? Encourage employees to pack their lunches or walk or carpool to local eating establishments to reduce vehicle trips and emissions.
    • Divert waste from the landfill by implementing a composting program – contact Cupertino’s Environmental Program to learn more.
  • Greening water cooler and coffee talk
    •  Eliminate single-use cups and water bottles offered to employees or business guests, instead, provide employees and guests with coffee mugs and water bottles to refill.
    • Consider alternatives to the bottled water cooler or promote tap water (with or without a filtration device).
    • Work with (or promote) local coffee shops to offer discounts to employees that bring their own cups.
    • When making coffee in the office, purchase bulk (not single filter packages) fair trade varieties that guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product.
  • Building and maintaining green facilities
    •  Develop a formal policy to commit to green building criteria for new construction and renovation projects. 
    • Commit to climate change-causing emissions reductions by tracking your business’ energy use over time.
    • Implement a facility-wide retrofitting program to install energy efficient light bulbs and appliances, low-flow faucets and showerheads and motion sensors. There are many grants, rebates, financing options and technical assistance programs offered by PG&E and the CA Energy Commission to get you started.
    • Schedule a Water Audit and become an EPA Water Sense Partner to bring water-efficient products to market and spread the word about the need for smart water use.
    • Offset your energy use by installing renewable energy technologies or purchasing renewable energy credits.
  • Implementing alternative commuting practices, fleets and equipment
    •  If your business maintains a fleet and/or mobile equipment, make certain to maintain air quality compliance
    •  Investigate alternative fuel/power options for fleet and equipment and retrofit/replace vehicles with low emissions alternatives.
    • Schedule travel and routes to optimize vehicle use.
    • Analyze vehicle use patterns to determine if fewer or more fuel-efficient vehicles can accomplish the same tasks.
    • Encourage employees to exercise their way to work (while helping the planet) by riding their bike and walking. Taking public transportation to work, meetings and local events is also a great way to cut that carbon! 
    • Start and promote a work or event rideshare program.
  • Promoting resource conservation
    • Take advantage of Cupertino’s recycling services.
    • Develop, implement and track a zero waste policy for your organization. 
    • Not sure if it can be recycled? Check CA Take it Back Partnership website.
    • Be resource savvy and visit the California Materials Exchange designed to help businesses, organizations, local governments, industry, schools, and individuals find markets for nonhazardous materials that may otherwise be discarded.
    • Make smart procurement choices by adopting and implementing an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing policy and promote products that use less materials, water and energy, minimizing the impact on California's natural environment. Check with local office supply stores and businesses to see if they offer environmental alternative product lists to make your eco-shopping easy or search those online that already do including  Staples, Home Depot, and Office Depot.
  • Track and evaluate progress
    • Conduct an annual audit to monitor levels of waste, energy, water consumed and associated costs and savings
    • Collect feedback from employees and stakeholders on action plan activities to identify opportunities to expand or refocus the program
    • Modify the action plan as required to achieve climate change/ environmental goals established in the process
    • Encourage employees to develop their own personal sustainability plan to reduce climate change impacts in their own homes
Last updated: 11/3/2014 10:18:53 AM