The Green Business Program of Santa Barbara awarded all four UCSB Dining Commons certifications last week for meeting the organization’s eco-friendly standards.

The recognition highlights the dining halls’ ability to run a business with minimal environmental impact and its status as a model of sustainability. The Green Business Program, founded in 1994 to help local companies institute green policies in a cost-effective manner, offers support and incentives to companies granted entrance into the certified club.

GBP Program Director Frances Gilliland said businesses applying for the validation are subjected to a rigorous examination process.

“It is a voluntary process on behalf of the businesses,” Gilliland said. “Through this partnering we hope to help businesses become more environmentally conscious, and we also hope that through the changes it will help businesses economically. Our goal is to become environmentally sustainable. We have just certified a number of businesses as well as the four dining commons at UCSB after fulfilling a checklist of requirements.”

UCSB alumna Kimberly True, who owns a landscaping company that also received certification, said the program monitored the company’s resource use over the span of a year.

“The process entailed a checklist of all the different things to be certified, such as energy-efficient lights and water use,” True said. “It was a long process going through the checklist and different people came to audit this.”

In a statement on the GBP’s website, Assistant Director Bonnie Crouse said on-campus green initiatives instill a sense of environmental stewardship among future community leaders.

“We are proud to influence and educate a student generation on environmental issues and what it means to be ‘green,’” Crouse said. “Green Certification is one more giant leap toward impacting our local community in a positive way, in addition to making a difference in the lives of those who pass through our doors.”