Six UCSB campus businesses have achieved “Green Business” certification out of a total 21 local businesses to recently receive the certification, which is granted by the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County.
As a nonprofit organization seeking to help local businesses become more environmentally sustainable, the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County invites establishments into their program by requiring that they meet certain standards such as following sustainable and environmentally responsible business practices and fitting into certain ‘green’ business types — including lodging, automotive business, restaurant service, office and retail.
The six UCSB businesses to receive Green Business certification are The Arbor, The Corner Store, Nicoletti’s Coffeehouse, The Store at Buchanan, UCSB Concessions and Special Events Catering and UCSB Transportation Services.
The program’s director, Frances Gilliland said the Green Business Program certification logo allows businesses to add more prestige to their establishment while also encouraging other businesses to begin more sustainable, efficient and potentially cost-cutting business practices.
“They are saving money,” Gilliland said. “If we can help a business even save a couple hundred dollars a month on their water bill by showing them how to be more conservation-minded, then that’s a big help for businesses these days.”
Gilliland said the program also requires establishments to abide by several conservation requirements before achieving certification.
“We have standards that we have set in the areas of recycling, purchasing, waste management, energy efficiency and water conservation and pollution prevention,” Gilliland said.
According to Gilliland, UCSB businesses have made great efforts toward leaving a ‘greener footprint’ in areas such as recycling and water conservation.
Students have also made significant contributions to the general movement toward staff education related to conservation, Gilliland said.
“The biggest improvement would be educating staff … they all have students working with them,” Gilliland said. “[Students] just do a great job in everything all around … [they do] an amazing job in recycling and water conversation.”
Anna Burrows, a first-year ecology, evolution and marine biology major, said UCSB is a particularly prestigious school due to its unique history of focusing on environmental awareness and conservation efforts.
“I have to say I’m pretty proud that at our campus, we’re able to say our convenient stores are pinned with the stars that they’ve done this and following the policies,” Burrows said.