Recommended Sustainability Resources for Colorado Small Businesses

Because Colorado continues to be a leader in small business implementation of environmentally-friendly business practices, our state has created an abundance of organizations and resources which can help guide a business in their sustainability plans.

CORE

CORE is dedicated to helping Colorado denverorganizations implement sustainability in their operations, products, and workforce development, focused on small and medium businesses. They have success stories that share sustainability best practices of businesses in the Colorado community.

Certifiably Green Denver

They can give free and confidential assistance with your environmental questions and concerns.  Because they work specifically with the small businesses of Denver, they can give you knowledgeable information to help with avoiding environmental liability specific to this area, while not sacrificing your profitability.

Denver Energy Challenge

You can find information regarding rebates and also find help with your energy-saving efforts.  You can even talk to an expert by phone Mon. thru Sat. (8:00AM to 6:00PM) at (720) 865-5520.  These are the people to talk to if you are preparing to do an “energy upgrade” as they will help you throughout the process.

Watts To Water

This water conservation program recognizes and awards small business for their water conservation efforts. All hotels and offices with over 5000 sq. ft. of space can participate with minimal effort, but the benefits to your business are great.

Denver Regional Council of Governments

This organization focuses on enabling telework as an alternative to commuting which will help our community reduce pollution, ease traffic congestion and create higher levels of employee satisfaction.  They can work with your company to help you implement a tele-commuting plan that can work in your situation.

The Colorado Carbon Fund

They have created the first, statewide, voluntary offset program in the U.S., with special attention paid to the GHG reduction projects in our state, which will mean verifiable and permanent carbon offsets.

Eco-officiency offers sustainability consulting services in Colorado and nationwide. We provide expert business advisors to assist organizations and individuals in becoming more sustainable in their work and personal lives.  Contact us to discover how we can help you today!

Denver Sustainability Park: A Living Vision For Our Future

If you are lucky enough to live in the Denver area or if you are planning a visit, there is an amazing thing happening on 3 acres located at Lawrence and 25th Streets in Denver’s downtown. There is a living, breathing learning experience that can teach you how to re-imagine our urban living environments.  You will experience a hands-on demonstration of alternative building designs, urban gardening solutions, the newest water saving technologies and the list goes on.

Denver’s Sustainability Park is a collaboration of the Denver Housing Authority ( (DHA) and The Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES).   Along with active community involvement, they have created an innovative approach to teaching our community how to lessen it’s carbon footprint and learn new sustainable ways to approach old problems.

The variety of sustainability solutions presented here is worth a number of visits just to make sure you are seeing it all.  From a composting demonstration area to a Permaculture Garden the exhibitions are scattered throughout the three acre park.  You can visit the urban garden or learn about options for efficient use of resources.  One can imagine the fantastic resource for our schools to support their sustainability curriculums. The students are sure to be inspired and could even discover a new career choice after visiting the park.

As a local business in the Denver community, you can learn about energy efficient building materials and designs as well as effective resource management tools that can be part of your sustainable business vision.  The latest cutting-edge technologies are here to be studied and then put to work in a real world environment.  This community focus will hopefully result in healthy Colorado neighborhoods and a vibrant, growing “green” economy.

If you share our vision of community sustainability, contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Sustainability Planning Resources: State, City and Local Communities

Sustainable Communities

A non profit organization helping to promote local communities to become more sustainable.

City of Portland

The Business Center of Portland has a simple and short sustainability plan example available. Portland has been rated as one of the greenest cities in America.

EPA for State and Local Governments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a specific site of resources geared for all state and local governments to deal with climate change, energy efficiency, pesticides, pollution, transportation, waste and water.  It also has a list of the local organizations that the EPA deals with that can be useful to local governments.

How to Make a Community Green

This free downloadable guide published by the U.S. EPA offers instructions on how local governments can create a sustainable plan.

Environmental Council of the States

This is a non- profit association of state environmental leaders. It provides a networking forum and resources for environmental and sustainability professionals within local state and city governments.

GreenPrint Denver

The local Denver, Colorado city sustainability program providing resources to its residents and local businesses. Here is a link to the City of Denver Climate Action Plan.

Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI)

A membership organization for all local governments who want to be more sustainable in their communities. The site offers tools, trainings, resources and network to local examples.

Give Back: Making Company Donations

December usually is the time for giving donations to the community and other non-profit organizations around the world. Philanthropic gestures are considered one important aspect in supporting the social side of corporate sustainability. A company can donate directly or take part in match programs with employees’ favorite non-profits. Here are a few programs to consider;

Colorado Gives Day is December 6, 2011. It is a local movement to help raise funds for al Colorado based community non-profits. All donations can be made through Colorado Gives website. Last year over $8.7 million dollars was donated to local Colorado charities.

1% for the planet is another non-profit organization that supports corporate philanthropy. America averages about 1% of sales to nonprofit organizations. 1% for the plant is helping environmental groups around the world; this was started by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia. This organization now has 1393 companies committed to giving 1% of their sales to over 2500 environmental organizations worldwide. All companies can become a member and take the pledge to give 1%  of their sales to non-profit organizations.

Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)is a government run donation program where donation pledges are made by government personnel. Each U.S. government agency has a CFC contact and there is an extensive catalog available for employees to make pledges to various non-profits.