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EPA Pollution Prevention Grant Helps Nevada Partners Launch Statewide Green Business Program

09/18/2019
Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)
415-972-3512

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is celebrating Pollution Prevention Week by highlighting partners and projects that help businesses be more competitive and sustainable. Pollution prevention means reducing or eliminating sources of pollution at the source to prevent damage to the environment while also eliminating the need for costly controls and cleanup.

Western Nevada College (WNC) and greenUP!, a Nevada nonprofit, have teamed up to launch a statewide Green Business recognition program. In the planning stages for more than two years, WNC received $180,000 in pollution prevention grant funds from EPA in 2018 to get the program off the ground. With funding in hand, the public-private partnership looks to recognize its first businesses in early 2020.

WNC and greenUp! are adapting a demonstrated model used by similar programs in six states and dozens of local governments nationwide. The program works with businesses to go beyond basic compliance. It provides assistance and recognition for making voluntary changes to reduce energy and water consumption, generation of solid and hazardous waste, and use of toxic materials. Once certified, the program publicizes participating businesses through a searchable online directory, recognition events, and a statewide marketing campaign. 

“Pollution prevention is key to saving our natural resources and moving toward sustainability,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Nevada businesses will soon have a way to be recognized for doing good for the planet, while also improving up their bottom line.”

“This program has been proven to help businesses improve environmental performance while cutting waste and cost,” said Donna Walden, program coordinator and president of greenUp!. “Nevada has amazing businesses who want and deserve recognition for their impressive environmental commitments, and we want to help more businesses make the changes needed to get that recognition.”

GreenUp! is coordinating the effort and leveraging the talents and resources of WNC to help businesses participate in the program. WNC staff and students will be trained in pollution prevention practices and will provide technical assistance and phone support to businesses seeking certification.

“The Green Business Program advances WNC’s core values and Sustainability Policy, and there are many learning possibilities for students to get work-based experience,” says Georgia White, project director for the grant and director of professional and technical education for WNC. “WNC has a commitment to workforce development, particularly in manufacturing jobs, and we want to encourage all businesses to consider their environmental impact while streamlining their operations.”

The Nevada Green Business Program works with businesses of all types, such as food production companies, property managers, breweries, lodging facilities, distilleries and restaurants. The program will track business adoption of practices using the GreenBiz tracker, an online tool developed in California and now used across the country. The tool allows programs and businesses to convert adopted practices into environmental results, such as greenhouse gas emissions reduced, energy saved, gallons of water saved, tons of waste diverted from landfills and hazardous materials reduced.

In addition to EPA funding, the Nevada Green Business Program depends on partners in the public and private sector to succeed. Current partners include the Washoe County Health District, the City of Reno, the University of Nevada Reno Business Environmental Program, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, and Sustainability Partners of Northern Nevada – all of whom play key roles in helping businesses become green. The Nevada onboarding effort is also receiving support from the California Green Business Program and the Green Business Engagement National Network.

EPA is featuring successful green business projects to celebrate Pollution Prevention Week, Sept. 16-20, 2019.

For more information on the Nevada Green Business Program, businesses should contact greenUp! at info@greenupnow.biz

Find out more about P2 Week at https://www.epa.gov/p2week.

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