Businesses that have achieved certification during the past year as “green” businesses from the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County (GBPSBC) will be honored on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 during a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, located at 555 McMurray Road in Buellton. Rick Crandall, Director of Environmental Stewardship for Albertsons, Southern California Division, will serve as the keynote speaker.  The cost of the luncheon is $25.00 per person, if payment is received by February 8th or $30.00 per person for payments received after that date.

The GBPSBC encourages employers and employees to protect, preserve, and improve the environment in solid waste reduction and recycling, environmentally preferable purchasing, energy and water conservation, and pollution prevention e.g. air quality, transportation and storm water runoff. This multi-jurisdictional, voluntary incentive program for environmentally conscientious businesses allows environmental agencies and advocates to provide support and to recognize participating businesses that implement good environmental management practices. It also focuses on publicizing businesses that are good environmental stewards. The GBPSBC educates job providers on incorporating resource conservation into their daily practices, as well as fostering a positive relationship among governmental agencies, the business community, and the public.

A business that wants to become certified must complete an application and checklist.  Serving as a one-stop shop, the Green Business Program Director offers guidance and various resources to assist the business throughout the certification process.   A business that achieves certification can save money by reducing the use of energy, water and other resources and create a more comfortable and healthy workplace.  It will also receive a certificate and a window decal with the GBPSBC logo that it can use in marketing and on its website.  In addition to the annual luncheon, certified green businesses will be recognized through a Green Business Directory, advertising, and the GBPSBC website.  GBPSBC Partners may publicize certified green businesses in their promotional materials, events, advertising, on their websites, and in their own public recognition ceremonies.

Currently, businesses in the following sectors are eligible to apply for certification:  general office/retail stores, restaurants, lodging establishments, and automotive shops.  Dental offices and wineries will become eligible later this year, and other sectors will be added in the future based on available resources, demand, and community interest.

To obtain more information about the GBPSBC Luncheon and to RSVP, please visit the GBPSBC website at www.GreenBizSBC.org.  For additional information, please contact the Buellton Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau at (805) 688-7829 or send an e-mail message to Kathy@buellton.org. RSVPs are requested by February 8, 2012. Checks should be made payable to the “County of Santa Barbara” and sent to:  County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department, 130 East Victoria Street, Suite 100, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, Attention:  Alan Nakashima.