A 2008 climate action plan for Westchester County recognized the importance of the business sector in reducing county greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, Westchester County Government partnered with The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) to serve as the lead agency to implement a county-wide
green business engagement program. Green Team Spirit LLC was contracted to provide the licensed tools and expertise for what became the Westchester Green Business (WGB) program. The WGB program has been recognized by New York State (NYSERDA) as a replicable model and is now available to all NYS businesses.
A Holistic Program
Westchester Green Business (WGB) provides a comprehensive toolkit to measurably decrease a company’s environmental impact resulting in improved efficiency, cost reduction and a healthier workplace. The program is centered on strong leadership, an engaged staff and sustainability metrics. An internal green team with representation from all disciplines is an excellent way to drive plans to action. The program features an online community where WGB members share best practices and solutions.
The WGB toolkit contains templates, resource links and step-by-step guidance to set policy, take action and measure performance in 7 key areas:
- Organizational Commitment – Leaders set policy (template provided) and share with staff to
encourage their participation in helping the organization incorporate sustainability into business
operations by joining the green team and doing their daily jobs in the most sustainable manner.
- Energy - Calculate the economic and environmental impacts of energy used in your organization.
Plan ways to minimize usage, shift to renewable sources and explore available funding and
incentives to move your operation toward an affordable clean energy future.
- Materials Management – Waste & Recycling – Examine your organization’s waste stream
including volume and cost and learn to reduce waste at the source, reuse wherever possible and
recycle the balance.
- Materials Management – Green Purchasing – Review current purchasing practices to determine
what items can be eliminated or reduced. Learn about eco-friendly alternatives.
- Transportation - Calculate the economic and environmental impacts of business travel,
employee commuting and company fleet on your organization and implement environmentally
- Land Use – Implement sustainable land use practices that remove toxins, reduce water usage,
and minimize flooding.
- Water – Calculate the volume and cost of water used by your organization and learn to reduce
water usage through water efficiency, water efficient products and practices.