Green Business Certification
Current Green Businesses have received an extension, due to Covid-19, all businesses certified before 2022 are granted 3 total years of certification from their initial date. Certifications between the years 2019 and 2022 will expire (or have) between 2022 and 2025.
The process for new certifications and recertification is essentially the same, however, some minor adjustments have been made to the criteria:
In order to qualify, a business must meet a number of criteria to which the Green Team has assigned point values. A business' total score determines whether they are bronze (10-14 points), silver (15-19 points), or gold (20+ points).
Participating businesses will receive a sticker to be placed at the business' point of entry, and a picture with the Mayor to be shared on social media. Additionally, participants will have their logo added to the City's website under a section highlighting green business.
See the criteria below:
Use non-plastic straws/go strawless – 1 pt
Become a strawless business, which means not purchasing straws for customer or employee use or switch to a plastic alternative straw. Examples of alternative straw are paper, bamboo, etc., please only offer straws upon request of the customer. If you choose to use a type of compostable straw, make sure that it is a BPI Certified product.
Use paper/reusable cups – 1 pt
Instead of using plastic or disposable cups, use paper (preferably made from post-consumer recycled materials) or reusable cups to minimize waste.
Use compostable/reusable utensils – 1 pt
The best option is for all utensils to be reusable but, if you must use disposable utensils/flatware make sure that they are BPI Certified Compostable.
Use biodegradable to-go containers – 1 pt
If you offer to-go containers, often “clamshells,” make sure they are not plastic, or another non-compostable material. Instead, use biodegradable (also known as compostable) products. Make sure these products are BPI Certified compostable.
Use recycled plastic/paper trash bags – 1 pt
Trash bags offer convenience we are all familiar with. So, if you choose to use them at all, please make sure that they are either at least 40% recycled plastic or that they are paper.
Use efficient light bulbs – 2 pts
Make sure your business is using energy efficient light bulbs, such as LED light bulbs.
Have 20% native plants in landscaping – 2 pts
If your business has outdoor space that is landscaped, make sure that 20% of the plants on the premises are native. Don’t have a lot of outdoor space? Feel free to get creative; for example, window boxes.
Recycle – 2 pts
No matter if you own a restaurant or work in an office building, make sure you are recycling all of the used materials that you can. This should include any (non-contaminated) paper products, metals, PET and HDPE plastics (1 and 2), etc.
Use recycled paper towels and toilet paper – 2 pts
Where paper towels are used in your business, make sure they are made from at least 40 percent post-consumer product.
Donate leftover food to shelters – 2 pts
Minimize food waste and put all of your business’s leftover food to good use by donating your leftovers to food banks or shelters.
Purchase at least 20% local foods – 2 pts
If you are a business that serves food, make sure at least 20% of the food that you purchase is locally grown.
Have a bicycle rack – 2 pts
Encourage your patrons and employees to use healthy habits by providing a bicycle rack outside of your business.
Donate to an environmental organization or non-profit – 2 pts
If you’re feeling generous, make donations to environmental organizations or non-profits… the more local the better. These donations can come in many forms, including monetary donations, materials, or even man-power.
Water and or energy efficient kitchen and bathroom – 3 pts
Whether your kitchen serves hundreds of meals to customers a day or is just big enough to heat up some lunches, make sure that it is water efficient by having water-efficient dishwashers and/or flow restrictors on faucets. Please also make sure that the appliances that are being used are energy star rated for being energy efficient.
Use clean energy (solar or wind) – 3 pts
Have at least 30% of your energy come from a renewable, clean source.
Designate a ‘Green Advocate’ – 3 pts
Designate ‘Green Advocate’ by choosing one person in your organization to be a leader of green initiatives. This person will serve as the primary contact on all Green Business related activities as well as be the individual to keep track of and advocate for current and new environmentally friendly initiatives within the business. The designated Green Advocate should attend the City’s Sustainability Advisory Committee (Green Team) once a year.
Stormwater management – 3 pts
Offer some stormwater management on your property. This can come in many forms, including a rain garden or upgrading to permeable surfaces wherever possible.
Green cleaning products – 3 pts
Using green cleaning products to clean your business can prevent chemicals from entering our wastewater system and will help protect our Wicomico River. From wipes to soaps to detergents, all green cleaning products count for this item.
Employ a reusable bag drop-off credit program – 3pts
Keep a stock of reusable bags to provide for customers during product delivery. As of July 1, 2023, these bags must be provided at a minimum of $0.10 each. However, your business can offer an ability for customers to provide bags from previous orders for a credit.
Green business practices – Create your own! – 1-3 pts
Is there something your business does for the environment you don’t see on our list? Select this option. We will discuss when we verify your checklist.