Green Businesses

Green BusinessesThe Washtenaw County business community has many opportunities to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and lessen environmental impact. In addition, your business may be required to meet federal, state, and local environmental regulations. Helping your business to "go green" will not only save you money, but may also increase your opportunity for recognition as a model in your industry. Here are some of the resources available to help "green" your business, and to help ensure you are in compliance with environmental mandates.


Environmental Regulations

  • Pollution Prevention Program
    The Washtenaw County Pollution Prevention Program is responsible for inspecting facilities that store, manufacture, or use hazardous, toxic, or polluting materials. Inspectors ensure that facilities utilize and dispose of hazardous materials properly, thereby preventing environmental contamination.
  • Community Right to Know Act
    Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act ("SARA Title III") is also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). This act has four main components: Emergency Planning, Emergency Release Notification, Hazardous Chemical Inventory (Tier Two Report), and Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI).
  • MDEQ - Stormwater & NPDES Permits
    The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's programs to protect Michigan's waters. Includes links to information about NPDES permits. 


Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste & Recycling Services


Incentives & Recognition Programs for "Going Green"

  • DSIRE - Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
    State-by-state listing of financial incentives for environmental projects. 
  • Community Partners for Clean Streams
    The Community Partners for Clean Streams (CPCS) Program works with business, institutions, municipalities and multi-family residential complexes in Washtenaw County to find cost-effective ways to prevent pollution. The program is free and provides information, technical advice and recognition to participants.
  • Waste Knot Program
    The Waste Knot Program aims to develop relationships within the Washtenaw County business community to increase waste reduction and recycling activities. The program is free and provides information, technical advice and recognition to participants, including free waste audits of businesses.
  • Environmental Excellence Program
    The Environmental Excellence Awards Program aims to recognize businesses and non-profit organizations in Washtenaw County that provide leadership in environmental protection and practice environmentally sound behavior in the areas of water quality protection, waste reduction and recycling, and pollution prevention.


Waste Reduction & Pollution Prevention Assistance

  • Waste Knot Program
    The Waste Knot Program aims to develop relationships within the Washtenaw County business community to increase waste reduction and recycling activities. The program is free and provides information, technical advice and recognition to participants, including free waste audits of businesses.
  • Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program (RETAP)
    Retired professionals are available through the Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) to assist Michigan businesses and institutions with pollution prevention. Each assessor has thirty to forty years of experience with Michigan industries. Businesses of 500 employees or fewer and institutions of any size are eligible.
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) - Environmental Assistance Center (EAC)
    By calling the EAC at 1-800-662-9278 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, business, industry, local units of government, and the general public can receive direct one-on-one assistance or referral to a network of technical staff within the DEQ. The goal of the EAC is to help callers "navigate" through the DEQ's various programs, and to provide timely and accurate assistance on a wide array of environmental topics and issues.
  • MDEQ - Pollution Prevention Program
    The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality provides assistance to businesses, institutions and the public to improve the environment and save money by adopting the three "R's" - reduce, reuse and recycle. Known also as pollution prevention, this is a non-regulatory assistance program that provides information, technical assistance and financial incentives to reduce pollution.


Green Event Planning

  • Blue and Green Meetings Web Tool
    This website makes it easier for you to hold meetings that don't cost the earth. Whether you are a host, planner or supplier, this is where you'll find the tips, tools and resources to make environmentally responsible choices for your meetings.
  • EPA - Green Meetings
    Whether you are a meeting host, planner or service supplier, you can use this site to find the tips, tools and resources to make environmentally responsible choices.
  • EPA - Planning Environmentally Aware Events
    EPA has prepared this guide to help meeting and event planners reduce the amount of municipal solid waste generated by their meeting or event. This guide outlines the key steps in planning and conducting an environmentally aware event, profiles a variety of meetings and events, and provides a checklist that can be used as a planning tool.
  • EPA - Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
    Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) helps the federal government "buy green," and in doing so, uses the federal government's enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products and services. Geared first to help federal purchasers, this site can help green vendors, businesses large and small -- and consumers.


Sustainable Business Practices

  • Washtenaw County 3-R Business Directory
    This directory is a compilation of local organizations that make use of sustainable practices and are doing their part to help the environment. All businesses and institutions featured in this directory are members of the Waste Knot Program and fulfill the recycling and conservation requirements of that program.


Green Building Practices

  • U.S. Green Building Council
    LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
    Information on building practices for green homes, offices, and other commercial buildings.
  • EPA - Environmental Management Systems
    An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency. This Web site provides information and resources related to EMS for businesses, associations, the public, and state and federal agencies.


Workplace & Environmental Safety

  • MIOSHA
    Information regarding worker safety and health in the State of Michigan.
  • Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) Information
    In case of environmental emergency affecting AIR, LAND, or WATER,call 1-800-292-4706 (in Michigan). The PEAS hotline should be used to report environmental pollution emergencies such as tanker accidents, pipeline breaks, and releases of reportable quantities of hazardous substances as required.

Visit the Energy section of the Healthy Community Portal for more environmentaly-friendly tips!

For more information, please contact Jeff Krcmarik.

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Healthy Community Portal

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The Healthy Community Portal provides information on environmental issues and available services for around your community. 

Also visit these portals:

This service is brought to you by Environmental HealthMSU Extension, and the Water Resources Commissioner.

 
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