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27 businesses took part in the Challenge which encourages private sector participation in key actions that increase business and community efficiency
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (January 3, 2018)— Green and ecofriendly businesses in West Palm Beach are getting some much deserved recognition, as the City of West Palm Beach honored them at the conclusion of the Green Business Challenge. The Green Business Challenge, a yearlong competition designed by Mayor Jeri Muoio’s Office of Sustainability, helps businesses reduce energy, water, and waste. 27 businesses took part in the Challenge which encourages private sector participation in key actions that increase business and community efficiency and, also, sustainability to help make the City of West Palm Beach an even better place in which to live, work and play. During the past year, participants learned about and implemented sustainable practices as a part of their business operations, while positively impacting their bottom line. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability understands that many businesses are interested adding efficiency and resilience into their operations, but don’t feel they have the time or expertise to get started. The Green Business Challenge fills that need through providing resources, trainings and technical support.
At the Awards Breakfast on December 19, 2017 at the Palm Beach Photographic Center in West Palm Beach, Mayor Muoio and Sustainability Program Coordinator Elaine Christian recognized West Palm Beach’s top performing green businesses. Categories included Property Stewards (businesses that are property owners), Tenant Stewards (businesses that are not property owners and are tenants) and Returning Property Stewards (businesses that are property owners and returning Challenge participants). The 2017 Green Businesses of the Year are:
·    Property Steward: GliddenSpina + Partners
·    Tenant Steward: United Way of Palm Beach County
·    Returning Property Steward: Palm Beach Atlantic University
Participants were judged according to an online scorecard documenting their green actions. Some of these actions included:
·    Retrofitting interior and exterior lighting and controls;
·    Implementing a computer shutoff education campaign to encourage employees to turn off their computer/printer when leaving the workplace;
·    Installing high efficiency toilets and water conserving devices;
·    Implementing a purchasing policy to purchase from suppliers that provide eco-friendly products and services;
·    Implementing a green cleaning policy;
·    Installing bottle filling stations to educate visitors and employees about bottle reuse;
·    Installing sustainable landscaping (native plants);
·    Implementing a ride sharing program;
·    Offering priority parking for low-emission vehicles, and much more.
Participants completed objectives—each with a different point value-- on an online scorecard throughout the Challenge. The most points at the end of the Challenge indicates the top winner for that category. The City awarded three trophies for the top winners of the three main categories and, also, awarded subcategory awards for the businesses that acquired the most points in the transportation, education and outreach, materials and waste, and energy efficiency categories.
“I congratulate the winners and all of the participants of the Green Business Challenge,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “Their participation is critical to supporting our overall vision of creating a more sustainable West Palm Beach and, also, to achieving key goals to protect the City and future generations from emerging environmental threats, including climate change.”
“The mission of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is to enhance the viability of West Palm Beach as a modern model of healthy, environmentally progressive, ecologically sustainable and resilient urban living,” said Sustainability Manager Penni Redford. “The Green Business Challenge supports this mission, and we look forward to inviting the entire West Palm Beach business community to participate in 2018!”
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability was created in the Public Utilities Department in 2008. In 2014, with Mayor Jeri Muoio's emphasis on the importance of resiliency and sustainability, the Sustainability Office moved into the Mayor's Office, providing increased access and involvement in City activities and initiatives.
To participate in the 2018 Green Business Challenge, please contact Sustainability Program Coordinator Elaine Christian at (561) 804-4984. To learn more about the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, please visit: http://wpb.org/Departments/Sustainability/Overview.