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GreenStep City Best Practices Resilient Economic & Community Development

Green Business Development
no. 25

Expand a greener, more resilient business sector.
  Best Practice Action 6      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Promote green businesses that are recognized under a local, regional or national program.

  • For a local program see Marshall GreenStep Business. For co-operatively owned retail food businesses, see the Co+efficient Sustainability Star award program of the National Co+op Grocers Association that recognizes co-ops’ social, environmental, and local economic impacts.
  • See the tiered certification system from the Green Business Bureau, a national green business certifier of several MN businesses.
  • The national B Rating System of B Corporation certifies business adoption of comprehensive and transparent social and environmental standards. B Corporations are the only entities that have legally expanded their corporate responsibility to explicitly aim to benefit society as well as shareholders. See details and information about Sunrise Community Banks of St. Paul.
Recognize and promote (for example, on your city web site) businesses whose environmental actions are recognized by a local, regional or statewide program, such actions as recycling, reducing materials use, lowered toxicity in products, selling locally created compost, energy efficiency, EV charging station for employees/patrons, etc.
Recognize and promote businesses that are certified under a GreenStep-linked or national green business program.
Provide a city preference for support and use of certified green businesses.

Albert Lea

Date action report first entered:   02/22/2017
Date of last report update:   03/06/2017
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
The Albert Lea Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce is beginning an awards program that recognizes businesses for green practices. Citizens can nominate the businesses and the Chamber's Green Committee will select the winner to be announced at the Chamber's Annual Dinner.

Outcome measures/metrics:
This is a program of inspiration. It is the committee's desire to see the business community step forward and pay greater attention to how they impact the environment.

For more information contact:
Jerry Gabrielatos (City staff)   |   jgabrielatos@ci.albertlea.mn.us   |   507-377-4316

Albert Lea Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce

View All Albert Lea Actions

Grand Marais

Date action report first entered:   11/04/2015
Date of last report update:   11/04/2015

Implementation details:
In 2015 Grand Marais was awarded the “Coolest Small Town in America” in recognition of its many natural amenities and recreation opportunities, its diversity of services and businesses for a small town, and its creative community and promotion of that community. The Grand Marais Art Colony was chosen as one of the top 10 artist colonies in America and the City was recognized as a “Top 100 Adventure Town”. These recognitions and assets are actively promoted on the “Visit Cook County” website, http://www.visitcookcounty.com/communities/grand-marais/.

Descriptive links: http://www.visitcookcounty.com/communities/grand-marais/

For more information contact:
Shane Steele (Contractor)   |   shane.w.steele@gmail.com   |   507-884-5790

View All Grand Marais Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/17/2013

Implementation details:
The Marshall GreenStep Committee worked on a Marshall GreenStep Business Program in the fall of 2012 and implemented the program in January 2013. The program was based on Minnesota GreenStep Cities Best Practices and various formats from around the United States. The program has been advertised frequently in chamber newsletters and in newspaper articles. Businesses must submit an online application that totals at least 15 points in categories such as Solid Waste Prevention, Recycling, Purchasing, Energy and Water Conservation, Involving Employees and Customers, and Transportation. Completed applications are reviewed by the Marshall GreenStep Committee each month.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Marshall GreenStep Businesses are recognized each month in the Marshall Independent Business Briefs and on our website. Each business also receives a Marshall GreenStep Business window cling and permission to use the logo in their marketing materials. For a complete list of GreenStep businesses go to our website at: www.marshallgreenstep.org

Descriptive links: http://www.marshallgreenstep.org/green-business.html             view file

For more information contact:
Tom Hoff (Contractor)   |   Tom.Hoff@swsc.org   |   507-537-2271

Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce; Marshall GreenStep Committee

View All Marshall Actions

Apple Valley

Date action report first entered:   03/21/2012

Implementation details:
The ARROW program promotes over 130 businesses, schools and non-profits, 44 of which are located in Apple Valley. For businesses to qualify for membership to this program, they must report on their practices in the areas of recycling, buying/selling environmentally preferable products, reusing and reduction of resource use via energy efficiency, water conservation or other waste-reducing efforts.

For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff)   |   CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us   |   952-953-2508

View All Apple Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/11/2011

Implementation details:
The ARROW program promotes over 130 businesses, schools and non-profits, 44 of which are located in Eagan. For businesses to qualify for membership to this program, they must report on their practices in the areas of recycling, buying/selling environmentally preferable products, reusing and reduction of resource use via energy efficiency, water conservation or other waste-reducing efforts.

Outcome measures/metrics:
ARROW program promotes over 130 businesses, schools and non-profits, 44 of which are located in Eagan

Descriptive links: http://www.dakotavalleyrecycling.org/ARROW.

For more information contact:
Susan Bast (City staff)   |   sue.bast@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Eagan Actions

Eden Prairie

Date action report first entered:   10/08/2013

Implementation details:
The first ever Eden Prairie Ecopalooza is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, 2014. It is a daylong event featuring a citywide “green crawl” to showcase the sustainability efforts of Eden Prairie residents and businesses. In addition to the green crawl, the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society’s annual Solar Boat Regatta will take place at Riley Lake. During the event, there will be solar powered boat races, eco-related events and demonstrations at Riley Lake Park, along with activities for kids and food vendors. The city will reach out to businesses and residents to encouraging their participation in the event.

For more information contact:
Tania Mahtani (City staff)   |   tmahtani@edenprairie.org   |   952-949-8413

View All Eden Prairie Actions

Elk River

Date action report first entered:   05/03/2011

Implementation details:
The City has had the Energy City High Five award program in place for over a year. Businesses that win these High Fives are promoted by the city on websites and at various events. We are planning on offering new, more exclusive High Five program to local businesses with even better rewards and recognition.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The first generation Energy City High Five has currently been awarded to 41 individuals and businesses. They were recognized for attending Energy City Events, participating in Recycle Your Holidays, or for other unique accomplishments.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.elk-river.mn.us/highfives

For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff)   |   ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov   |   763-635-1068

View All Elk River Actions

Fergus Falls

Date action report first entered:   01/14/2016
Date of last report update:   01/14/2016

Implementation details:
The Otter Tail County Public Information Officer is working on a Green Otter business program and a “caught green handed campaign” to reward residents and businesses for environmentally friendly behaviors. The SMART (Save Money and Reduce Trash) campaign can be promoted.

For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff)   |   len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us   |   218-332-5418

Otter Tail County

View All Fergus Falls Actions


Date action report first entered:   08/16/2013

Implementation details:
The local economy is largely tied to the health of White Bear Lake, which draws in numerous visitors to the area. As a way to address the recent decrease in the level of the lake, the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce has started a program called "Doing Our Part, Saving the Lake", which is a program aimed at water conservation and restoration of White Bear Lake. The City of Mahtomedi has signed the "Do Their Part" pledge along with many of th local businesses. By signing the pledge, businesses commit to adopting at least four approved water conservation methods to support replenishment and restoration of White Bear Lake. This action encourages all businesses to be smarter about their water use and also helps support the local tourism economy that is so closely tied to the health of White Bear Lake. Information on the program, as well as the list of businesses who have signed the pledge can be found on the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce website, which is linked from the City of Mahtomedi website.

For more information contact:
Scott Neilson (City staff)   |   sneilson@ci.mahtomedi.mn.us   |   651-426-3344

View All Mahtomedi Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/23/2013
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
The Garden Fresh Farms aquaponic facility is located within Maplewood and has been certified as a Minnesota Grown Company. The company, which grows vegetables from fish waste, has been spotlighted in the city's quarterly natural resources newsletter and is included on the city's local foods webpage.The city of Maplewood will also be working with businesses to host workshops that will encourage the growth of green business practices by the access to information. These workshops will be during the fall and late summer of 2015 in city facilities.

For more information contact:
Shann Finwall (City staff)   |   shann.finwall@maplewoodmn.gov   |   651-249-2304

View All Maplewood Actions


Date action report first entered:   09/18/2014
Date of last report update:   09/18/2014

Implementation details:
Since 2011, the city has awarded the Green Innovations Acorn Award to local commercial properties who have demonstrated proactive initiatives to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through green practices. Examples include use of raingardens, native habitat landscaping, permeable parking, alternative energy usage, efficiency upgrades, extensive recycling, or composting.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.oakdale.mn.us/index.asp?Type=QUICKFORM&SEC={3FCF9C66-5CB7-4169-9E28-AC1E717E3741}

For more information contact:
Jen Hassebroek (City staff)   |   jen.hassebroek@ci.oakdale.mn.us   |   651-730-2723

View All Oakdale Actions


Date action report first entered:   05/07/2013

Implementation details:
The City of Woodbury Environmental Excellence Awards were established in 2008 to recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals that are making Woodbury a more sustainable community through innovative programs and practices that demonstrate environmental leadership. Local businesses that have received the award and their area of recognition are listed below: Harvey Vogel Manufacturing Co. – Sustainable Business Practices Prelude Senior Living Campus – Green Building Robert Muir Company – Use of Renewable or Alternative Energy Woodbury Lutheran Church – Energy Efficiency and Conservation Primrose School of Woodbury – Environmental Education & Awareness Robert Engstrom Companies – Green Building Pack & Mail – Waste Reduction& recycling St. Croix Cleaners – Sustainable Business Practices Tamarack Village Shopping Center – Energy Efficiency and Conservation Kowalski’s Market – Waste Reduction & Recycling McDonald Construction – Residential Green Building P.M. Bedroom Gallery – Innovative Storm Water Management Practices Sam’s Club- Electronics Recycling Slumberland Furniture – Innovative Storm Water Management Practices Opus Northwest, LLC & Red Development LLC – Innovative Storm Water Management Practices. The list of 2012 award recipients can be viewed at: http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/environment-main/environmental-excellence-awards/2012-eeas. To view previous years, visit: http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/environment-main/environmental-excellence-awards/past-eea-recipients

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/environment-main/environmental-excellence-awards/2012-eeas.

For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff)   |   jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us   |   651-714-3522

View All Woodbury Actions

Kasson pending

Date action report first entered:   05/13/2011

Implementation details:
Incomplete: Researching information to promote green businesses.

For more information contact:
Nancy Zaworski (City staff)   |   financedept@cityofkasson.com   |   507-634-6321

View All Kasson Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Angie Bourdaghs, Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, MN Pollution Control Agency: 651/757-2176, angela.bourdaghs@state.mn.us, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/sbeap