Business Tips & Best Practices
Will County has encouraged businesses to reduce waste and recycle for many years. Several businesses participated in our business assistance program, where a business recycling specialist, with over 20 years experience implementing retail, office, commercial and industrial recycling programs, visits sites for a FREE assessment. Helpful tips can be found- Click on our "Waste Reduction Tips" page for a variety of ideas.
In 2010, the State of Illinois, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity funded a grant to the Illinois Recycling Association to develop a downloadable Toolkit for businesses. For detailed information on waste reduction click on the Illinois Recycling Association Toolkit. Business seminars were offered in the Fall of 2010 and throughout the State of Illinois in 2011. If you are interested in hosting a seminar, contact Will County through the CONNECT tab.
Will County partnered with Joliet Jr. College and the Joliet Area Chamber to offer half-day Green Business Seminars. The seminars offer speakers from local businesses and real world savings opportunties. Since 2011, there have been two seminars per year.
Restaurants face specific energy and waste challenges. There are many resources on-line to assist them with improving their bottom line by choosing energy efficient appliances, lighting and more. There are ways to reduce water use and waste. One noteable source is the Food Service Technology Center (click the link for tips).
AbitibiBowater has long offered paper recycling services to schools, churches and non-profits. They have provided recycling collection services at no charge and actually paid for the paper, which they use to make newspaper. In 2010 the company began a new program for businesses. Like other commercial recycling programs, it is a fee based service but it also offers rewards for recycling. For details, click on EcoRewards.
Efforts to assist businesses in sustainable practices may start with recycling or may be centered on energy efficiency. The Denny's on Rt. 30 in Joliet received national recognition in 2009 for saving money by implementing a wide range of sustainable business practices.
ComEd's Smart Ideas for Energy Efficiency offers the Smart Ideas program. The current Smart Ideas applications are available, please click on this icon for a direct link to applications: www.comed.com/Documents/business. This program offers incentives for businesses to become more energy efficient.
From June 2008 to July 2010, the program provided over $18 million in incentives to 2,050 energy-efficient projects in northeastern Illinois, saving approximately $27 million in energy costs.
On a national basis, there are several resources available, including:
The EPA's Sustainability Guide website
The EPA and DOE partnered to create a website full of useful information known at the Energy Star Tools & Resources Library.
The US EPA used to offer a National Environmental Performance Track program but it ended in May 2009. Information on the program and ideas for better business practices remain available online.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known as the LEED program.
A national source of information for business is the Greenbiz website and newsletter resources:
Large offices and businesses with a variety of departments should consider creating a Green Team. Will County created a team at the end of 2010. Will County's efforts can be found under the INITIATIVES tab, County Green Team. Additional sources abound, but one quick resource is found on Greenbiz's Green Team page.
The Harvard School of Business offers a website filled with Green Business Office Information.
The International Standardization Organization offers certification for business practices known as ISO 14001.
There is the Business Sustainability Guide website.
In Austrailia, Sustainability Victoria has prepared an Energy Toolkit for their industrial and commercial business.
They also offer a waste reduction worksheet-please click below for a printable version:
For hospitals and health facilities, there are several on-line resources including:
CleanMed 2012Green Guide for Health Care
Green Hospital Pilot
The Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare
Far more resources exist, some on other pages of this website. This page is intended to give the interested business person an idea of the rich assortment of assistance that is available through a variety of sources to green an organization of any size.