Every year the city of Charleston, SC shines a light on local businesses committed to going green. The Green Business Challenge promotes sustainability while enhancing business profitability among metro area businesses and institutions. This year the challenge runs from July 2014 until June 2015, so if you are interested in participating in this contest, you better get your entry in soon.

For a business to be eligible to participate in the contest they must prove they are committed to providing a positive impact to the environment in one of many different ways, these ways include but are not limited to: energy consumption, water usage, waste generation, green and local purchasing, and the healthiness of the workplace. Any Charleston area business working towards a more sustainable business practice is encouraged to participate in the challenge.

Participants in the challenge will establish their own performance scores by filling out a performance score card in the areas listed above. At the end of the challenge, the businesses and institutions who participated will be able to see how they compared against other local businesses and institutions. This will also allow them to see how impactful their green efforts were in protecting the environment.

Throughout the year the city will host workshops and training seminars for local area businesses to learn about new sustainable practices. Charleston businesses who participate in the Green Business Challenge will also be able to network with other local green businesses during the workshops and seminars. Participants can learn from one another about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to being a sustainable and eco-friendly business in the same area.

Upcoming workshops cover a variety of information including the Physically Active Workplace, Stress Management, and the Tobacco-Free Workplace. These trainings are offered to help the participants in the Green Business Challenge to reach their sustainability goals. All of the training opportunities are free and open to the public, all you need to do is reserve your spot and you’re on your way to learning about the best and newest sustainable practices for your business.

The city website offers many helpful tips from previous participants to help current participants reach their green goals. These include tips such as recycling lightly soiled paper towels and creating a green team for your office. The green team will set eco-friendly goals for your business and encourage others to help the business achieve these goals.

Other ways your business can become more sustainable is to promote sharing rides to work or installing bike racks to encourage bike riding. Your business should also consider composting at the office. You can easily build your own compost garbage can or you can use a large coffee can for food waste scraps. Educate your employees on the importance of recycling and becoming sustainable and they will be more likely to help your business achieve its green goals.

Sustainability at the office is just as important as sustainability at home. Cutting back on your businesses paperwork and switching over to online communication and documentation is an easy way to use less paper which means less trees being cut down. Budget Dumpster is also a business committed to promoting a sustainable lifestyle and sustainable business practices. We frequently promote other green businesses and offer advice for sustainability in the workplace.

Whether or not you are eligible to participate in Charleston’s Green Business Challenge, I hope your business is committed to promoting sustainable business practices. If you are interested in participating in the Green Business Challenge, you can click here. Do you have experience with the Charleston Green Business Challenge? Share your story with us in the comment section below!