Western Nevada College, part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, has announced that it has received two Environmental Protection Agency grants that will be used to launch a statewide green business program and to create a database for collecting outcomes that measure environmental performance for the state.
GreenBizTRACKER is a web-based and mobile tool used by at least 35 green business programs and six states nationwide. These programs motivate businesses to make voluntary behavior and facility changes that net positive and measurable environmental outcomes. As a business moves through an online checklist of verifiable environmental actions, metrics are calculated. These metrics document key outcomes such as greenhouse gas emissions reduced, energy saved, gallons of water saved, tons of waste diverted from the landfill and hazardous materials reduced.
Easy-to-use resources and tools are provided to the businesses to help them along the way. Once businesses have completed the checklist, they are recognized or certified and added to an online directory. The public can find and patronize these businesses by using the online searchable directory.
WNC is part of a statewide effort for workforce development around manufacturing jobs and it is a leading college for providing training in advanced manufacturing. With state-of-the art machinery and technical faculty, WNC is well-qualified to lead the state to transition into safer and more sustainable manufacturing processes. WNC will leverage its qualified staff to train interns to assist manufacturers and businesses desiring to green their operations.
“The green business program and database is consistent with WNC’s core values and sustainability policy and there are many learning possibilities for students to get work-based experience,” said Dr. Georgia White, Professional and Applied Technology director for WNC and project director for the grants. “WNC has a commitment to workforce development and encourage businesses to consider conservation economy as part of growth strategies.
“greenUP!, a Nevada based 501c3 environmental nonprofit, is partnering with WNC to recruit businesses to be part of the pilot program. We are seeking businesses and manufacturers of all types including but not limited electronics manufacturers, food production companies, breweries, distilleries and restaurants, to name a few sectors.”
Donna Walden, president of the greenUP! Board, said, “We are very delighted to have access to the GreenBizTracker™ database that is sought by many states in the U.S. that want to have a certified green business program. This database capability is a long-term asset for the state of Nevada that will reap huge dividends and benefit many agencies, businesses and the general public.”