Fillgood is now a certified California Green Business!
As you know, being an environmentally-friendly company has been our core mission from day one. Besides offering products to help everyone become more plastic-free and sustainable, we also have been making a concerted effort behind the scenes to lower our footprint as a whole. Over the past months, we decided to take that commitment to the next level and become certified as a California Green Business.
What is the California Green Business Certification?
The certification we obtained is through an organization called the California Green Business Network, which works with small and medium sized companies throughout the state to help them become more sustainable. They provide recognition for companies who are or who have become more green, and create a network between businesses and consumers who want to support companies they know are striving to make positive changes.
The network is further organized on a local basis, so we work closely the Alameda county contact person which ensures that the changes we're making are relevant to our local environment.
One of the reasons we chose to work with this organization is because they have a multifaceted and customizable definition of sustainability. There are lots of different changes to become more environmentally friendly, and they can look different for each business. Therefore, through this certification we were able to get recognition for the efforts we were already making, as well as get advice about how to make further improvements that would be most relevant to us.
What changes did we make?
As you know, we at Fillgood have always prioritized reducing our impact at all levels of our business; from creating closed loop systems with our suppliers, to delivering orders in totally reusable containers with high efficiency cars, we’ve always wanted to make the kindest choice for the Earth. However, this certification process helped us learn about more ways we could be even more environmentally friendly, from energy to waste to community and everything in between.
One of the most rewarding steps we took as part of the certification process was buying carbon offsets for our energy usage and delivery service to make us officially carbon neutral. Carbon offsets are a way for individuals and organizations to neutralize their carbon footprint by investing in an organization or project that is working to either actively take carbon out of the air (like planting trees), or by preventing further emissions from being released (like building wind turbines or capture methane emissions from farms). Stay tuned for another post soon all about offsets and which projects we chose to support!
Throughout the certification process, we definitely learned a lot of interesting things about what can make a company more sustainable, especially when it comes to energy. For instance, switching to LEDs instead of fluorescent bulbs can produce 27% more light per tube while reducing energy use by about 40%! Also, ensuring that any cold and hot water pipes are insulated can significantly reduce energy leakage. While all these steps seem small, a large number of companies making all of these small reductions is an essential step towards reducing our energy demands as a society.
What other sustainability initiatives should you look out for in our store?
As we mentioned previously, part of what made this certification a good match for Fillgood was that we were able to get credit for all the efforts we were already making that might not be part of a metric used by other businesses. For instance, when we ship out orders outside of the Bay Area, we use 100% recycled or reused materials in our boxes. Also, most of the furniture we use in our store are second hand, and we work with individuals and organizations in our community to ensure that any items that are at the end of their usefulness for us can find a new home that’s not the landfill.
The most exciting part of this certification was it gave Fillgood the tools to institutionalize sustainability into the core of our business.
Through the process of this certification, we integrated our commitment to the Earth in our new employee onboarding documents, so that everyone who joins the Fillgood team comes in knowing about and committing to our priorities of sustainability.
We also published our mission/sustainability statement onto our website so that everyone who looks us up knows what we stand for (you can check that out here)!
Finally, around our store, we posted signage encouraging everyone to keep the lights and AC off, and educating people about how to correctly sort their waste into the bins in our store.
All of these steps help us ensure that no matter who is in the store or joining our team, they have the information they need to be aware of and implement what makes us a green business.
Finally, we joined a network of other businesses who are also making the Earth a priority.
This way, we can choose to do business with and support other companies who we know are on the same page about our responsibilities to be more eco-friendly. Also, customers like you who want to make sure your dollars are going to support socially and environmentally responsible can use tools like the Green Biz Tracker to find out about the ever-growing list of organizations and companies in a variety of sectors who care as much as we do.
This graphic shows just some of the impacts of businesses within Green Business Network:
If you're part of a business or organization that wants to join the California Green Business Network, we highly encourage it! Check out their website to learn more.