Leggett, Chamber of Commerce Leaders to Showcase New Ride On Bus Ad Campaign Highlighting First 'Green Certified' Companies

June 9, 2010

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection to Receive Partnership Award from Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce for Green Business Certification

Prior to tonight’s Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) 51st Annual Dinner, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, County Council President Nancy Floreen and Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce President Gigi Godwin will showcase a new Ride On bus ad campaign that will promote the Green Business Certification Program and highlight the first 20 companies and organizations to become certified. The new bus ad campaign encourages more companies to “get on board” the green business movement by getting certified and featured in future promotions. Joining the kick-off will be business leaders from the first certified companies and members of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.

At the dinner, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will receive the MCCC Partner of the Year Award, which will be accepted by DEP Director Robert G. Hoyt. DEP is receiving the award for the Green Business Certification Program, which prepares businesses to succeed in the new, green economy. The award is given to “an organization that works in partnership with MCCC to propel the Chamber’s mission forward.

“We greatly appreciate MCCC’s recognition of our successful partnership in the Green Business Certification Program, which is creating a greener economy in Montgomery County,” said Leggett. “Businesses understand that they can improve their bottom line when they take steps to improve the environment. The Green Business Certification Program is encouraging environmental responsibility, and customers will have a way of recognizing which businesses are going green. Businesses are telling us that our comprehensive program is actually motivating them to further expand their green activities.”

“The Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Environmental Protection represent the definition of a successful public-private partnership,” said Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen. “Thanks to their tremendous work on the Green Business Certification Program, Montgomery County companies, which have long been known for setting the gold standard, now are being recognized for their green standard as well.”

The businesses that have been certified under the County’s Green Business Certification Program have demonstrated their commitment to environmental stewardship, conservation of energy and water, carbon footprint reduction, and waste reduction and recycling. The Green Business Program was launched in December by DEP, in partnership with the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery College, to recognize voluntary efforts to protect, preserve and improve the environment. Montgomery College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education division provides training for businesses on how to introduce green business practices into their workplace and achieve certification.

“The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce is strongly committed to advancing opportunities for our businesses in the new green economy and to partnering with the County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Montgomery College to promote what has become a model, voluntary Green Business Certification Program,” said MCCC President and CEO Gigi Godwin. “These first green-certified companies and employers – which include the Chamber itself – are pioneers in establishing best practices in their workplaces and we are pleased to be recognizing them for their success.”

“Today, green business is simply good business,” said Barbara Ashe, executive vice president of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. “That’s why we at the Chamber worked so closely with the County to create a Green Business Certification Program that helps businesses succeed as they capitalize on the many benefits of the new ‘green economy.’ With the federal government and major corporations ‘greening’ their supply chains, companies will need to comply in order to compete as vendors. There are real financial benefits, too, because as our natural resources are consumed, costs will continue to go up.”

The County’s certified green businesses are: All Eco Center, Wheaton; Bethesda Green, Bethesda; Building Maintenance Systems, Inc., Rockville; Calvert Group, Ltd., Bethesda; The Center for a New American Dream, Takoma Park; Clean Currents, LLC, Rockville; Greenavise, Silver Spring; Hallman Orthodontics, Chevy Chase; Honest Tea, Bethesda; Innovative Business Interiors, Inc., Silver Spring; Marriott International, Inc., Bethesda; The Maven Group, Bethesda; The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Rockville; Pepco Customer Service Center, Rockville; Radius Technology Group, Inc., Silver Spring; Reznick Group, Bethesda; Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., Potomac; Smart Techs, Bethesda; Social and Scientific Systems, Inc., Silver Spring; and the Solid Waste Association of North America, Silver Spring.

“I’m honored, on behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection, to accept the Partner of the Year award,” said Hoyt. “The Green Business Certification Program is a true collaboration. One of the most encouraging developments in recent years is that businesses, rather than working against environmental standards, are now our full partners. They are committed to improving the environment – and have found that by doing so, they are also improving their bottom line.”

The Ride On bus that showcased one of the new Green Business ads is one of the County’s 49 diesel-electric hybrid buses. It delivers significantly better fuel economy than older non-hybrid diesel buses, and produces up to 85 percent fewer nitrogen oxide emissions, 90 percent fewer particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, and 10 to 15 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The buses are much quieter than conventional diesel buses, with sound levels comparable to passenger cars. Fifty-eight percent of Ride On’s fleet of 330 buses use compressed natural gas or clean diesel or are hybrid electric.

A description of what the certified green businesses have done to earn their certification is available on the County’s website at http://mcgreenbiz.org/directory.

MCCC Strategic Partners