Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to support you greening your business. The toolkit is broken down into the five sections referenced in the Green Business Program Standards, with each section having a number of individual measures required to meet your goals. For more information and resources to help you meet each measure, click the plus sign next to the measure.

General

  • 1-01
    Signage

    Post signage encouraging resource conservation (e.g. reminders to turn off lights, turn off faucets, recycling and composting, etc.)

    Make your own signs or labels, or contact SF Green Business staff for support.

    Resources:

    • Recycling, compost and landfill signage (SF Environment’s Zero Waste Toolkit)

    • Water Wise Tips For the Workplace sign (SFPUC)

    • Food service sign for water served upon request (SFPUC)

    • “Use Me Wisely” water stickers for kitchens and bathrooms (contact SF Green Business Program staff)

  • 1-02
    Employee Training

    Train new employees on green business procedures and practices implemented by your business through your company’s employee handbook.

    Some businesses train new employees using employee on-boarding materials, during orientation, or through on-the-job training.

  • 1-03
    Environmental Policy

    Adopt an Environmental Policy Statement stating your business’s commitment to operate as a green business, which must include a detailed green purchasing policy.

    Contact SF Green Business Program staff for a template of an Environmental Policy Statement to customize to your business.

  • 1-04
    Inform Your Customers

    Inform your customers about your business environmental efforts and what you are doing to meet the green business standards.

    For example:

    • Post the Green Business logo, certification and pledge in a visible location

    • Post reminders listing steps you are taking to be a Green Business

    • Offer tours that highlight your Green Business successes

    • Offer customers green service or amenities options

    • Highlight your Green Business efforts and/or certification on your website, and link it to the Green Business Program home page

  • 1-05
    Employee Training

    Provide 3 on-going incentives or training opportunities to encourage management and employee participation in the Green Business Program.

    Be creative with this requirement. For example:

    • Incorporate Green Business into performance appraisals, job descriptions, training programs

    • Employee orientations, staff meeting discussions, employee reference material

    • Company newsletter or bulletins

    • Company suggestion and reward programs

Waste

  • 1-01
    Janitorial Paper Products

    Purchase janitorial papers with the highest available post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content.

    • Toilet paper and tissues must contain a minimum of 20% PCW recycled content

    • Paper towels must contain a minimum of 40% PCW recycled content.

    Check with building management or janitorial staff for what paper products are purchased in order to find out the recycled content. If paper is labeled as EPA Compliant it meets the same standards as the SF Green Business Program

    Definition

    Recycled content paper can contain post-consumer waste which means the paper has been previously used and recycled by consumers. For the Green Business Program, paper products should be labeled with a post-consumer waste percent that matches or exceeds our requirements.

    Resources

    Brands which offer some products that meet our standards:

    • Paper Towels (SF Approved)

    Toilet Tissue(SF Approved)

    Toilet Seat Covers (SF Approved)

    Paper Towels, Napkins, and Tissue Paper (GS-1) - Green Seal

    Businesses which offer products that meet our standards:

    The Green Office (SF Green Business)

    Cascades

    • Conservatree

    Marcalpaper

    Kimberly-Clark

    Above and Beyond

    Look for processed chlorine-free paper in the product specifications.

  • 1-02
    Marketing Materials

    Print marketing materials on paper containing a minimum of 50% post consumer waste recycled content, recommended 100%.

    For marketing materials the minimum standard is 50% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content, however we encourage all businesses to purchase paper made with 100% recycled content.

    Definition

    Recycled content paper can contain post-consumer waste which means the paper has been previously used and recycled by consumers. For the Green Business Program, paper products should be labeled with a post-consumer waste percent that matches or exceeds our requirements.

    Above and Beyond

    Look for chlorine-free office paper in the product specifications

  • 1-03
    Letterhead, Envelopes, and Business Cards

    Use letterhead, envelopes and business cards containing a minimum of 50% post consumer waste recycled content, recommended 100%.

    For letterhead, envelopes and business cards the minimum standard is 50% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content, however we encourage all businesses to purchase paper made with 100% recycled content.

    Definition

    Recycled content paper can contain post-consumer waste which means the paper has been previously used and recycled by consumers. For the Green Business Program, paper products should be labeled with a post-consumer waste percent that matches or exceeds our requirements.

    Above and Beyond

    Look for chlorine-free office paper in the product specifications

  • 1-04
    Large Format or Plotter Paper

    Purchase large format or plotter paper with a minimum of 30% recycled content, or higher recycled content if available.

    Since large format or specialty paper is often not available at 50% PCW recycled content, look for 30% PCW recycled content for this category of paper. If specialty paper is available with a higher recycled content, purchase the greatest recycled content available.

    Definition

    Recycled content paper can contain post-consumer waste which means the paper has been previously used and recycled by consumers. For the Green Business Program, paper products should be labeled with a post-consumer waste percent that matches or exceeds our requirements.

  • 1-05
    Presentation Boards

    Use a corrugated or recyclable board in place of foam core boards.

    • If a business uses presentation boards, they must find a replacement product that uses corrugated or paper board. This is because foam core boards are made with expanded Styrofoam plastic which cannot be recycled, it becomes landfill that only breaks into smaller toxic pieces.

    • If a business uses a commercial printer to produce presentation boards, they must ask the printer to only use corrugated paper board.

    Resources

    Find some options from our Green Businesses at http://sfgreenbusiness.org/Office-Supplies/

  • 1-06
    Copy or Printer Paper

    Purchase copy, computer and fax paper with minimum 50% post consumer waste (recommended 100%).

    For copy, computer, and fax paper the minimum standard is 50% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content, however we encourage all businesses to purchase paper made with 100% recycled content.

    Definition

    Recycled content paper can contain post-consumer waste which means the paper has been previously used and recycled by consumers. For the Green Business Program, paper products should be labeled with a post-consumer waste percent that matches or exceeds our requirements.

    Resources

    The following is a list of brands which offer some products that meet our standards:

    • Green Seal Printing and Writing Paper (GS-07)

    • The Green Office (green business)

    • Conservatree

    • Kimberly-Clark

  • 2-01
    Eliminate Bottled Water

    Eliminate individual bottles of water for employees and guests

    Eliminate plastic water bottle waste by drinking tap water or filtered water.

    Businesses can install water dispensers in accessible locations around the space

     

  • 2-02
    Permanent Dishware

    In the employee cafeteria, kitchen or break room, replace disposables with permanent dishware and use bulk items (snacks, condiments, salt/pepper, etc.)

    • An easy and inexpensive way to purchase reusable dishes for your business is to visit a second-hand store such as Goodwill or Salvation Army

    • Buy coffee, tea, condiments, and any snacks provided to employees in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging waste.

  • 2-03
    Eliminate Plastic Bags

    Eliminate the use of plastic bags. Use paper bags containing a minimum of 40% post consumer waste recycled content or BPI certified compostable bags.

    Do not use plastic bags for recycling or compost bins. Use no liners for recycling bins and compostable or paper bags for compost bins.

  • 2-04
    Two-Sided Printing

    Make two-sided printing and copying standard practice in your business (set printers and copiers to default to duplex printing). Make single-sided the exception instead of the rule.

    • Work with IT staff to implement this default setting for all office computers and printers.

    • Staff can still print single sided when required (e.g. human resources, client documents, other confidential documents), but this should be the exception instead of the default.

  • 2-05
    Paper Reuse Tray

    Keep a stack of previously used paper near printers to use for drafts or internal memos, or designate a draft tray on printers with multiple trays.

    Place a clearly labeled tray next to printers for paper that has been printed on one side and can be re-used to help reduce unnecessary waste.

  • 3-01
    Reuse Packaging Materials

    Reuse paper or plastic packaging materials in your own shipments.

    If a business sends and receives packages with packing materials on a regular basis, they should keep packing materials for re-use rather than sending them to landfill.

  • 3-02
    Retailer Incentive for Bags/Containers

    Retailers—offer incentive for customers who bring their own shopping bags, coffee mugs, etc. and/or use a disincentive such as charging a fee for disposable containers and bags.

    • Promote customers bringing reusable containers for food or beverages to-go, using incentives. For example: a stamp card that gets them a free product after 10 times bringing a reusable container or a small percentage off their order.

    • The San Francisco checkout bags ordinance applies to all retail stores and food establishments, and requires a minimum of a 10 cent charge on allowed checkout bags. Shoppers can avoid the charge by bringing their own bag.

    • Train staff to ask customers if they want to pay 10 cents for a bag at the checkout

    Resources

    For more information on purchasing bags that comply with this ordinance, please visit any of the following websites

    • List of suppliers of reusable checkout bags

    • List of suppliers of recycled paper checkout bags

    • List of suppliers of certified compostable checkout bags

    Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)

    Green Home (household)

    Green Home (institutional)

    Treecycle.com

    Reusablebags.com

    • Checkout Bags Ordinance factsheet

    • Checkout bag ban poster for food service establishments

    • Checkout bag ban poster for retail stores

  • 3-03
    Reduce Junk Mail

    Reduce junk mail. See www.StopJunkMail.org for tips.

    • Stop Junk Mail has online opt-out options for junk mail distributors, as well as form letters for the largest junk mail distributors in the country. Fill out and mail the form letters for the most drastic possible reduction in junk mail.

    • If you continue to receive additional junk mail, send letters or call the distributor directly using the mailing address or contact information printed on the junk mail.

  • 3-04
    Reduce Waste Bin Liners

    Reduce number of trash/compost/recycle bin liners by reusing bags or having unlined bins. If lining compost bins, use BPI certified bags.

    Do not use plastic bags for recycling or compost bins. Use no liners for recycling bins and compostable or paper bags for compost bins.

  • 3-05
    Catering Zero Waste Policy

    For catered events (lunches, meetings, etc.) institute a zero waste policy. If disposable dishware is necessary use recyclable/compostable options and have composting/recycling collection easily accessible.

    We encourage Green Businesses to use reusable dishes for special events as much as possible. When that is not possible, use recyclable and compostable disposable dishes and utensils. When using compostable plastic items such as utensils, be sure that they have the word “compostable” printed on them. Otherwise, they are not compostable and will likely end up the landfill. If a business has regular special events or meetings, they must include a zero waste policy in their environmental policy statement.

  • 3-06
    Unwanted but Usable Items

    Donate, sell or exchange unwanted but usable items (furniture, supplies, electronics, office supplies, etc.) Document donations and sales of materials. Use the RecycleWhere tool at sfenvironment.org for help.

    Donations to local schools, charities, homeless shelters, non-profits, etc. are recommended for unwanted usable items.

    Resources

    Here are a few options you might want to consider:

    Food: San Francisco Food Bank, Food Runners, St. Anthony Foundation

    Computers: Computer Recycling Center, Aftermath Technologies, San Francisco Foundation, Goodwill

    Miscellaneous: SF Environment’s list of donation locations, www.RecycleWhere.org, Community Thrift Store that helps fund Project Open Hand

  • 3-07
    Retailers Offer Reusable Bags

    Retailers offer durable, reusable bags at checkout.

    Definition

    • Retail stores and restaurants that give bags to their customers should offer purchasable reusable bags, BPI certified compostable bags, or paper bags made with a minimum 40% PCW recycled content.

    • The San Francisco ban on plastic checkout bags applies to all retail stores and food establishments, and requires a 10 cent charge on allowed checkout bags. Shoppers can avoid the charge by bringing their own bag.

    Resources

    For more information on purchasing bags that comply with this ordinance, please visit any of the following websites

    Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)

    Green Home (household)

    Green Home (institutional)

    Treecycle.com

    Reusablebags.com

     

  • 4-01
    Divert Waste from Landfill

    Divert all compostable and recyclable materials from landfill to demonstrate compliance with San Francisco’s Mandatory Composting and Recycling Ordinance

    rec_zw_bins_group3_05.jpg

     

    Implementing a successful compost and recycling program in the workplace can be complex, which is why the Department of Environment has created a special Zero Waste Toolkit. The toolkit has training materials, signage, case studies, helpful videos and more to help businesses with:

    • Collection- To recover all recyclable materials generated by staff, set up recycling bins at central, strategic locations (for instance - by large copier stations) as well as at each desk. Set up compost bins in all kitchens and bathrooms with clear signs 

    • Training- Conduct trainings for staff on materials that belong in each bin. Send electronic reminders to staff on items often placed in the wrong bin (such as coffee cup sleeves, soiled napkins etc).

    • Signage- Use signage to educate staff about materials that belong in each bin. Visit our Downloadable Signage for some samples to print out and use.

    Resources

    • Contact the Recology sales team to conduct an audit of your waste stream to reduce your costs or customize your collection service options and equipment to meet your needs:

    • Golden Gate Disposal (415) 626-4000

    • Recology Sunset Scavenger (415) 330-1300

    • Click here for more information on Recology’s commercial services

    • SF Environment’s Zero Waste Toolkit has business training materials, signage, case studies, helpful videos and more.

  • 4-02
    Recycling Coordinator

    Designate a recycling coordinator(s) to take responsibility for monitoring/maintaining proper waste diversion and conducting ongoing education.

    • Each business should have at least one person dedicated to ensuring training for all employees to follow Zero Waste best practices.

    • If the business pays its own garbage bill, the recycling coordinator can evaluate the success of their business’s program by identifying the waste diversion number (indicated as recycling %) on the garbage bill.

    • If the business does not pay its own bill, the coordinator can monitor recycling and composting bins in their office to look for "contamination".

    Above and beyond

    For restaurants and caterers, all take out containers and cutlery are should be recyclable or compostable and meet the requirements of San Francisco's Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance. Use only fully compostable items labeled “compostable” that have been certified by a third party like Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).

    • There are many vendors who manufacture compostable or recyclable food serviceware and bags.

    • Absolutely no polystyrene (styrofoam) can be used in any SF food business as set out by the Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance. Here are the criteria for accepted recyclable or compostable food serviceware.

    When remodeling or renovating an office interior, source products made from recycled content or build with reclaimed or Forest Stewardship Certified materials.

    • Please visit Green Businesses or other websites for companies that provide these services: FurnitureRefurbished.com, Samclar.com, Teknetcom.com

    • The Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) is a 501 c3 non-profit educational and research organization whose mission is to advance the recovery, reuse and recycling of building materials: http://bmra.org/bmra/

    • Green Point Rated has a Green Product Directory to find high-quality products and get expert advice.

    •Any FIRST TIME interior tenant improvement project over 25,000 square feet is required to meet a LEED Gold standard. Smaller (less than 25,000 square feet) interior tenant improvement projects must comply with CalGreen, the state green building code.

Energy

  • 1-01
    Fans and Space Heaters

    Use small fans OR space heater during off hours instead of conditioning entire office.

    Use a small fan or space heater to heat or cool an individual workspace, saving energy and money as compared with conditioning the entire office.

  • 1-02
    ENERGY STAR Office Equipment

    Use ENERGY STAR® office equipment and enable energy saving features.

    ENERGY STAR computers, monitors and printers will usually have the ENERGY STAR logo clearly displayed on the front of the device. Sometimes an appliance is ENERGY STAR but does not have the sticker, which can be confirmed by looking up the device on the ENERGY STAR website.

  • 1-03
    Power Management Software

    If you are a large business or have a complex network, use power management software programs to automatically activate power managements settings in computers and printers.

    Definition

    Applicable businesses may include those with an Information Technology (IT) manager and/or the ability to install software throughout their entire office network. Power management software creates customized power settings that minimize power use when computers are idle, while also making sure that important tasks are not interrupted.

    Resources

    There are incentives available through SF Energy Watch (embed link) for power management software.

  • 1-04
    ENERGY STAR Refrigerators

    Use ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators (those over 10 years old should be replaced.)

    ENERGY STAR refrigerators will usually have the ENERGY STAR logo clearly displayed on the front of the appliance. Sometimes a refrigerator is ENERGY STAR but does not have the sticker, which can be confirmed by looking up the device on the ENERGY STAR website.

    If a refrigerator is not ENERGY STAR rated but is less than 10 years old, it will still qualify for the Green Business Program. Any future refrigerator purchase should be ENERGY STAR certified.

     

    Resources

    If you are ready to get rid of an old refrigerator, use RecycleWhere.org to find a disposal location near you.

    See Energy Star's website to find an Energy Star model from your preferred brand.

    For commercial refrigerators, as used in restaurants and hotels, incentives are available through SF Energy Watch.

    The Food Service Technology Center is also a great resource for restaurants to find energy and water efficient appliances and rebates for system upgrades.

  • 1-05
    Refrigerator Temperature

    Set refrigerator temperature between 38°F and 41°F and freezer between 10°F and 20°F.

    A refrigerator may not have exact temperature settings. Place the dial to the middle temperature setting available to maximize energy efficiency and reduce food spoilage.

  • 1-06
    Thermostat Settings

    Install programmable thermostat(s) and properly set cooling to 74°F and heating to 68°F. Program the thermostats for unoccupied hours when the facility is closed with cooling set at 90°F and heating at 55°F.

    Depending on the business' situation in the building (tenant, owner, subletter, etc.) the business will have zero, partial or complete control over the heating and cooling systems.

    Definition

    • If a business is a tenant in a building, the building manager likely chose and maintains the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. In this case, a tenant would be responsible only for the set points (74ºF for cooling and 68ºF for heating) on the thermostats and use of small energy-efficient heaters and fans. When the facility is closed, HVAC should be turned off or should maintain temperatures of 55ºF for heating and 90ºF for cooling. Most buildings are well within these limits, but it will be the responsibility of the tenant to find out the HVAC settings in the building.

    • If a company owns the building, they will be expected to answer all questions regarding HVAC settings and provide logs showing regular equipment maintenance.

  • 2-01
    Track Energy Use

    If you pay your energy bill, track monthly energy use using a spreadsheet or online tool (check with your utility provider or try Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager.)

    Use the energy bill to review the amount of energy used in the last 2+ months. If there are energy spikes at certain times of day or days of the month, those are opportunities to identify ways to reduce a company’s energy use.

    Resources

    If there is an unusual spike in energy use that is unclear what it is from or how it can be reduced, contact SF Energy Watch for assistance.

  • 3-01
    Incandescent Bulbs

    Replace non-dimming incandescent bulbs with LEDs

    • Upgrade inefficient incandescent bulbs to light emitting diodes, or LEDs.

    • CFLs can be upgraded to LEDs at any time, however it is not immediately required since CFLs are relatively energy efficient and low-toxic. Businesses are required to purchase LED bulbs when the CFLs burn out.

    Definition

    • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs): LEDs are one of the best available lighting technologies on the market today. There are many LED options, which are more energy efficient and longer lasting than other light bulbs, and also do not contain toxic mercury. There are also LEDs available with dimming capabilities.

    • Incandescent: This is typically a pear-shaped bulb with a labeled wattage listed most commonly in the 60-100 Watt range.

    Resources

    • Some examples of LED options can be viewed Here.

    • For more information, visit Energy Star lighting.

    Above and Beyond

    When purchasing LED bulbs for the first time, a business may want to consider looking for bulbs that have a high color rendering index (CRI), which is on a scale of 1-100. CRI measures how well the light source is able to reveal the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with a natural light source. Also look for the color temperature on the label. A ‘warm white' lamp would be closest to the color of an incandescent, at about 2700K. For brighter, whiter light closer to daylight, look for color temperatures in the 4000K to 5000K range (the higher the color temperature, the whiter the light).

  • 3-03
    Halogen Lamps

    Replace high wattage MR-16 halogen lamps with LEDs

    Upgrade inefficient bulbs to light emitting diodes, or LEDs. Replace the halogen screw-in bulbs and pin-based bulbs with the LED version of the same lamp type. Remove any non-spotlighting halogen fixtures with ones that will accept LEDs. Be sure to get dimmable bulbs if the fixture uses a dimmer.

    Definition

    • MR-16 halogen lamps are a type of incandescent lamp, so by switching to LEDs there will be a huge reduction in watts used, no heat from the lamps, and no toxic mercury. Incentives are available from SF Energy Watch to make this upgrade. If a halogen lamp has been replaced with CFLs, there are also incentives available for LED upgrades.

    • Common halogen bulbs are large flood lamps with a screw-in base or smaller bi-pin bulbs that go into track or recessed light fixtures.

  • 3-04
    Flourescent Lighting

    Replace all T-12 fluorescent lighting with energy-efficient T-8 or T-5 fixtures with electronic ballasts or other equivalent efficacy lighting.

              

    • Generally, T-12, T-8, and T-5 lamps are long, thin tubes inside overhead lighting fixtures. One end of the bulb may be labeled with specifications for the brand and type of bulb as either a T-5, T-8 or T-12. If the bulb is not clearly labeled, try looking up the information online, calling the manufacturer, or the Green Business Program staff can help identify what kind of fluorescent lighting is in place during a site visit.

    • WHY: The SF Green Business Program does not allow T-12 lamps or magnetic ballasts, and T-12 lamps do not meet the new federal standard for fluorescent lighting. San Francisco outlawed their use in 2012 to comply with federal standards.

    • Fluorescent lamps can also be replaced with LED lamps that use electronic ballasts. LEDs are more energy efficient, last longer, and are much easier to recycle. For more information about replacing fluorescent lamps with LEDs, please contact SF Energy Watch.

    Definition

    These are the most common fluorescents in commercial applications. The T-12 has a diameter of 1.5 inches, the T-8 is 1 inch, and the T-5 is 5/8 inch in diameter. The older T-12 lamps are less efficient and require magnetic ballasts, while T-8s and T-5s are more efficient and use electronic ballasts.

    Resources

    • In order to switch from T-12 fluorescent lighting to T-5 or T-8 bulbs or to LEDs, contact SF Energy Watch for information about options and any incentives that may be available.

    • Fluorescent lamps can also be replaced with LED lamps that use electronic ballasts. LEDs are more energy efficient, last longer, and are much easier to recycle. For more information about replacing fluorescent lamps with LEDs, please contact SF Energy Watch.

  • 3-05
    Exit Signs

    Use energy efficient exit signs, such as LEDs.

    Exit signs should have either LED bulbs or CFL bulbs in place.

    Definition

    LED exit signs can have a strip of tiny red or green lights to indicate that there is an LED sign. To tell which kind of light bulbs are in place, the sign may need to be opened.

  • 3-06
    Lighting Controls

    Use lighting controls such as dual technology occupancy sensors, bypass/delay timers, photocells or time clocks.

    For spaces with variable occupancy, like restrooms, conference rooms, storage rooms, hotel bathrooms, and lockers, consider using occupancy sensors. If these are spaces that are empty for long periods and have short bursts of use, they could be a good fit for an occupancy sensor.

    Source credit to Lutron: http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products/Pages/Sensors/Occupancy-Vacancy/MaestroOccVacSensors/models.aspx

    Definition

    Occupancy sensors are motion detectors that turn lights on automatically when someone enters a room, and after the room has been empty for a few minutes the lights turn off automatically. Occupancy sensors can be adjusted for the amount of time lights stay on, and are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install. For more information on how to purchase and install occupancy sensors or other types of lighting controls, contact SF Energy Watch.

    Above & Beyond

    There are excellent resources and incentives available through the SF Energy Watch program for upgrades to energy efficiency, free energy assessments, reports, technical assistance, and incentives for all commercial customers. A staff member can assess energy usage and equipment free of charge, and will then present a report detailing recommended changes, anticipated cost savings, and incentive levels. Consider contacting SF Energy Watch and get more information about PG&E's program for additional assistance and incentives.

    SF Energy Watch

    PG&E rebates

    • Case Study: ThirstyBear Brewery-Restaurant

    GoSolar SF – A program that offers financial incentives to residents, businesses, and non-profits within the City of San Francisco for installing grid-tied solar photovoltaic energy systems.

     

Water

  • 1-01
    Kitchen Sinks

    Install aerators on kitchen sinks (except fill sinks) that do not exceed flow rates of 1.5 gpm.

    Green Business Program staff can help measure the flow rate of unstamped faucet aerators.

    SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) provides free faucet aerators to commercial customers.

    Definition

    Standard aerators are devices that are designed to reduce the flow of the water coming out of the faucet while introducing air into the water flow. That is why they are called "aerators". Aerators will usually have a rated flow (in gallons per minute or gpm) imprinted on the side. If there appears to be an aerator installed, but there is no flow rate stamped on the side, the aerator may not be a low flow type and should be replaced with a new one.

    • Some designer faucets have an internal built in "laminar" restrictor. Laminar restrictors work differently than standard faucet aerators by producing dozens of parallel streams of water. A business can ask the manufacturer for the flow rate of these faucets. (insert image here)

    If aerators keep suddenly disappearing, tamper proof aerators are a great alternative. They are inexpensive and simple to install.

    A “fill sink” is a sink typically used in commercial kitchens for quickly filling large containers with water. For fill sinks only, Green Businesses may be allowed to use aerators with flow rates of 2.5 gpm, when approved by Green Business staff.

    Resources

    Contact SF Public Utilities Commission for a Water-Wise Evaluation at 415-551-4730 to set up an appointment and mention the Green Business Program. The Water-Wise Evaluation is a free assessment of a company’s water use, fixtures, and opportunities for improving water efficiency. SFPUC can provide free faucet aerators, showerheads, and incentives for upgrading toilets and urinals.

    Above and Beyond

    Pre-Rinse Spray Valves: Foodservice operators may want to use a low-flow pre-rinse spray valve, one of the easiest and most cost effective water and energy saving devices available. In addition to minimizing water consumption, water heating energy and sewer charges are also reduced. Pre-rinse spray valves can use as little as .65 gallons per minute compared with older models that use 3 or more gallons per minute.

    In order to qualify for Green Business program recognition, applicants must use 1.6 gpm spray valves or less. For more information about pre-rinse spray valves, go to http://www.fishnick.com/equipment/sprayvalves/.

      http://sfwater.org/modules/showimage.aspx?imageid=3472

  • 1-02
    Bathroom Sinks

    Install low flow aerators with flow rates not to exceed 0.5 gpm on lavatory sinks.

    Green Business Program staff can help measure the flow rate of unstamped faucet aerators

    SF Public Utilities Commission provides free faucet aerators to commercial customers

    Definition

    • Standard aerators are devices that are designed to reduce the flow of the water coming out of the faucet while introducing air into the water flow. That is why they are called "aerators". Aerators will usually have a rated flow (in gallons per minute or gpm) imprinted on the side. If there appears to be an aerator installed, but there is no flow rate stamped on the side, the aerator may not be a low flow type and should be replaced with a new one. (insert image here)

    • Some designer faucets have an internal built in "laminar" restrictor. Laminar restrictors work differently than standard faucet aerators by producing dozens of parallel streams of water. A business can ask the manufacturer for the flow rate of these faucets. (insert image here)

    • If aerators keep suddenly disappearing, tamper proof aerators are a great alternative. They are inexpensive and simple to install.

    Resources

    Contact SF Public Utilities Commission for a Water-Wise Evaluation at 415-551-4730 to set up an appointment and mention the Green Business Program. The Water-Wise Evaluation is a free assessment of a company’s water use, fixtures, and opportunities for improving water efficiency. SFPUC can provide free faucet aerators, showerheads, and incentives for upgrading toilets and urinals.

  • 1-03
    Urinals

    Replace all urinals flushing at greater than 1.0 gallon with high efficiency urinals, flushing at less than 0.5 gallons, or waterless urinals. Your water utility may have a rebate program for high efficiency urinals.

    Definition

    • High-Efficiency Urinals (HEUs) are defined as fixtures that function at 0.5-gpf or less. Based on studies of actual usage, these urinals save 20,000 gallons of water per year with an estimated 20-year life.

    • Urinal retrofit kit: The flush volume in typical 1.0 gallon per flush urinals can be retrofitted with a .5 gpf diaphram kit. This is a great cost-effective way to turn the ultra-low flush urinal into a high-efficiency urinal for around $50 a fixture.

    Resources

    • For more information about HEU's, where to buy them, and current rebates, visit the SFPUC Urinal rebate section and the SFPUC Water Conservation Section.

    • Contact SF Public Utilities Commission for a Water-Wise Evaluation at 415-551-4730 to set up an appointment and mention the Green Business Program. The Water-Wise Evaluation is a free assessment of a company’s water use, fixtures, and opportunities for improving water efficiency. SFPUC can provide free faucet aerators, showerheads, and incentives for upgrading toilets and urinals.

  • 1-04
    Toilets

    Retrofit toilets flushing at higher than 1.6 gallons with high efficiency toilets (1.28 gallons or less per flush). You water utility may have a rebate program for high efficiency toilets.

    All San Francisco Green Businesses that upgrade their toilets must use toilets with 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) volume. Currently installed toilets with 1.6 gpf or less are acceptable. Approved toilets include Ultra Low Flow Toilets (ULFTs) which use 1.6 gpf and High Efficiency Toilets (HETs) which use 1.28 gpf.

    Definition

    ULFT's: In 1994, new water conserving toilets, called ultra-low-flush toilets (ULFT's) were required in all new construction. ULFT's use 1.6 gallons per flush and are much more water efficient than older toilets, which use up to 7 gallons per flush. Each installed ULFT can save a typical family 70 gallons a day in water use. A number of commercial ULFTs are available in a range of designs that have 1.6 gallons per flush.

    HET's: High-Efficiency toilets (HET) are now the standard and flush 1.28 gpf or less. Many HET's are dual-flush toilets, which have two separate flush volume options, a half flush and a full flush. There are several industrial flushometer HET's on the market, and over a dozen have passed performance standards set by the CUWCC (California Urban Water Conservation Council).

    • If you are unable to find a flush volume stamp, try to locate the year the toilet was manufactured stamped or impressed on the inside of the porcelain tank. The approximate manufacture dates, flush volumes, and efficiency ratings are below:

    Resources

    • Visit SFPUC for financial incentives for installing qualifying toilets.

    • Contact SF Public Utilities Commission for a Water-Wise Evaluation at 415-551-4730 to set up an appointment and mention the Green Business Program. The Water-Wise Evaluation is a free assessment of a company’s water use, fixtures, and opportunities for improving water efficiency. SFPUC can provide free faucet aerators, showerheads, and incentives for upgrading toilets and urinals.

  • 2-01
    Leak Detection and Repair

    Regularly check for and repair all leaks in your facility (toilet leaks can be detected in tank toilets with leak detecting tablets, which may be available from your local water provider, or use food coloring)

    If your building does not have a maintenance staff your business is responsible for assigning a staff member to monitor leaks and make sure they are repaired.

    If your building does have a maintenance staff responsible for leaks and repairs, green businesses are still responsible for reporting leaks.

    A business can learn to detect leaks in their facility by monitoring their water bill for spikes in usage, or by reading their water meter. Contact Green Business staff or SFPUC to learn how to locate a water meter, and read a water meter to help detect leaks.

    If a business appears to have an invisible leak, try to isolate the leak by use of the main house valve or supply valve. A business can also contact SFPUC at (415) 551-4730 to assist with leak detection and give recommendations for reducing water use.

  • 2-02
    Track Water Use

    Track monthly water use and monitor bills for leaks.

    All green businesses that pay their own water bill are responsible for reviewing the amount of water used in the last 2+ months. If there are water use spikes at certain times of day or days of the month, those are potentially leaks that need to be repaired, or opportunities to reduce water use. If a business does not have a maintenance person to address this issue, contact SFPUC at (415) 551-4730.

    Resources

    A Water-Wise Evaluation is a free assessment of a company’s water use, fixtures, and opportunities for improving water efficiency. To set up an appointment contact SFPUC at 415-551-4730.

    Above & Beyond

    • Dishwashers use at least two times less water than washing by hand. If you are looking to purchase a new, efficient dishwasher, please visit http://fishnick.com for water and energy efficient models. Purchase Energy Star rated appliances.

    • Ice Machines: Purchase air cooled models which use less water and energy than water cooled ice machines.

    • Clothes Washers: Purchase High Efficiency Clothes Washers which deliver excellent performance while saving water and energy. High efficiency models use 35-50% less water and approximately 50% less energy. For current incentives visit SFPUC’s webpage on high efficiency clothes washers.

Pollution

  • 1-01
    Emergency Ride Home Program

    Sign up for Emergency Ride Home (SFERH.org) that provides a free or low-cost ride home in cases of emergencies for employees who use alternative transportation.

    Definition

    The Emergency Ride Home program allows employees to take a taxi in case of emergencies when they have taken public transit, bicycled, or carpooled to work. Employees are reimbursed for the cost of the ride home.

  • 1-02
    Spare the Air Program

    Join the Air Districts Spare the Air program and notify employees and customers of Spare the Air days. Http://www.employerssparetheair.org

    Definition

    The Spare the Air program is a free notification service, that will send your business alerts on Spare the Air days to share with staff. The program offers tools and tips for carpooling and using transit, ride matching for employees, information about commute packages, and notice of Spare the Air days.

  • 1-03
    Commuter Benefits

    Set-up a Commuter Benefits Program to enable employees to use pre-tax deduction under IRS code 132(f) for transit, vanpool or biking costs (see website in Help Button).

    Commuter Benefits saves employees 30-40% on transit passes by setting aside pre-tax dollars from their paycheck for commuting on public transit.

    Definition

    If a business has 20 or more employees nationwide, they are federally required to enroll in a Commuter Benefits program. If a business has less than 20 employees nationwide, it can still connect with the Commute Smart team to learn about options available to encourage employees to take public transit, bike, or walk.

    Resources

    • To set up commuter benefits or learn more, visit the SF Environment page on Commuter Benefits for Businesses/Employees

    • Contact the Commute Smart team directly:

    • Phone: (415) 355-3727

    • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • 2-01
    Offset Emissions

    Offset your company’s CO2 emissions through purchase of renewable energy credits or installation of renewable energy sources. (This requirement is one of two optional measures (see below). Completing one (or both) measures completes the section.)

    All businesses contribute to carbon dioxide emissions. By purchasing carbon offsets or installing renewable energy sources such as solar panels, a business can balance out its environmental footprint.

    Definition

    Businesses can complete this requirement by purchasing a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC). According to the EPA, an REC represents the property rights to the environmental, social, and other non-power qualities of renewable electricity generation. REC’s can be purchased to offset the carbon emissions generated by a business. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/gpmarket/rec.htm .

    Resources

    Cool CA CO2 footprint calculator

    • Find carbon offsets or purchase renewable energy through our SF Green Business 3Degrees

    • Reduce your carbon footprint or switch to renewable energy with help from Carbon Fund

  • 2-03
    Reduce Fuel Use

    Reduce fuel usage through promotion of transit (post maps), biking (provide bike parking and maintenance stipends), and rideshare (use 511.org). (This requirement is one of two optional measures (see above). Completing one (or both) measures completes the section.)

    Encourage employees to commute to work by providing useful information on transit options and making it easy for employees to make sustainable choices.

    Resources

    • Visit SF Environment’s page on Sustainable Commuting Programs, for information on rideshare, bicycling, and more

    • Click here for San Francisco public transportation maps and schedules

  • 3-01
    Reduce Your Transportation GHG Emissions

    During your 3-year recognition period, reduce your transportation GHG emissions by 5%.

    To find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5% over a 3 year period, ask Green Business staff for the Clean Fleet Toolkit. This contains the Fuel Tracker and Carbon Calculator for a fleet, as well as suggestions on ways to reduce a fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    Resources

    Ask Green Business staff for the Clean Fleet Toolkit. This contains the Fuel Tracker and Carbon Calculator for a fleet, as well as suggestions on ways to reduce a fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 4-01
    Safe E-Waste Disposal

    Collect items that are prohibited from the garbage (batteries, CFL’s, cell phones and other electronics, etc.) and institute a program for their safe disposal. OR Educate employees about disposal options for prohibited items.

    Disposing of unwanted items so they do not end up in a landfill is fundamental to achieving Zero Waste. Every Green Business must set up collection bins for hazardous material with clear signage.

    Definition

    Hazardous materials are waste that legally can’t be placed in recycling, compost or landfill. This includes electronics, batteries, light bulbs, aerosol cans, thermometers, and other toxic substances. Set up a collection bin and develop a safe disposal plan.

    Resources

    • Use RecycleWhere.org to find out where to drop off a specific item.

    • Businesses can pay the City of San Francisco to pick up hazardous materials. Contact the Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) program at (415) 330-1425 or for more information visit http://www.recologysf.com/index.php/for-businesses/small-quantities-commercial-hazardous-waste

  • 4-02
    Commercial Printer Ink

    When sourcing with a commercial printer, request vegetable or other low-VOC inks.

    Businesses should ask their commercial printer to print with vegetable inks or other low-VOC inks on chlorine-free paper with recycled content for their printing materials (business cards, letterhead and marketing materials).

    Definition

    Printing inks may contain heavy metals and potentially hazardous solvents. These ingredients can be toxic, flammable and may contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Improper disposal of spent inks can cause serious contamination of surface water, ground water, or soil.

  • 4-03
    EPEAT Certified

    Purchase EPEAT certified (www.EPEAT.net) computers, laptops and monitors.

    Definition

    Use the EPEAT registry to purchase new electronics. EPEAT products meet strict environmental criteria that address the full product lifecycle, from energy conservation and toxic materials to product longevity and end-of-life management. Most major electronics manufacturers now offer EPEAT certified options.

  • 4-04
    In-House Printer Cartridges

    Use refilled or remanufactured laser and copier toner cartridges.

    Each year, millions of empty toner and inkjet cartridges used in laser printers, fax machines, and copiers are discarded into landfills as hazardous waste. However, used toner cartridges can be remanufactured, refilled, or recycled with the manufacturer.

    Resources

    • Remanufactured toner cartridges are often cheaper than new cartridges and are sold by most office supply stores (including Office Depot and Staples).

    • Find a manufacturer or vendor that sells remanufactured toner cartridges. See a list of recognized Office Supply green businesses. http://sfgreenbusiness.org/Office-Supplies/

    • The SF Green Business Eco Ink & Toner specializes in this type of product

  • 4-05
    Bleach and Chlorine-Free Paper

    Use unbleached and/or chlorine-free paper products (copy paper, paper towels, napkins, coffee filters, etc.).

    Look for paper products that are unbleached or that are whitened using a chlorine-free process (sometimes labeled PCF for Processed Chlorine-Free). Chlorine-containing bleaching agents are often used to turn paper and janitorial products bright white. The bleaching process can generate various chlorinated pollutants which tend to persist in the environment for a very long time.

    Resources

    The EcoLogo certification label is a good indicator of Chlorine Free Paper with sufficient recycled content.

  • 4-06
    Retailers- Offer Environmentally Preferrable Products

    There are many types of environmentally preferable products that a retailer might offer. For example, grocers can provide organic, local produce. If a business is unsure if a product is environmentally preferable, contact Green Business staff for clarification.

  • 5-01
    Organic or Local Food and Beverage

    Purchase organically or locally grown foods and beverages for the office kitchen. (This requirement is one of two optional measures (see below). Completing one (or both) measures completes the section.)

    Definition

    • Locally grown has many definitions, but the most commonly recognized definitions is food that has been transported within a 150 mile radius. The SF Green Business Program does allow for regional production within the state.

    • Organic food has many definitions, but the SF Green Business Program looks for organic food certifications from the USDA and other widely accepted certification programs.

    Resources

    For more information about the USDA organic food certification and definition, visit http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=organic-agriculture.html

  • 5-02
    Business with Other Green Businesses

    Do business with other green businesses (www.greenbusinessca.org). (This requirement is one of two optional measures (see above). Completing one (or both) measures completes the section.)

    Resources

    Browse the SF Green Business directory at http://sfgreenbusiness.org/Explore-The-Directory

  • 6-01
    Dispose of Chemicals Safely

    Safely dispose of unwanted or old chemicals (using the City's VSQG program or find a service through SF Environment’s RecycleWhere database.

    If a business has toxic chemicals to dispose of such as old cleaning supplies, they should be dropped off at a hazardous waste facility, or pickup can be arranged through the City’s Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) Program. Reminder: It is illegal to put them in recycling, compost, or landfill collection.

    Definition

    Hazardous materials are waste that legally can’t be placed in recycling, compost or landfill. This includes cleaning supplies, chemicals, electronics, batteries, light bulbs, aerosol cans, thermometers, and other toxic substances. Set up a collection bin and develop a safe disposal plan.

    Resources

    • Use RecycleWhere.org to find out where to drop off a specific item.

    • Businesses can pay the City of San Francisco to pick up hazardous materials. Contact the Very Small Quantity Generator program at (415) 330-1425 or for more information visit http://www.recologysf.com/index.php/for-businesses/small-quantities-commercial-hazardous-waste

  • 6-02
    Use Approved Cleaning Products

    Use low toxic cleaning products such as those that are SF Approved, Green Seal certified, or receive at least an 8.1 rating on the GoodGuide, on-aerosol containers.

    Small businesses can save money by switching to industrial/institutional cleaners. Ready-to-use products are 15 times more expensive than concentrates. Browse the GreenSeal.org or the “Cleaners” category in SF Approved. Visit the Guide for Small Businesses and Homes section at the bottom of the page for more helpful tips.

    • Most office and retail sectors do not need disinfectants or sanitizers. Other sectors such as restaurants and hotels that do use disinfectants should choose ready-to-use, peroxide- or citric acid-based disinfectants. Avoid disinfectants that list hypochlorites or quaternary ammonium compounds as ingredients.

    Resources

    • Easy and safe cleaning products factsheet

    Green Cleaning videos available for janitorial cleaning services

    Cost comparison of “green” cleaning products to conventional cleaning products

  • 7-01
    Integrated Pest Management

    Contract with a PCO certified to practice Integrated Pest Management or request your PCO to implement an IPM Program. Use SF Approved (http://www.sfenvironment.org/toxics-health/safer-practices/pest-management) pesticides only.

    • A Pest Control Operator or PCO working with a business or property manager should have a third party certification such as EcoWise or Green Shield. If your PCO is not certified, require them to use IPM practices beginning with non-chemical means of pest control and prevention and if needed to only use pesticides listed on SF Environment's Reduced Risk Pesticide List.

    • If a business or their landlord does not have a Pest Control Operator or PCO, then the business will be required to complete a “Do it Yourself” IPM form. Contact Green Business staff for more information.

    Definition

    An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach emphasizes preventive and non-chemical techniques and applies least-toxic pesticides only as a last resort in order to reduce pesticide use while effectively managing pests.

    Resources

    • To find a Pest Control Operator certified to practice IPM, visit http://sfapproved.org/services-pest-management-buildings

    • SF Environment's Reduced Risk Pesticide List

    Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides

    Our Water Our World factsheets

    University of California's Pest Notes series