A new Small Business Award program, orchestrated through Cool California.org (a partnership seeking to provide all Californians with the tools necessary to prevent climate change in their state), is supporting the underdog. It will reward small businesses demonstrating “climate leadership” through the implementation and promotion of climate-friendly practices.
Businesses can win one of two awards: the CoolCalifornia excellence award and the ‚ÄòSmall Business of the Year’ award. To obtain the former, a business must undergo an individual evaluation; up to 20 businesses can win the award. To obtain the latter, a business must show exceptional management and communication practices in regards to climate change; approximately five businesses can win this award. A business must also meet several prerequisites to be eligible for the awards: it must have fewer than 150 employees and demonstrate excellence in the area of climate change solutions.
The program’s focus on climate change distinguishes the award from existing programs and models on which it is based. These programs include EnergyStar, the Waste Reduction Award Program, and Flex Your Power (which recognize businesses’ actions in specific types of sustainability initiatives) and the Governor’s Environment and Economic Leadership Award (which, while rewarding climate change mitigation efforts, tends to recognize larger organizations instead of smaller ones).
Small businesses interested in applying can find applications online this summer.