Kirkland businesses can now get help making their operations sustainable while receiving recognition for their efforts. The City of Kirkland joins 16 Washington cities, counties and utilities to launch EnviroStars, a regional green business program.
“Sustainability and green living are top priorities for Kirkland residents,” Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Chair of the Planning and Economic Development Council Committee, said in a press release. “The City is joining forces to give Kirkland businesses the opportunity to be recognized across the region for their environmentally-friendly practices. We are making it easier for our businesses to get assistance and make sustainability improvements because we recognize that businesses will be key to achieving the city’s climate goals.”
Kirkland businesses can use the EnviroStars web portal to find referrals for sustainability services and incentives from the city and PSE, and start on a path to recognition. Businesses that engage with EnviroStars will benefit by streamlining their operational efficiency, strengthening their bottom line, improving employee health, and gaining recognition for environmental leadership.
“Twelve Baskets Catering has been focused on environmentally friendly practices since its beginnings in 1976,” said Jaffrey Bagge from Twelve Baskets Catering, the first Kirkland business to complete its EnviroStars application and a participant in the city’s original green business program. “We are using the EnviroStars program to see what other actions we can take to be even greener.”
Businesses of any size and from any industry can join. The program especially aims to help small businesses, which may have limited staff time or resources to dedicate to greening their operations. Multilingual business owners also have access to a free hotline supporting ten languages.
“I’d like to use the EnviroStars program for my customers,” said Dave Tomson from SRM Development, development manager for Kirkland’s Google campus, who helped shape the program as a member of the Business Advisory Committee. “Through EnviroStars, they can get recognition for their commitments to the environment and the health of their employees.”
Consumers will be able to find local businesses who share their environmental values on the EnviroStars directory – from restaurants and grocery stores, to hotels and auto body shops, and everything in between. They can also look for the EnviroStars mark on the storefronts of recognized businesses in Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, Seattle and other member cities.
“The program allows consumers to make empowered choices about where to take their business,” said Laurel Tomchick from the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, creator of the original EnviroStars program. “Choosing local EnviroStars-recognized businesses reinforces better business practices—which in turn creates healthier, safer communities and motivates more businesses to ‘work green.’”
EnviroStars replaces Kirkland’s original green business program, which recognized over 100 Kirkland businesses between 2007 and its sunset in 2014. Joining the regional EnviroStars program gives participating Kirkland businesses access to consistent standards for participation across jurisdictions, regional recognition and a robust website and multilingual hotline.
“Taking care of the land is of high importance in Hawaiian culture, and we definitely wanted to carry that on when we opened our Kirkland Marina location,” said Terrence Santos from Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade. “A huge part of that was to reduce our garbage waste to an absolute minimum and really keep the majority of our waste compostable and recyclable. With the City of Kirkland’s assistance we are able to accommodate these goals. We look forward to participating in the new EnviroStars program to do even more.”
To learn more or to get your business started on the path to recognition, visit envirostars.org or contact Kirkland’s Recycling Hotline at 425-587-3812. For multilingual assistance, call the EnviroStars hotline at1-877-220-7827.