Green Business Certification Program is a voluntary recognition program designed to encourage businesses and other organizations to take steps that reduce their ecological footprint.
Earning Green Business Certification indicates that you are part of an innovative leadership movement to green your business operations and help transition to a sustainable future.
Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program
Have questions? Feel free to contact: Dawn Hawkins-Nixon 301-883-5839
Third Party Certifications
Applicable To: All businesses
Scope of Certification: Applies to the entire company and encompasses comprehensive set of operational aspects including governance and the impact on the environment, workers, customers, and the broader community. Corporate governing documents must extend fiduciary responsibility beyond shareholders to consider the interests of the environment, community, employees and consumers.
Note: In order to be recognized by the Green Business Certification Program, a business must achieve an above average score on the Environment section of the B Impact Assessment.
Applicable To: Farms and beekeeping operations
Scope of Certification: Farms, apiaries and their raw agricultural products. CNG farmers produce food for their local communities without the use of any synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. CNG employs a participatory guarantee system model that relies on peer reviews in which inspections are typically carried out by other farmers. CNG offers five types of certification, all of which are recognized by the County’s Green Business Certification Program:•Produce•Livestock•Apiary •Aquaponics •Mushrooms
Applicable To: All businesses
Scope of Certification:
Applies to the entire company and encompasses operational aspects focusing on restoring and protecting the environment; social and economic justice; vibrant, inclusive local communities; and personal health, well-being and fulfillment. Note: In order to be recognized by the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program, a business must achieve GOLD certification.
Green Restaurant Association
Applicable To: Restaurants and food services Scope of Certification:
Applies to individual restaurants and food services and encompasses operational aspects focusing on water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishings and building materials, sustainable food, energy, disposables, and chemical and pollution reduction. Note: Level 1, 2 Star, 3 Star, and 4 Star are all recognized by the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program. To be recognized by the County under Level 1, a minimum of 80 GreenPoints™ is required.
Applicable To: Residential and commercial cleaning services; restaurants and food services; hotels and lodging Scope of Certification:
•Residential and commercial cleaning services: Applies to commercial, public, residential and industrial building cleaning services and encompasses operational aspects focusing on environmental improvements that reduce toxicity, waste, and exposure to both occupants and staff. •Restaurants and food services: Applies to individual restaurants and food services and encompasses operational aspects focusing on sustainably-sourced food, waste minimization, use of environmentally-preferable products, and conservation of energy and water. •Hotels and lodging: Applies to individual lodging facilities only, and does not include swimming pools, golf courses or restaurants that are not owned and operated by the property. Focus areas include waste minimization, reuse, and recycling, energy efficiency and conservation, management of fresh water resources and waste water, and reduction and handling of hazardous substances. Note: All standards, including all levels of the Hotels and Lodging certification -- Bronze, Silver and Gold -- are recognized by the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program.
Certified Environmental Management System Applicable To: All businesses Scope of Certification:
ISO 14001 is an international standard that specifies the requirements for an environmental management system. Meeting these requirements allows an organization to enhance its environmental performance (although it does not state specific environmental performance criteria). It is intended for use by an organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability. The ISO 14001 standard helps an organization achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provide value for the environment, the organization itself and interested parties. Consistent with the organization's environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include: •enhancement of environmental performance; •fulfilment of compliance obligations; • achievement of environmental objectives. ISO 14001 is applicable to any organization, regardless of size, type and nature, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that the organization determines it can either control or influence considering a life cycle perspective. Note: While ISO develops the 14001 standard, along with other standards, it is not involved in assessing conformity with that standard – this is done independently by certification bodies worldwide. The Green Business Certification Program only recognizes businesses whose management system has been independently audited and confirmed as being in conformity with ISO 14001.
Applicable To: Farms Scope of Certification: Organic certification verifies that a farm complies with the USDA organic regulations, administered by the USDA National Organic Program.
The USDA organic regulations describe organic agriculture as the application of a set of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing soil and water quality; conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife; and avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering. Organic producers use natural processes and materials when developing farming systems—these contribute to soil, crop and livestock nutrition, pest and weed management, attainment of production goals, and conservation of biological diversity. An Organic Systems Plan describing practices and substances used in organic production, as well as record-keeping systems, is vital to the certification process. Any land used to produce raw organic commodities must not have had prohibited substances applied to it for the past three years. The County Green Business Certification Program recognizes crop, wild crop and livestock farms.
Veriflora® Sustainably Grown
Applicable To: Ornamental horticulture industry Scope of Certification:
The Veriflora® Sustainably Grown certification program is administered by SCS Global Services (SCS) and works across the sustainable value chain: •Flower Producers. Certification demonstrates that in the production and handling of cut flower products, you are meeting leading standards of environmental, social and quality performance in the floriculture industry. •Potted Plant Producers. Certification proves that in the production and handling of potted plant products, you are meeting leading standards of environmental, social and quality performance in the ornamental horticulture industry. • Input Materials. Product approvals are issued for input materials that are demonstrated to reinforce the sustainability objectives of certified Veriflora® Sustainably Grown producers. In addition, a Responsible Horticulture Peat Moss Production Annex has been created for peat moss producers who are seeking recognition for their responsibly managed peatlands. •Preferred Retailers. The Veriflora® Preferred Retailer program helps florists, grocers and garden center retailers interested in promoting the sale of sustainably produced cut flowers, and potted plants.