Green-design certification programs keep sprouting up – from the old standby LEED® to California's new CALGreen program – promising to improve your building's environmental street-cred and efficiency. But if you're on a tight budget, do any of them provide a golden opportunity?
While the benefits of green certification are clear – for both your business and the planet – it demands commitment. The certification process can take months, and fees of $30,000 to $50,000 may be required for LEED and other third-party programs(www.gbci.org). The West Coast's new CALGreen program applies only to California commercial and residential projects; there are no certification fees, but it's part of an extensive state design code enforced by local and state building departments.
GreenChill rewards better refrigeration
The GreenChill Store Certification Program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is focused on improving commercial refrigeration only, recognizing food retail stores that have incorporated advanced refrigeration systems to reduce the store's impact on the environment.
The GreenChill program rewards retailers that use all non-ozone-depleting refrigerants throughout the store. In addition to proprietary equipment, this includes self-contained equipment such as ice machines and soda machines in employee break rooms.
The list of Class I and Class II ozone-depleting refrigerants is available, along with a list of approved substitute refrigerants.
Some of the benefits of GreenChill certification include:
| • || There is no fee for certification but certification must be applied for annually. Continued excellence awards are available for stores that meet the requirements year after year. |
| • || Only a short, two-sided application form is required, with readily available information about the type of refrigerants your organization uses, their emissions and refrigerant charge. |
| • || Multiple levels of certification are available (platinum, gold and silver). Separate applications apply to new construction, existing buildings and remodeled projects; find them here. |
Once you've completed the GreenChill application, the EPA will review the certification quickly. For complete details on the GreenChill program, check the EPA's website at www.epa.gov.
Learn more about advanced refrigeration systems that can reduce your store's environmental impact and reduce energy bills.