Lake Zurich program seeks to promote and recognize environmentally sustainable businesses

Lake Zurich has expanded sustainability efforts in town by launching a green business program.

The initiative is to encourage environmentally-friendly practices, reduce the carbon footprint in businesses of all sizes and generally contribute to a more sustainable future.

“We know business plays a crucial role in shaping a sustainable future and can make a meaningful impact,” Mayor Tom Poynton said in announcing the initiative.

Businesses can earn points for a variety of specific actions such as to reduce waste, save energy or water, making community connections or showing leadership. Points range by category with more given for harder-to-achieve goals.

Reducing the use of Styrofoam merits three points, for example, while eliminating its use is good for six points. Installing solar panels earns eight points and an EV charging station nets nine points per station.

Any business is eligible. Participating businesses can earn points by implementing any of 51 climate-friendly actions in five categories.

Those with at least 15 points will earn the Lake Zurich Green Business Award to be presented by Poynton at a future live-broadcast village board meeting. Official recognition on village social media, in the community newsletter and news releases also are among the perks.

According to the Green Business Guide, the actions can attract green-conscious customers or attract employees who take pride in working for a green company. The actions also can differentiate businesses from the competition, save money and create a healthier work environment, the guide says.

“Putting in the effort to complete the actions in this guide can result in tangible benefits for your business, customers and community,” according to the guide.

Kyle Kordell, the village’s management services director, says the green business program is another step in an overall goal to make the community more sustainable.

“I’ve already had a couple of calls from the business community,” he said.

Recycling opportunities in Lake Zurich include Styrofoam, shoes, clothing and textiles and food scraps with special electronics and household hazardous waste collections planned this year, he added.

The village also is participating in a 100% green electric aggregation program.

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