The GSBA Blog


Member Spotlight: EnviroStars

by Alyssa Rodriguez, EnviroStars Project Coordinator
| Apr 12, 2021
 

The Pacific Northwest is famous both for its natural landscapes as well as its residents’ green leanings. The same is true for our small businesses - it is no longer exceptional for small businesses to implement green practices, it is considered the norm. Consumers - especially PNW consumers - buy green, want corporate responsibility, and want to be able to clearly understand which brands are green. More than 70% percent of Puget Sound residents think it’s important to buy from environmentally-minded businesses But it is not always easy for entrepreneurs to know what beneficial changes they can make in their business and at what cost. That’s where EnviroStars comes in.

EnviroStars is a statewide green business recognition program that offers free assistance and resources for implementing green business practices. This includes reducing waste, conserving water, spill kits, and technical assistance. Over 500 businesses are recognized so far as part of the program, including GSBA members like Fremont Brewing, UW Medicine, and Clearwater Casino Resort. 

Indi chocolate, both a GSBA member and EnviroStars recognized business, is a small, woman-owned business located in Pike Place Market. Indi chocolate makes delicious, all natural, responsibly sourced, single origin, small batch chocolates. They also produce other cacao based products, and offers chocolate making classes. Indi chocolate works directly with farmers and cooperatives to source their cacao beans, supporting farms that practice traditional, sustainable farming and harvesting practices and paying farmers higher than fair trade standard premiums and directly. EnviroStars recently conducted an interview with the founder and owner of indi chocolate, Erin Andrews, about what it means to be a part of the small business community and promote sustainability throughout the pandemic. Andrews says collaboration within the small business community is a great resource for helping and supporting one another, but also because we have more to gain by working together. Andrews views sustainability as a goal that you never really reach, but rather a goal you should always be striving for and improving upon together. Interested in learning more about what a green, small business looks like in practice? Check out EnviroStars’ full interview with indi chocolate and additional interviews with other featured EnviroStars businesses to see what it’s like to be EnviroStars recognized!

The program is open to Washington businesses from any sector, whether restaurant or dentist, manufacturer or retailer, hotel or auto repair shop. The program is especially designed to help small, local businesses and organizations. You don’t need to own your building for your business to go green – making operational and purchasing changes is a great way for your business to reduce its impact.

The EnviroStars team can provide your business with free technical assistance and materials to protect the environment and save money. To learn more, contact the EnviroStars team at info@envirostars.org or call 206-705-3986.