mandatory requirements

1 Inform Your Customers
Inform your customers about your green certification. For example:
  • Post the Green Business Certification decal in a visible location
  • Highlight your Green Business certification on your website and link it to the Green Business Certification page
  • Assist at least one other business in learning about the green business certification program.

2 Inform Your Employees
Inform your employees about your green certification efforts and train them on your green procedures and practices. Incorporate in your newsletters, staff meetings, employee orientations, etc.

3 Energy Audit

4 Implement a Recycling Program

5 Purchase Environmentally Friendly Paper
Purchase 50% of office paper with post-consumer recycled content, SFI or FSC certification to support sustainable forest management practices and the purchase of recycled content paper products.

6 Properly Dispose of Hazardous Wastes
Properly dispose of hazardous wastes (including fluorescent bulbs/tubes, batteries, paint, cellphones, cleaning supplies, aeroseal cans, pesticides, etc.) at a Hazardous Waste Facility. Never throw or pour hazardous waste into regular trash receptacles or down a drain.


1 Close your blinds
Institute a written policy that ensures blinds and curtains are closed after hours

2 Turn it off
Institute a formal policy that encourages employees to turn off inessential equipment and lights when not in use

3 Go Natural
Use only natural lighting during daytime hours in applicable areas. Make this a standard procedure via signage and employee education. Put signs over light switches such as "Turn off when leaving."
Rearrange workspace to take advantage of natural sunlight.

4 Shift electrical usage to non-peak times
Shifting to non-peak usage helps keep less efficient plants from coming on line. Additionally, energy planning can save money.

5 Turn off computers and screens
Establish a policy to turn off computers and screens after hours, weekends, and holidays.

6 ENERGY STAR purchasing policy
Establish a policy that when replacing or adding new equipment or appliances, they shall have an ENERGY STAR rating.

7 Use "task" lighting
Light when and where extra light is needed, rather than lighting an entire room.

8 Space Heaters
Discourage personal space heaters

9 Dress right
Encourage employees to wear weather appropriate clothing to work

10 Temperature Setbacks
Set cooling to 74°F and heating to 68°F. Program the thermostats for unoccupied hours when the facility is closed with cooling set at 90°F and heating at 55°F.

11 Computer Power-Saving Mode
Change settings on office computers to turn off the display after 5 minutes, and go into sleep mode after 20 minutes of non-use. Discontinue use of screen savers.

12 Copier/Printer Power-Saving Mode
Reduce copier/printer power consumption by using stand by mode after 15 minutes of non-use and completely turn off at the end of the day

13 Staff Training
Involve your staff Create a plan to hold bi-annual training for staff on energy conservation.

14 Use the Stairs
Put up signs at elevators that encourage stair use.

15 Vending Machines
Implement "off-hours" shutdown schedule or install devices to automatically reduce vending machine energy use (VendingMisers).

16 Refrigerator Rules
Prohibit personal refrigerators and provide high efficiency refrigerators in common areas. Replace refrigerators >10 years old with Energy Star model. Maintain fridge coils free of frost and dust.

Set refrigerator temperature between 38°F and 41°F and freezer between 10°F and 20°F.

17 Dishwasher Usage
Post signage for employees to use dishwasher only when full.  Save energy and water!

18 Offset Your Carbon
Offset your carbon and purchase CO2 offsets or renewable energy credits for a minimum of 10% of your electrical usage.

19 Utility Bills
Track, understand and review your utility bills. Report any inconsistent high usage immediately to General or Facilities Managers.

20 HVAC Maintenance
Complete regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance. Clean or replace filters,heating and air-conditioning systems at least twice a year. Clean air-conditioning condenser coils at least four times a year.

21 Clean your light fixtures
Create and implement a schedule to clean lighting fixtures and lamps so that they are lighting as effectively as possible (dirt can reduce lighting efficiency by up to 50%).

22 hot water heater
Set hot water heater between 120-140F

23 hot water pipes
Insulate all major hot water pipes.

24 Contract Language for Cleaning Services
Develop contract language for cleaning services. Require lights to be turned off after areas are cleaned and/or schedule daytime cleaning.

25 Reduce Solar Heat Gain
Apply window film to reduce solar heat gain or use double glazing for 90% of windows.

26 Install ceiling fans
Ceiling fans can help reduce your cooling costs as they allow you to set your A/C thermostat higher. The breeze increases the evaporation of moisture from your skin making you feel cooler than you would without it.

However, keep in mind that ceiling fans cool people, but they don't lower room temperature. So make sure that you turn them off during unoccupied hours!

27 Lighting Controls
Use lighting controls such as motion sensors and/or photo cells.

28 LED lighting
Upgrade indoor and/or outdoor lighting to LEDs

29 Energy Management System
Use an energy management system to control large mechanical loads

30 Weather Stripping
Use weather stripping to seal air gaps around windows and doors

31 Exit signs
Use LEDs in exit signs

32 Use booster heater for hot water
Convert hot water heaters to on-demand systems.

33 Use economizers on AC system.
Use economizers on A/C for free cooling during mild conditions.

34 Replace multiple AC units with a single unit
Replace multiple AC units with a single unit with a SEER of at least 13.  SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and is a rating of the units' energy efficiency

healthy employees

1 Transportation Demand Management program
Develop and post a Transportation Demand Management program for your business.  View a sample program here.

Inform your customers about alternative transportation options to get to your location.

2 Find "green" rental car companies
Establish a policy where employees must request a fuel efficient car when renting cars for business travel.

3 telecommuting or flexible schedules
Offer telecommuting opportunities or flexible schedules to your employees.

4 electric vehicle charging stations
Offer electric vehicle charging stations for visitors and staff.

5 video-conferencing
Reduce air miles traveled via tele- or video-conferencing.

6 Maintain vehicles
Maintain your vehicles per manufacturer specs and track maintenance to improve vehicle life.

7 employee training
Do any of the following:

Encourage employees to consolidate trips and to patronize services close by that can be reached by bus, bike, and walking.

Provide employees with driver training for driving efficiently by avoiding idling and aggressive driving.  

Encourage employees to maintain vehicles and tire pressure.

8 preferential parking
Make sure carpools, electric, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicles receive preferential parking at your facility.

9 Encourage Greener Commute
Do any of the following:
May is National Bike Month! Host a Bike to Work Day.  
Participate in Miami Valley Regional Planning Commissions Rideshare Program.
Provide a commuter van.

10 Green your fleet
Purchase or rent alternative fuel, fuel efficient, electric or hybrid vehicles for the company fleet to reduce your company's transportation footprint.

11 No idling
Establish a policy to reduce idling in company vehicles.

12 Incentivize alternative modes of transportation
For example, a bus pass or small bonus for not using a car.

13 Provide bikes
Provide bikes for employee errands so that employees can bike to meetings and ride around the neighborhood during workday breaks.

14 secure location to store bicycles
Install a bike rack or bike shelter in or near facility. Consider providing tire air pumps and flat tire repair kits for on-site use.

15 Provide shower facilities
This helps promote the practice of walking, joging, or biking to work.

16 Activity incentive programs
Support physical activity during the workday. For example:
  • Encourage physical activity breaks during meetings
  • Support flexible scheduling for employees who participate in physical activity (such as a longer break for walks or gym usage)
  • Post signage that promotes stairwell usage
  • Establish walking or bicycling groups for the workplace

17 Support healthy foods and beverages
Encourage better eating habits and food culture. Ensure that your employees have healthy vending and food options during the workday. Consider providing a space for eating that is well lit to encourage social support.

18 Promote drinking water
Provide any/all of the following:
  • A filtered water bottle filling station.
  • Water at meetings.
  • Provide refillable water bottles and/or travel mugs.

19 welcome mats
Place welcome mats at the office entrance. This reduces unwanted chemicals/dirt from entering your workspace.

20 air-purifying plants
Place air-purifying plants throughout the office.

21 Controllability of Systems
Provide a high level of thermal and ventilation control for individual occupants or groups in multi-occupant spaces to promote the productivity, comfort, and wellbeing of building occupants.

22 Daylight and Views
Provide occupants with daylighting and view opportunities to provide a connection between indoor spaces and the outdoors.  Strategies include office layout and lower partition heights.

Studies have demonstrated that productivity increases dramatically for building occupants working in daylit areas.  In addition, daylighting decreases energy costs.

23 Cleaning Protocol
Provide clean and sanitary environment for staff and visitors in a manner that is earth and human friendly using cleaning products that meet Green Seal standard or products with low-volatile organic compound (VOC) whenever possible.

Reduce the exposure of building occupants and custodial personnel to potentially hazardous chemical containments that adversely impact air quality or impede occupants' well-being.  

24 community volunteer activities
Encourage/promote community volunteer activities by any of the following:
  • Sponsor an annual community event that promotes sustainability within your community.
  • Participate in/or sponsor environmental restoration projects and other community efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
  • Encourage your staff to join any of DRG Action Teams.

25 Green Cleaning
Provide clean and sanitary environment for staff and visitors in a manner that is earth and human friendly. Download sample policy

materials & resources

sustainable sites

1 Eliminate irrigation and fertilizer
Eliminate irrigation and fertilization by planting native and drought resistant vegetation only.

2 test irrigation system
Manually check for leaks, and repair all broken sprinkler heads/equipment monthly. Turn on irrigation system and walk each station to check for leaks and proper coverage.

3 Adjust sprinklers for proper coverage
Adjust sprinklers for proper coverage to achieve even water distribution and to eliminate all runoff into paved surfaces.

4 Non-daylight hours Watering
Set the irrigation controller start time during non-daylight hours (before 7 am or after 9 pm). Watering in early morning or dusk helps avoid evaporation

5 Decrease impervious surface area
Reduce the amount of impervious surface by using permeable pavement and other options.

6 Apply mulch
Apply 2-3 inches of mulch in all non-turf planting areas.

7 hydro-zoning
Make necessary changes to assure proper hydro-zoning (grouping of plants with similar water needs and sprinkler types) of irrigated areas, for example, separate bed and turf zones.

8 rotating nozzles
Install rotating nozzles on all sprinkler heads.

9 drip irrigation
Install non-spray or drip irrigation in all shrub, tree, and planted bed zones.

10 turf grass watering
Reduce turf grass water consumption by eliminating watering, and allow the grass to go dormant.  It will come back!

11 Reclaimed Water
Use captured rainwater or recycled graywater for irrigation.

12 Plant trees
Plant / maintain trees to help reduce amount of water runoff.

13 irrigation efficiency training
Provide irrigation efficiency training for all landscape staff or contractors through a reputable training program.

14 Storm Drain Litter
Prevent litter from entering the storm drain by regularly cleaning litter and debris in front of your business, by dumpsters, and in receiving areas. Ensure tight-fitting lids on dumpsters.

15 chemical storage areas
Locate chemical storage areas away from catch basins, drywells, and floor drains.

16 Prevent soil from washing into storm drains
Mulch, use ground cover, or use a barrier to prevent exposed soil from washing into storm drain.

17 outdoor areas dry sweeping
Use dry sweeping to clean concrete or asphalt surfaces instead of using water to wash down surfaces. Use high pressure, low water use cleaning techniques only when necessary. Always send wastewater from pressure washing to landscaping or the sewer not the storm drain.

Never use a hose and/or soap to clean outdoor areas. This includes parking lots, sidewalks, alleys or patios.

18 No Dumping
Label storm drains with "No Dumping, Drains to (appropriate body of water)" message.

19 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program
Eliminate or reduce use of chemical pesticides by:
  • Specifying in pest control contracts that primary pest management methods include non-chemical pest prevention and pest exclusion.
  • Using traps, barriers and less toxic pesticides (such as soaps, oils, microbial and baits)
  • Applying on an as-needed (vs. Set) schedule.
  • When chemical pesticides are necessary, use those labeled "caution" rather than "warning" or "danger".
  • Set up storage and sanitation procedures
  • Utilizing planting, irrigation and cultivation (e.g., pest-resistant plants) to minimize pest attractants.

20 Prevent pest attraction
Prevent pest attraction by eliminating improperly stored foods, open trash bins, and dense foliage around your building.

21 erosion control
Prevent erosion during earth disturbing activities by using mulch, ground cover, or barriers.

22 vehicle spill kit
Keep a spill kit handy to collect spills or leaks from company vehicles.

23 Drain carwash water into sewer
Carwash water should NOT enter storm drains, catch basins, dry wells, or retention/detention ponds. Perform vehicle maintenance, repair, and washing offsite.


1 low-flow aerators
Install these devices on all ""non-critical use"" lavatory faucets to reduce water use.

Standard aerators are devices that are designed to reduce the flow of the water coming out of the faucet while introducing air into the water flow. That is why they are called ""aerators"". Aerators will usually have a rated flow (in gallons per minute or gpm) imprinted on the side. If there appears to be an aerator installed, but there is no flow rate stamped on the side, the aerator may not be a low flow type and should be replaced with a new one. 

Some designer faucets have an internal built in ""laminar"" restrictor. Laminar restrictors work differently than standard faucet aerators by producing dozens of parallel streams of water. A business can ask the manufacturer for the flow rate of these faucets

2 Track Water Use
Review your water bill monthly for leak/spike indications.

3 Leak Detection and Repair
Regularly check for and repair all leaks in your facility

4 high efficiency toilets and urinals
When renovating replace all urinals flushing at greater than 1.0 gallon with high efficiency urinals, flushing at less than 0.5 gallons, or waterless urinals. Retrofit toilets flushing at higher than 1.6 gallons with high efficiency toilets (1.28 gallons or less per flush).

5 water pressure
Maintain water pressure between 60-80 PSI to optimize performance

6 Encourage water conservation
Encourage water conservation and post signs in restrooms and break rooms.

7 Window cleaning
Change window cleaning to ""as required""

8 Faucets
Install low flow self-closing or automatic & sensor faucets.

9 cooling systems
Optimize cooling systems to provide or use alternative onsite sources of water.