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Economic Development staff are working on a number of fronts to grow green business in Oakland—from helping individual businesses to building regional partnerships.
Oakland green business activities focus on two areas:
- Helping all businesses improve their environmental performance
- Attracting and expanding businesses with an environmental product or service
Does your business offer a green product or service?
Join more than 200 green businesses in Oakland—whether you are already here in Oakland or considering locating here!
If your business offers a product or service specifically designed to reduce environmental impacts or enhance environmental performance, we can help you in areas such as financing, locating a site, networking with similar businesses and obtaining technical assistance.
Green your business—Optimize your environmental performance
Oakland and the East Bay region offer many innovative programs to save you money on energy bills, divert refuse from the landfill, use environment-friendly building materials, and show you other ways to operate sustainably. For information visit:
- City of Oakland: Green Resources
- Alameda County green resources and certification for businesses and public agencies over 50 employees: StopWaste.org
- California Green Business Network: GreenBusinessCA.org
Buying Green and Local
Shop Local—Oakland Grown Inspired by similar efforts around the country, Oakland Grown is a group of local business owners, artists and engaged citizens committed to strengthening Oakland's local economy, social well being, and unique sense of place.
The Oakland Grown vision includes the creation of a permanent local network: • Supports the growth and development of locally owned and independently operated businesses and local artists • Encourages local purchasing by residents, businesses and artists • Creates opportunities for business owners and artists to network and share best practices • Advocates for public policies that strengthen independent local businesses and artists -- and help level the economic playing field
Find out more at OaklandGrown.org.
Certified Green Businesses
Incorporating local green businesses into your purchasing is a great way to green your business while keeping wealth in the community. One way to shop green is to buy from certified green businesses in Oakland and the Bay Area.
The Bay Area Green Business Partnership certifies businesses throughout the area.
- Search more than 100 Bay Area certified green businesses at Bay Area Green Business Program
Remember, if you make your purchases in Oakland, the City receives nearly 1% of the purchase amount as sales tax revenue (on taxable items such as clothing, toys, sporting goods, furniture, office supplies, and appliances). This revenue helps pay for libraries, parks, police officers, firefighters and more.
Shop with Chinook Book -- Green, Organic, Local!
A great way to identify local businesses is the East Bay Chinook Book where you can find nearly 100 Oakland businesses. Chinook Book is a coupon book that support local businesses by giving shoppers valuable financial incentives to buy green, local products and services. Every Business appearing in the guides or on ecometro.com--either as advertiser or coupon provider-- must meet strict environmental and social criteria. The guides also provide crucial information for the eco lifestyle such as recycling hotlines, energy rebate resources and cultural events. Fundraising completes the circle: local schools and non-profits sell the guides as a positive, community-based, healthy fundraising option in place of candy or disposable items. Chinook Book can now be in the palm of your hand with the Chinook Book app for your Smartphone or tablet. You get real time new deals and community information all for a lower price than the paper book.
Green Business Networking
Keep abreast on what’s happening green-wise in Oakland by getting together with these folks:
Incentives for Recycling-Based Businesses
The Oakland/Berkeley Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) is one of 35 geographic areas statewide designated by state agency CalRecycle to foster end-use markets for recyclable materials.
Materials processors and manufacturers located in the RMDZ that use recyclable materials or minimize solid waste generation are eligible for program benefits, including project coordination, loan and grant packaging, and help in site selection, permit processing, and raw material sourcing. Low-interest loans are available for equipment purchases, working capital, and real estate purchases. A separate loan fund for startups and smaller recycling companies is available to businesses that divert significant amounts of solid waste from Alameda County landfills.
Since its inception in 1993, the Oakland/Berkeley RMDZ has packaged more than $5.3 million in approved loans and grants for local recycling businesses. These loans have generated more than $10.5 million in investment in recycling and reuse.