FAQs

Who can apply for Green Business Certification (GBC)?

Businesses must:

  • Have a commercial business location in Santa Monica 
  • Be in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations
  • Fall under one of the following sectors:
    • Arts & Culture Facilities
    • Hotel/ Motel
    • Office/ Retail
    • Property Management
    • Restaurant/ Grocer
    • Salons (Hair or Nail)
    • Schools

How does a business obtain Green Business Certification?

Businesses must sign-up for the program, receive confirmation and instructions on next steps.  Businesses entered into the program must complete the checklist for the corresponding business sector. 

The Checklists specify program criteria for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste.

Once businesses check off all the required actions and minimum number of optional measures, Sustainable Works schedules an onsite verification visit to ensure the specified measures are in place an issues the certification right away.

How long does it take to get through the certification process?

The amount of time for a business to achieve certification varies depending on several factors i.e., how many green practices are already in place, how complex the facility is (e.g., does it include a commercial kitchen or is it more than 20,000 sq ft?), and how committed the business is to making the required changes quickly.  A business that has most of the green measures already in place can achieve certification within 1 - 2 months.  A more complex facility requiring comprehensive changes or fixture upgrades can take up to 6 months.  Our team  helps guide you through the entire process!

What is the cost of partcipting?

Participating in the Santa Monica Green Business Program is a free service to businesses located in cities where funding is subsidized. We normally charge a nominal fee to help cover administrative costs for issuing the certifications based on business sector and size.  However, since 2019 we have successfully gained CAGBN grants which can be applied to cover the fee portion and/or help cover some costs to meet the criteria. Contact the Green Business Program team to determine if grant funding is available by visiting the Contact page. To view the program fee schedule click here .

How long does a certification last until a business needs to recertify?

Once the businesses pass the onsite verification visit, they are certified for a three year period from the visit day.

Certified businesses will be notified when a renewal is required. 

How does a business renew certification after three years?

The Green Business Certification checklist for the appropriate sector must be completed again with fulfillling the required core measures and minimal number of optional measures.  If CAGBN grants are available, the re-certifiaction program fee is waived.

Can I still apply for Green Business Certification if my business does not fall under one of the sectors listed?

No.  Unfortunately, Green Business Certification is limited to the above business sectors at this time.  As the GBC program grows, checklists will become available to other business sectors.  To verify eligibility, please contact the SMGBC staff team, smgbc@sustainableworks.org