Fitzgerald Auto Malls Awarded Green Business Innovator of the Year

Congratulations to Fitzgerald Auto Malls for winning this prestigious award from the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. The auto dealership is taking tremendous steps to make its business more sustainable from purchasing 100% clean electricity, to recycling 83% of its waste, to installing high efficient LED lamps. The company’s focus on continuous improvement is institutionalized through its ISO 14001 Energy Management System, a comprehensive set of processes identifying and measuring its environmental impacts and improvements. 

Check out this video of their environmental efforts.

Dottie Fitzgerald and colleagues with Gigi Godwin, President and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Dottie Fitzgerald and colleagues with Gigi Godwin, President and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Gift Outside the Box Campaign Features Certified Green Businesses

Certified Green Businesses received a great shout out during a recent press event with County Executive Ike Leggett and Barbara Ashe, Executive Vice President of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.  The event centered on the launch of the County’s Gift Outside the Box public awareness campaign which encourages residents to give in unique and meaningful ways to minimize the environmental impact of gift giving; create deeper personal connections; and support local businesses and organizations.  


Ms. Ashe conveyed the importance of supporting locally-rooted businesses that give the County its “unique and special character and contribute to our vibrancy and sense of place.”  She urged shoppers to “consider presents such as a gift certificate to that cool corner café or local boutique.”  


She also encouraged shoppers to patronize Certified Green Businesses.   “Many businesses have taken the lead when it comes to environmental stewardship…So, I encourage you to visit the County’s Green Business Directory when considering your gift giving to express your appreciation for their efforts.”  And, she added, “If you’re really moved by green businesses, get your friends and family involved!  Make a plan to converge on a Certified Green Business on Small Business Saturday and throughout the season.”


Public service ads promoting the Gift Outside the Box campaign began appearing on County RideOne buses just before Thanksgiving and ran through the holiday season. The website will be live throughout the year, providing greener gift ideas for every season and special occasion.

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With green commuting, it’s all downhill with incentives for businesses and employees!

If you’re a business owner you may have difficulty figuring out how to help your employees green their commute.  Fortunately, Montgomery County and Maryland offer significant and comprehensive financial incentives and resources which will enable you to expand employee benefits at a fraction of their full cost, create a better work environment, and reduce your carbon footprint.  

Green Business Certification: The right thing to do for business and society

In the first of a three-part series featuring six Montgomery County Certified Green Businesses we’ll look at companies both big and small reducing their ecological footprint and examine how their efforts help not just Mother Earth, but their businesses as well.

This article focuses on AECOM, a Fortune 500 engineering firm with a global presence, and ecobeco, a 25-person County-based business specializing in residential energy efficiency, remodeling, new home construction, and indoor air quality improvement.

Green Business Mix and Mingle

Many thanks to Raffa for graciously hosting a gathering of approximately 80 leaders from triple bottom line businesses at the Stanford Grill in Rockville, housed in a LEED Platinum building. The high-value networking event was designed, simply, to foster and deepen connections among businesses focused on environmental and social impact. The relaxing, elegant atmosphere provided the perfect setting to “connect and cultivate what counts," in the words of the host company, Raffa.

Promotional partners included the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program, Bethesda Green and the B Local Mid Atlantic group.

The Green Business Certification Program is committed to organizing future events to connect local, County-based businesses interested in learning more about sustainable practices. We welcome ideas and suggestions, and we are always looking for exciting new venues! If you represent a triple bottom line company and are interested in hosting a future event, please contact Doug at douglas.weisburger@montgomerycountymd.gov

View photos from the event here: 

Green Biz networking event, 10/27

Montgomery County (and local businesses) declare “We Are Still In” on Paris Agreement

On June 5th, County Executive Ike Leggett joined more than 1,000 U.S. governors, county executives, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities in declaring their support for U.S. leadership in reducing carbon emissions.

The leaders sent a strong signal to the international community and the 194 other parties to the Paris Agreement about their continued ambitious action on climate change absent leadership at the federal level. To read the letter go to http://wearestillin.com/.

“Montgomery County has always been a leader in reducing emissions and we will continue our work to be good stewards locally, regionally, nationally, and globally,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “We take seriously the importance of increasing energy efficiency, growing renewable energy sources and reducing our greenhouse gases as much as possible. It is the right thing to do for our residents, our local economy and future generations and we will not waiver on our responsibilities.”

To reduce its own footprint, County Government has increased the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in its fleet, installed solar energy panels on many County buildings, and continues to be one of the nation’s largest local government purchasers of renewable energy. For details on these and other initiatives and accomplishments in energy sustainability in County facilities, see the FY16 Sustainable Government Operations Report.

The County has adopted a transportation policy that considers ecosystem and climate impacts, reduces and prevents waste and pollution, and focuses on reducing energy consumption. The result is a balanced approach that includes extensive transit, ridesharing, bicycling and walking opportunities that serve all County residents, visitors and workers. For details on this policy, see Sustainability Policy: Moving Forward Together.

In order to help businesses and residents in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the County has established innovative financing tools to increase investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades through the implementation of a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, and by becoming the first County in the nation to establish a Green Bank. For details on these and other initiatives and accomplishments to promote sustainability in the County in collaboration with residents, businesses and other community-based organizations, see the 2017 Office of Sustainability Annual Report.

No charts, less water: Greener orthodontics in Montgomery County

Anyone who has ever visited a dentist or orthodontist knows how resource-intensive those businesses can be. But conservation is still possible. Just ask the experts at Scott Orthodontics.

From water to electricity and everything in between, oral care, like health care in general, can consume plenty if care teams aren’t careful. Scott Orthodontics has been working hard since 2012 to improve its own sustainability.

For Rockville Yoga Studio, Mindfulness Means Green

To the uninitiated, yoga may seem like little more than a group of flexible people bending their limbs in time to dreamy music.

But for the devoted, yoga is a full-fledged lifestyle. Fitness is a big part of the equation, but so is a concept called mindfulness. According to practitioners, mindfulness can help people become more environmentally conscious.

“Mindfulness to me doesn’t mean sitting in a field in silence,” says Arlet Koseian-Beckham, owner of extendYoga in Rockville. “It’s every part of my life, and more awareness of daily things. It’s synonymous with being aware of my surroundings, actions and decisions.”


Raffa Achieves B Corporation Re-certification, Boosts Overall “B Score”

Reflecting the commitment of the consulting firm’s leadership and staff, Raffa received its re-certification as a B Corporation and boosted its “B Score” in the process. Founded more than 30 years ago by Thomas Raffa, the firm has thrived as it has met its goals of strengthening the nonprofit business sector and proving that companies dedicated to social good can thrive.

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The Green Business Program has Expanded!

Montgomery County is seeking to stimulate growth in the green economy with the announcement that it has broadened the standards for its Green Business Certification Program to include business sectors previously ineligible. They include restaurants, cleaning companies, hotels and home-based businesses.  The program has also updated its website to be more user friendly and responsive. 

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Montgomery County Launches Early Bird Benchmarking Program

Benchmark your building (or encourage your building owner or management to) in EPA’s free tool, Portfolio Manager, including the building profile and energy use data covering all of 2014, and report to the County by July 1, 2015, and receive a package of recognition for benchmarking and any other sustainability actions being taken in your building or portfolio.

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Cutting grass the green way: Bethesda woman grows Solar Mowing

By Emily Birnbaum, Special to the Gazette

Before Lyn DeWitt used to mow her lawn, she would take her children inside her Bethesda house and shut the windows to escape the mower’s fumes and loud motor. As the communications director for the Audubon Naturalist Society and generally an environmentally aware citizen, DeWitt decided that she had enough of the gasoline-powered mower.

That’s when she decided to harness the same sun that helped the lawn grow in the first place — and her company, Solar Mowing, was born.

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Montgomery County expands green business program to landscapers

By Kevin James Shay, Staff Writer, the Gazette

Seven Montgomery County landscaping businesses have been certified as environmentally friendly through an expansion of the county’s green certification program to that sector.

The certification process, which involves meeting requirements that are verified through onsite visits, provides credibility in advertising that you are an environmentally friendly business, said Toni Bailey, owner of Rockville landscape design business Gracefully Green.

“Having the word ‘green’ in your name does not really prove you are a green business,” Bailey said. “With this certification process, our customers can be confident that we walk the talk.”

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