The Green Business Certification Program was launched in December 2009 through a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery College.
The program was originally modeled after the Bay Area Green Business Program in California, as well as Santa Monica’s Green Business Certification Program, the Sacramento Sustainable Business Program, and Sarasota’s Green Business Partnership.
Initially, certification was based exclusively on an application designed by DEP for businesses with office-based operations, and expanded a number of years later to include landscape businesses.
In 2015, the program recast itself as an umbrella recognition program to expand program eligibility, and began accepting businesses certified through outside third party standards to complement the applications created by DEP. These third party certification standards include B Lab, Green America, the Green Restaurant Association, Green Seal, the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, Veriflora® Sustainably Grown, USDA Organic Program, Certified Naturally Grown and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Businesses from virtually all sectors are now eligible for certification, including restaurants, offices, hotels, cleaning companies, landscapers, home based businesses, farms, and more.