Have you ever wondered if any of your favorite Ames businesses are trying to be more sustainable? The Smart Business Challenge (SBS) works with businesses on just that! Live Green! partners with Ames’ government to provide services for both businesses and the community members of Ames to operate and be recognized as a sustainable businesses.
The Smart Business Challenge focuses on evaluating businesses based on their current operations in all three facets of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social). The SBC interns assess businesses on criteria such as energy efficiency, waste management, and water use, as well as community involvement and engagement. From the results of this assessment, the Smart Business Challenge team ranks businesses involved in the challenge at a bronze, silver, gold or platinum level. These rankings are used to recognize businesses for their achievements and motivate them to increase their sustainability practices. A checklist is used to measure the business’ current involvement and gauge what additional improvements or changes they can make to increase their ranking.
Currently there are twenty-seven businesses involved in the Smart Business Challenge, eight of those have achieved the platinum certification. There is a wide variety in the types of businesses participating in the challenge, so the certification criteria has to be adaptable for any type of business. Over the past four years, the challenge has developed into a recognized and well-respected program in the city of Ames and many businesses have experienced benefits in energy conservation, community involvement and reduced business costs.
As the Smart Business Challenge grows, we encourage all community members to support the businesses who have made a commitment and effort to be a more sustainable business. We hope all community members will spread the word of this great opportunity to their favorite store, restaurant, or other business in Ames. More details about the challenge and a list of the businesses participating can be found on the Smart Business Challenge website!