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Consistently rated among the top ten greenest cities in the United States, Oakland is at the forefront of the green economy. 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 150 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.
Contact Green Business Specialist Steve Lautze at: email@example.com (510) 238-4973
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, go to:
- City of Oakland Green Resources
- Bay Area green business resources and certification for businesses under 50 employees Bay Area Green Business Program
- Alameda County green resources and certification for businesses and public agencies over 50 employees at StopWaste.org
Buying Green and Local
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 certified green Oakland businesses
- Search 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 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.
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.
EcoMetro guides are coupon books that support local businesses by giving shoppers valuable financial incentives to buy green products and services. 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. Every Business appearing in the guides or on ecometro.com--either as advertiser or coupon provider-- must meet strict environmental and social criteria.
Green Business Networking
Oakland Green Jobs Corps—Training & Jobs
Considered a national model for urban green-collar training, the Oakland Green Jobs Corps is one of the first initiatives designed to help disadvantaged community residents transition to green careers.
The Oakland initiative provides college-credited training in green construction, solar installation, and energy audit--followed by paid on-the-job training and full-time employment. In addition to receiving a certificate or diploma, students are eligible for full federal financial aid.
- Information for employers: Caz Pereira, Growth Sector Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 902-6951.
- Information for trainees and job seekers: Cypress Mandela Training Center, (510)-208-7350
Other green jobs links:
- Apollo Alliance
- City of Oakland
- Cypress Mandela Training Center
- Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
- Growth Sector Inc.
- Laney College
- Peralta Community College District
Green Jobs Stimulus Success
The Green Job Corps partners received several American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants in Winter 2010:
- Green Jobs State Stimulus Funds: $937,511 to Peralta Community College District to provide the city unique opportunities to help at-risk young people develop job skills for the emerging green economy.
- California Clean Energy Workforce Training: $1 million to Laney College to train low-income, unskilled and dislocated workers in energy efficiency, renewable energy and renewable transportation technology.
- Brownfields Remediation Job Training: $500,000 to Cypress Mandela Training Center to provide environmental job training projects that will help create jobs in the assessment, remediation or preparation of brownfields sites for sustainable reuse
- On the Job Training Support Services: $55,000 to Cypress Mandela Training Center to supplement federal training programs and support the training programs of state departments of transportation for highway construction contractors, apprentices and trainees.
Oakland's "Green Retrofits for All" schematic highlights one strategy for Oakland to use Recovery Act funds in developing sustainable jobs and environmental and community infrastructure.
For more information on Stimulus and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit Oakland's Economic Stimulus website.
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.
For more information on recycling market development in Oakland, contact Steve Lautze at email@example.com or call (510) 238-4973.
East Bay Green Corridor Partnership
Oakland sits at the center of the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership, which offers a wealth of regional green economic development resources: specialized financing, networking, worker training, and research and development programs.
The Green Corridor includes seven other East Bay cities and UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California State East Bay, and the Peralta and Contra Costa Community College districts. Oakland is the largest city in the corridor, with assets including 300+ green businesses, a bustling smart growth downtown, diversified industrial sites, a portal for international trade, and targeted green job training programs.
To find out more, visit the Green Corridor website or contact Steve Lautze at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510.238.4973.
Building the East Bay Green Economy: Critical Steps for Supporting and Engaging East Bay Green Businesses
This report, released by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership in October 2009, summarizes the results of roundtable discussions held with five green sub- sectors: Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Green Building, Recycling and Reuse, and Environmental Consulting.
Each of these groups presented opportunities and challenges for growth.
The Chamber and Corridor are following up on many of the report's recommendations.
For information about how Oakland government is addressing climate change, visit the Sustainable Oakland Website. This is also a good place to get updates on the City’s Energy & Climate Action Plan (ECAP) and to locate documents such as the City’s General Plan, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, Zero Waste Strategic Plan, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy, Civic Green Building Ordinance, and much more.
For more information, contact Steve Lautze, email@example.com, (510) 238-4973.