Blog : Green Alliance Featured in NextGen Profile

By Patrick Haigis | Sep 3, 2014 | in

Green Alliance has been featured in an article posted by NextGen Climate. NextGen Climate is a non-partisan organization focused on bringing climate change to the forefront of American politics. The organization is committed to supporting candidates, elected officials and policymakers across the country that will take bold action on climate change. Read what they had to say about us below!

What do a beauty salon in Dover, a photography studio in Portsmouth, and a soda bottling company in Bedford all have in common? All three—Acorn Organic Salon, Tim Gaudreau Studios, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England—are members of the Green Alliance, an association of businesses and customers that is dedicated to promoting sustainable business practices and educating consumers about the impact of their choices. The Alliance boasts 107 other member companies across New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts—and that number is growing.

 “It makes economic sense,” Sarah Brown, the community activist and former Kittery Town Councilwoman who founded the Alliance, said. “Businesses care about sustainability and there are those who see the benefits of attracting consumers who care, too. We’re showing businesses that consumers care—and how they can increase their business through sustainable practices.”

It all started in 2008 with Andrew Kellar, the owner of Simply Green Biofuels in Portsmouth. While trying to establish his business as an eco-friendly alternative to home heating oil and petroleum diesel, Kellar realized that his environmentally conscious customers might also be interested in green restaurants, clothing shops, and landscapers. So he teamed up with Brown to promote sustainable businesses in the region, and the Green Alliance was born.

The Alliance vets local businesses before they are admitted. Once admitted into the GA every Partnering Business gets green certified which includes a comprehensive and transparent investigation of every aspect of that business and an evaluation of its history. Business Partners are then given a report card with grades in areas like energy use, waste, transportation, and community leadership. Based on these scores, companies are classified as a “sprout,” “bud,” or “blossom” in their green efforts.

“All businesses are welcome,” Brown said. “We have those that are super-sustainable and those that are just starting to move towards it. We help them. It's a growing process for both businesses and consumers.”

Customers can read a business’s Report Card on the Green Alliance website, along with a written Evaluation of its sustainability efforts and the company’s “Green Story.” The Alliance promotes these stories through news articles for local newspapers, in its monthly newsletter, and on its blog.

For consumers, the Green Alliance provides detailed information about where to shop for green products and services, and it offers real financial savings to boot. For a $35 annual fee, individual Alliance members receive a “Green Card” for discounts at member businesses. The Alliance also publishes a pocket shopping guide that lists the sustainability scores of each of its members.

Today, the Green Alliance has nearly 4,000 consumer members, and its businesses support more than 5,000 jobs across New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. The Alliance and its members are proving that everyday sustainability can be profitable here in New Hampshire—and that consumers can make a difference on climate change with the choices they make.

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