greenUP!: Exploring the green business sector in Nevada

Project Title

Assist Nevada Statewide Green Business Program Research Business Sectors and Associations

Research Question

greenUp! is interested in exploratory research on green businesses. Including:

  1. What business sector trade associations are there in Nevada? Which ones would be willing to promote the statewide green business program to their members?
  2. What are the key environmental challenges facing the following sector: Breweries, Manufacturers, and Lodging?
  3. What are the current rebates available for energy efficiency and waste minimization for Nevada businesses (can be city-wide, statewide or federal)?

The University of Nevada, Reno research student(s) would work closely with a greenUP! representative to learn basic information about GreenBiztracker and receive information about the sectors being targeted. Special emphasis would be on Breweries, Manufacturers and Lodging. What are the key environmental challenges for each of these key areas (i.e., for Breweries, it would be getting rid of spent hops, recycling, huge energy costs, reduction of water usage in the bottling process, etc.). What rebates are available to these sectors should they want to make improvement in their operations?

Background

greenUP!, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that provides Environmental Education for businesses helping Nevada cut down on waste, reduce valuable resource consumption and fight climate change in an environmentally safe and cost-effective manner.

greenUP! is working to launch a certified green business program in Nevada and to build a statewide database to collect environmental outcome measures. The database is called GreenBizTracker, a web-based software program that provides an easy to use framework to help businesses adopt sustainable practices. Businesses move through an online checklist of verifiable environmental actions and receive a confidential environmental scorecard. The results are aggregated into environmental outcomes for Nevada. Statewide metrics include energy saved, gallons of water saved, tons of waste diverted from the landfill, reduction of hazardous materials and greenhouse gas emissions reduced.

greenUP! is seeking sector specific trade associations interested in sustainable practices that would promote GreenBizTracker and the Nevada statewide green business program to their members.

GreenUP! did research on the restaurant sector as part of their green dining district launch in Carson City. As part of the process, greenUP! conducted a focus group to determine what challenges restaurants in Carson City face with adopting environmental practices, we researched reports from trade associations such as the Green Restaurant Association, US Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency and conferred with an organization that did a green dining project in another state. The process for researching businesses sectors would be similar to the process greenUP! used to research how to green the restaurant industry.

Other greenUP! initiatives include cohosting of the annual Golden Pinecone Sustainability Awards and being fiscal sponsor for and helping to lead the Green Business Engagement National Network (GBENN).

Deliverables

There are three (3) deliverables for this project. The first is a compiled list (spreadsheet) of trade associations in Nevada (can be a national or international organization as long as there is an active Nevada chapter). These organizations would have been contacted and I’d need the name and contact information for the leader of the Nevada chapter of the organization, their mission statement and a statement about their receptiveness to partnering with greenUP! on the Nevada green business program. The second deliverable is a list of rebates available for businesses in Nevada including such things as energy efficiency measures, solar installation, water sensors, etc.) The third deliverable is a document outlining the environmental challenges facing a specific industry sector (i.e., Breweries, general manufacturing challenges, or lodging).

Suggested Skills

If possible, I would like an undergraduate student that is studying Environmental Science. They should have some experience with research projects (i.e., know how to write and implement a survey, tabulate and analyze data). We also seek a hands-on person with a desire to make an impact in our community and to help preserve the planet. The student researcher should be proficient in the basic suite of Microsoft tools: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The student should have good verbal and written communication skills and be good with interacting with people on the telephone. A well written final report is part of the project.

Agency Representative

Donna Walden
donna.walden@mac.com
(949) 306-3465