YellowDog Achieves Silver Level Status as a 2022 Member of the Colorado Green Business Network

As the Environmental Leadership Program transitions into the Colorado Green Business Network, we remain committed to the standards Denver and CDPHE have set for Colorado businesses.

In 2022, the state program previously known as the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) began transitioning into the Colorado Green Business Network, a tiered-membership program. We took the initiative to recertify our membership, and due to our ongoing sustainability efforts, we achieved Silver status through Summer 2023!

About CGBN

Colorado Green Business Network is a voluntary program that works with Colorado businesses, large and small, to support and encourage sustainability efforts. Businesses that choose to apply for certification are evaluated on new projects and progress on previously-reported projects that are focused on improving the business’s environmental footprint, internal policy, and community impacts. 

The staff with CGBN is an amazing help during the application process and clearly wants to help Colorado businesses grow, even if the changes may seem incremental. Learn more about CGBN and the great work they do here. You can also find other Colorado Businesses who are sustainability achievers that are in your area using the CGBN’s Green Biz Tracker tool. 

Our Journey to Silver Status

The journey began with our pursuit of bronze certification with the ELP in 2021. Then, as the program evolved, so did we. With guidance from the CGBN, YellowDog has begun implementing multiple green initiatives that helped us earn our silver level status. Ultimately, our goal is to increase our sustainability efforts across all areas of our business and we plan to do this by taking small, actionable steps. Here are a few ways that YellowDog is creating a more eco-friendly workplace:

  • We released our first Sustainability Update! It provides more detail on our projects that exemplify our ongoing sustainability efforts, our company values, and where they intersect.
  • Site assessment: After completing a site assessment from CDPHE , we were able to determine our highest impact categories for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. We are starting to measure these activities and brainstorm reduction plans accordingly.
Staff and guests are reminded to recycle correctly and conserve water and energy with helpful signage.
  • Enacting energy efficient procedures: We are formalizing energy procedures in the office! We do this by enabling and using standby mode on computers, printers, as well as regular shutdowns during off hours. We also perform regular maintenance on HVAC equipment, refrigeration, compressed air lines, and other large equipment, and ensure all staff are trained in efficiency processes tied to lights off policies, and thermostat schedules and refrigeration set points.
Convenient indoor bike storage and a map of the safe bike routes in Denver making riding to work easy and stress-free.
  • Enacting energy efficient procedures: We are formalizing energy procedures in the office! We do this by enabling and using standby mode on computers, printers, as well as regular shutdowns during off hours. We also perform regular maintenance on HVAC equipment, refrigeration, compressed air lines, and other large equipment, and ensure all staff are trained in efficiency processes tied to lights off policies, and thermostat schedules and refrigeration set points.

Our plans for the future

As we continue to work with programs like CGBN, Denver’s Environmental Health and Sustainability division, and like-minded businesses, we are increasingly inspired to continue our pace implementing sustainability projects at YellowDog! Here are some things we are working on; hopefully you’ll get inspired as well!

  • Tracking our GHG emissions: We are just beginning to work with Aclymate , an emissions tracking tool designed with small and mid-sized businesses in mind. You can’t reduce what you don’t measure (aka my words to live by)! This tool will help us see where we currently stand with the projects we have already implemented and where there is room for improvement. Using a tool like this can really help you narrow your focus on a high-impact category, which is super helpful when tackling a beast like sustainability. 
  • Carbon Offsetting: There are some vital business operations that you just can’t reduce or eliminate. Obviously, we never want to sacrifice quality! That’s where carbon offsetting comes in – you can purchase offsets for projects that contribute to additional carbon reduction around the world. Climate change is a global issue, so you are making a difference no matter where the project that is offsetting your company’s carbon is located. Our goal is to work carbon offsetting into the 2024 fiscal budget.
  • Reducing Electricity Usage: Currently, our highest impact category in Scope 2 is electricity. Even though our estimated electric use is lower than industry average, our goal is to reduce our usage in this category by 10% from our 2021 usage. The first step to attaining this goal is to install a submeter to track our electric use, as our facility does not currently provide one. Once a submeter is installed, we will determine actions for additional electricity reduction, like ensuring all future equipment purchased has a better energy rating than our current appliances and machinery. 

Implementing sustainability projects that make a difference in your company can sometimes be difficult; we completely understand that! The key is to get involved in the conversation. With frameworks like CGBN, we can brainstorm solutions, relay projects that have been working for us, and share budgeting tips! If anything here has inspired you or you want more details on implementation for use at your company, reach out! We’d love to have that conversation.

Bailey Patterson

Bailey Patterson

Bailey Patterson is YellowDog’s Impact MBA Fellow for the summer of 2022. Through her degree program at Colorado State University, she has been paired with YellowDog to help strategize our continually improving pawprint. She loves data, Schitt's Creek, and helping people recycle correctly.
Better business cards, designed and printed by YellowDog
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