SACRAMENTO – The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has unveiled its Commercial Climate Calculator to help businesses evaluate the benefits of reducing waste, including cost savings. CalRecycle’s online calculator complements Air Resources Board and Department of Toxic Substances Control tools developed for use by businesses, industry, and the general public to gauge their carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a news release. “With California’s new commercial recycling requirement soon to take effect, we’re working hard to provide tools like this so California businesses, schools, and others can develop their own blueprint to achieve success,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said in the news release. “The calculator will help Californians see that recycling and waste reduction make sense for our environment and their bottom line.” Two-thirds of California’s waste is generated by the commercial sector. AB 341, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, requires expanded recycling by businesses, multi-family residential buildings of 5 units or more, schools, and other public entities if they produce 4 or more cubic yards of waste per week. CalRecycle’s Commercial Climate Calculator is available at http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Climate/Calculator/default.htm in a downloadable spreadsheet format.It is designed for virtually any California business, multi-family residential building, or public entity such as a government agency, to evaluate the financial and environmental benefits of reducing waste and recycling discarded materials. Businesses can use the calculator to model waste reduction or recycling scenarios, estimate the associated diversion from landfills and resulting cost savings, as well as learn the climate change benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions. CalRecycle has also collaborated with the Air Resources Board on its Small Business Carbon Footprint Calculator available at http://www.coolcalifornia.org/business-calculator. It uses California-specific data to estimate the carbon footprint for a range of business operations, from transportation to facility management to procurement. This web-based calculator also highlights the types of recycling activities businesses can take to reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses can also use this benchmarking and tracking tool to support an application to participate in local Green Business programs. Businesses may also be interested in pursuing Green Business Certification through the California Green Business Program at http://www.greenbusinessca.org. The program, managed by the Department of Toxic Substances Control, measures progress toward reducing environmental impacts in solid waste and recycling, energy consumption, water consumption, and pollution prevention. The California Green Business Program online toolkit integrates applying for certification, tracking status, and monitoring progress. The toolkit also offers an easy to use searchable database of California Green Businesses at http://www.greenbusinessca.org/directory/search/ to promote participating businesses and generates a report card of environmental benefits over time (e.g., per year, since enrollment).
Each of these business tools can be found on CalRecycle’s Commercial Climate Calculator webpage at http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Climate/Calculator/default.htm.