SRCC GreenUp

Sage Leaders

In their own words ...

In this issue, we hear from all 2015 NOMINEES of the Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year

previous Award winners, and Marin Clean Energy (MCE), the winner of the Award announced at our annual State of the City / Taste of San Rafael Dinner on March 19.


The application process for the Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year award is rigorous.  Each company is passionate about achieving green and sustaining green - from their mission, products, operations, and community engagement, to green certifications and awards.  We support and applaud them all!

Presented by the SR Chamber Green Committee and Sustainable San Rafael 
San Rafael Corporate Center Conference Room @ 750 Lindaro Street from 6:00 - 8:00 pm  
Check out the video (right) from our April 8 Green Briefs: Profitable Energy Strategies for Business

  Marin Clean Energy's Executive Officer Dawn Weisz
  accepting the Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year

Marin Clean Energy 

2015 Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2010


"MCE is extremely honored to be this year's recipient of the Joe Garbarino Green Business award.  While it might be a little cliché, we have to attest that this award actually belongs to all our customers and to our member communities -- because we truly would not be here without all of you!


While we are proud of MCE's achievements over the past five years, we realize they are just a reflection of our customers' demand for choice, and our communities' commitment to sustainability -- and their vision of a vibrant, inclusive green economy.  Good business is about more than the value of shares; it's about shared values."


Agricultural Institute of Marin 

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2001


"Since bringing Marin County her first Certified Farmers Market in 1983 our ambitions have grown, as well as our impact on communities in the Bay Area.  Beyond providing education on the nutritional and economic benefits of locally grown food and connecting communities with local farmers, we strive to create a sustainable food system through our markets.  With the goal of having zero waste marketplaces, we educate farmers to incorporate eco-friendly products and practices into their businesses and encourage shoppers to use reusable bags and containers. The future Permanent  

Home for the Marin Farmers Market will reflect AIM's values of sustainability as well." 


Batteries Plus

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2006


"We pride ourselves in using and promoting energy efficient lighting to our customers and have been very successful in upgrading our customers to LED   lighting, using our in-store displays and trained associates to explain the advantages of energy-efficient lighting.  We also assist our customers with solar powered charging systems and batteries for solar systems.  We can assist commercial building owners to implement energy-efficient strategies with  

                                              special funding and incentives from the utilities.  We have been a Certified Green Business since 2008."


   Bellam Self Storage & Boxes 

   2012 Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year

   San Rafael Chamber Member since 1994


  "Our process towards being Green started with little steps, we call 'Shades of Green.'  As commitment grows, those shades become Bright Green.  Every business can find its inner green, while our Community wins in the process.  It's easy, with a Can-Do Spirit and a step-by-step approach.  One easy step: Stamp Out Litter!  Reclaim our business neighborhoods with a zero tolerance for litter.  Join together with your neighbors to Clean Up and Green Up, for a litter free community."


Certified Green and 100% Solar Powered since 2006

California Film Institute

2013 Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year

San Rafael Chamber Member since 1993


"The California Film Institute (CFI) has followed Marin Sanitary Service's community leadership and support of CFI's Green Initiative in implementing green practices at the annual   

Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF), year-round at the beautiful Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, and daily at the CFI offices.  In fact, the 2014 MVFF was the first to feature composting!  We constantly evaluate our opportunities to go green and strive to become a zero-waste organization, and, through the Chamber's Green Committee, we look to recognize and celebrate other businesses working toward similar green goals."


Save the Dates for the 38th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival!

October 8-18 (Calling for Entries Now)

Department of Cultural and Visitor Services / County of Marin

Marin County Fair

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2002


"The beloved Marin County Fair is not only Marin County's most anticipated summer event, it is also celebrated as The Greenest County Fair on Earth.  With a solar-powered
carousel and solar-powered stage; over 94% waste diversion level with composting and recycling; water conservation; energy generation though a 750-panel rooftop array; and energy efficiency through modern HVAC units (both leading to a 57% reduction in electrical use in 5 years), we are proud to conserve the environment while providing family fun for Marin County residents and beyond."


Save the Dates!  July 1-5 at Marin County Fairgrounds



San Rafael Chamber Member since 2013


"EO Products has been making natural body care products in Marin since 1995.  As one of the few remaining body care manufacturers to have our own plant, EO Products is committed to sustainable manufacturing, focused on finding innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment at our 40,000 sq. foot Certified Organic facility in San Rafael.  


Tackling water use and managing recyclables are two of our biggest challenges as a body care manufacturer.  Body care products can consist of up to 75% water content.  Water is also the primary method for heating and cooling during production.  This presented a huge opportunity for EO Products to save tens of thousands of gallons of water per year by implementing a closed loop, water-cooling system.  

To further ease pressure caused by the current drought in California, we are exploring ways to reclaim water for landscape irrigation around our building.

Reducing landfill waste is also a top priority at EO Products. As sales continue to increase, so increases the volume of packing materials moving in and out of the EO Products warehouse.  In 2014, EO Products partnered with Marin Sanitary to implement a robust recycling and composting program.  With on-site training to engage employees and well-marked collection bins throughout the facility, EO Products managed to recycle 125 combined tons of plastic, wood, metal and cardboard last year alone.


Sustainability has been part of EO Products' corporate DNA since day one. With these new practices in place, EO Products is on track to be a Zero Waste Certified manufacturer in 2016, and that much closer to living out our motto, 'Love Life. Live Clean.'"


Certified B Corp + Certified first non-GMO Personal Care Company 



Green River Insurance & Financial Services

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2014


"Green River Financial Services serves families and business owners in the San Francisco Bay area. Led by local Certified Financial

Planner ™ and author Patrick Costello, Green River is a strong proponent of Sustainable investing, which a variety of studies have now shown does not sacrifice performance.  Sustainable fund managers evaluate a corporation's treatment of the environment, their employee culture and their corporate governance practices.  Marin investors are eager to bring their investing habits in line with their personal values.  Green River consults with companies to help them ensure that their employee retirement plans contain 'Green" investment options." 



The Lotus Family of Restaurants

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2011


"The Lotus Family of Restaurants consists of three Indian restaurants in Marin County with two of them located in San Rafael.

While Lotus is in the business of serving healthy tasty Indian cuisine, we are also all about helping and giving back to the community, and protecting our environment.  Since 1998 Lotus has not only been getting BEST OF awards, we have also been eager to support and sponsor environmental nonprofits such as:

- Bay Area Green Business
- Marin Organic 
- Marin Clean Energy Deep Green Champion 
- Bioneers Conference 
- San Rafael Clean 
- Marin Green Drinks 
- Food 2 Energy

Lotus is continuously working to reduce the environmental impact of our restaurants.  We use primarily organic, locally sourced non-GMO ingredients.  As part of our certification as a Bay Area Green Business, Lotus also made significant upgrades to our restaurant which included:


- State-of-the-art, energy-efficient kitchen facility 
- Water conservation measures 
- Energy efficient lighting

As a member of Marin Clean Energy's (MCE) Deep Green Program, Lotus uses 100% renewable energy.  As a partner in the Food 2 Energy program, some of our organic waste is turned into energy via anaerobic digestion."  

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin Free Dining Room

San Rafael Chamber Member since 1991


"The St. Vincent de Paul Society Free Dining Room is a certified Bay Area Green Business which has served more than two million meals to Marin County's most vulnerable residents: our elderly, our disabled, our veterans, our low-wage earners, and our homeless. We have opened our doors every single day to our hungry neighbors for 34 years, providing them with nutritious and delicious food, no questions asked, because no one in Marin County should be forced to go hungry.  


The Free Dining Room educates its volunteers about our solar panels and our green practice efforts.  We are currently seeking volunteers to help us improve our recycling program in the kitchen, to ensure that we are recycling all of the materials that come our way.  It is important for us to say that being a 'Green Business' is a work in progress, and that there is always more that we can and should do.  As a nonprofit with limited funds, a lot of mouths to feed, and a heavy reliance on volunteer labor, we continue to hone our green practices and 'pick up where we left off' when habits may slide or new employees come on board.  Our message to other businesses is to commit to going green and not to look for perfection, but rather aim to do better, even under the most challenging circumstances."



    St. Vincent de Paul Society



Smart Receivables 

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2013


"Smart Receivables® is a B-Corp and we put clients and planet before profits.  Our goal is to help businesses radically reduce their office carbon footprint with paperless payment solutions.  The US Patient office recently approved our Smart Pay Buttons®.  Now businesses and organizations can get paid as easily as sending an email to their client.  Our 0% Smart Check solution instantly deposits check payments without paper or unnecessary trips to the bank.  Customer payment information is securely stored electronically for future billing, records, reports and instant access.  Clients receive instant email receipt of payment."


To calculate what your business can save click here 



SolEd Benefit Corporation 

San Rafael Chamber Member since 2014


"We provide clean energy for less to municipal entities and school districts.  We are advancing with Solar Power Purchase Agreements for six sites in San Rafael and 15 other sites in other Northbay communities. Uniquely, the energy rate to each of these public entities goes down over the life of the Solar PPA contracts, delivering authentic savings that increase over time. This fulfills the 'triple bottom-line' mission of SolEd to help public entities prosper, support their people, and benefit the planet through cleaner air. We also support curriculum enhancements in local schools thereby helping the next generation to benefit directly from clean energy implementation."


2014 Marin Sustainable Business Award, EarthScope Media

Special Congressional Recognition Certificate issued by Congressman Jared Huffman


Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) 

2014 Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year Award

Chamber Member since 2013


"Strategic Energy Innovation's (SEI) staff partners with schools and universities on a variety of sustainability initiatives to help them 

save money and resources by making campus buildings more energy efficient while fostering a culture of conservation and resource efficiency.  By teaching students how to perform energy audits at their schools and working alongside instructors to create customized sustainability curriculum, SEI creates environmental stewards and community leaders of tomorrowPrograms such as Climate Corps Bay Area and the Marin School of Environmental Leadership help leverage local resources and social capital to make a positive impact within communities."



Learn About the Green Committeegreencommittee
The Green Committee's purpose is to provide useful news and tips on green business practices and promote the Chambers' green businesses. Learn more on the Chamber site.

Monthly meetings - join us in the Chamber conference room, second Wednesdays from 9:30-11:00 am.  

Contact Committee Chair Chris Yalonis to be added to the Committee Email List or with any questions.  


Sponsor an issue of GreenUP! You can reach more than 1,500 Chamber members and influential local business people for as low 

as $95 per ad. We have a limited number of sponsorship slots, so get in touch with the GreenUP! editor now to reserve your space 

in the next issue.

Students at Marin School of Environmental Leadership 


      Green Resources + AnnouncementsResources 
      Please visit the Chamber Website
for a complete listing of events

Green Committee Meeting

2nd Weds of Every Month, 9:30 - 11:00 am

SR Chamber Board Room

RSVP @ 415-454-4163


Wednesday, June 17 from 6:00-8:00 pm
San Rafael Corporate Center
Conference Room
750 Lindaro Street


featuring Panera Breads and Weaver's Coffee & Tea
June 5 from 9:00 - 10:00 am
Chamber Office, 817 Mission Avenue 
Please RSVP

Wednesday, June 10 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm 
 Four Points by Sheraton, Co-Hosted by The
San Rafael Pacifics Baseball Club 
1010 Northgate Drive, San Rafael 
Contact Information: Emily Maloney 
Free for members, $20 for future members

Friday, June 26 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm  

Copperfield's Books

850 4th Street, San Rafael

(415) 524-2800

A book that takes us on a journey into Earth's five
great landscapes-- deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands--as aspects of our deeper, wilder selves. Where the inner and outer worlds meet
we discover our own true nature mirrored in the Earth's wild beauty and fierce challenges.
Meet at Chamber Parking Lot
817 Mission Avenue
Saturday, June 27 from 8:00 - 9:00 am
(We meet the 4th Saturday of every month!) 
Help us keep San Rafael beautiful by taking a little time to clean the Southbound 101 exit in Downtown San Rafael. Wear comfy shoes, bring a hat, gloves and water.
Contact Information: Joanne Webster


Renaissance Marin Small Business Program at Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Program Orientation Dates and Food Business Incubator Orientation

1115 Third Street

Find details and RSVP


Venture Greenhouse 2.0 Accepting Applications!

Venture Greenhouse recently expanded its business acceleration program to include innovative business models in a variety of market segments, such as clean technology, energy, software, medical, consumer products, transportation and internet. Impact and sustainable strategies will continue to be a strong component of the program.
- Entrepreneurs will receive an intensive 12-month curriculum, expert mentors, access to angel and VC funding sources, discounted professional services, MBA intern teams and executive coaching.  


Click Venture Greenhouse for more information


Good to Know! Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program

Whole Foods is providing low-interest loans to help local producers flourish. Additional Details and Application can be found @



CITY of SAN RAFAEL initiatives


"In March, 2008 the City Council appointed a 14-member Green Ribbon Committee composed of volunteers with diverse expertise but a common interest in sustainability to prepare a draft plan with extensive community input. The Council also appointed volunteer subject experts to four "Green Teams" which tackled issues such as transportation, waste reduction, land use, green building, energy conservation and adaptation.

The result of this community planning effort is the San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) which was adopted by the City Council on April 20, 2009. This document lays out the goals and implementation plan for achieving a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) by 2020, and an ambitious 80% reduction by 2050 to meet state targets. The Implementation Plan is broken down into several distinct areas of action: Lifestyles, Buildings, Environment, Economy, Community Outreach, and City Operations.Quarterly community update meetings on the implementation of the 

Climate Action Plan are generally held the 4th Thursday of the month each January, April, July, and October. Email to get on the email distribution list or learn more."