Last Thursday, 50 Napa County businesses were recognized for their commitment to environmental sustainability at the inaugural Napa County Green Business Celebration. Co-hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), Sustainable Napa County and Napa County, the celebration acknowledged local businesses and organizations that received their Green Business Certifications or were recertified in the past 18 months. Attendees included more than 100 business leaders, vintners and community officials.
To preserve and enhance the unique place that is the Napa Valley, Napa County was one of the first participants in the Bay Area Green Business Program, which later became the statewide California Green Business Program. In 2008, the NVV and other industry partners launched Napa Green Certified Winery, customizing the program specifically for wine producers.
Through these programs, businesses demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship by going above and beyond environmental compliance. Today, there are more than 90 Napa County Certified Green Businesses, including more than 60 wineries. Re-certification is every three years based on tracking water and energy use and waste diversion and demonstrating continuous improvement in resource conservation.
“I’m tremendously proud of Napa’s commitment to creating sustainable companies and cutting our carbon footprint,” said Congressman Mike Thompson via a pre-recorded video message. “Being a Certified Green Business isn’t just about a catchy label. It’s about commitment. It’s about making meaningful changes to minimize your impact on the environment. You’ve shown we can create good jobs and grow our economy without sacrificing our environment.” Thompson, who recently joined the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in Washington, DC, is an advocate for addressing climate change.
Jeri Hansen-Gill, CEO of Sustainable Napa County, emceed the program. “More than a decade ago, when the Napa Green programs were developed, it was impossible to estimate how crucial they would become,” said Hansen-Gill. “At once the Napa Green Business program is practical and symbolic; it is a guidepost for anyone who needs direction and inspiration for those who may not be sure of what to do or how to start.”
Following her remarks, Hansen-Gill was joined by Chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors, Belia Ramos, to present each honoree with a custom award made from repurposed wine bottle glass and wine barrel staves.
In 2015, NVV established the goal that all the trade association’s eligible members will be in the Napa Green program by the end of the year 2020. “We’re proud that our member wineries have made the commitment to become Napa Green Certified, but other local businesses also deserve to be recognized for their efforts,” said Emma Swain, immediate past chair of the NVV Board of Directors and CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery. “We helped create the Napa Green Business Celebration to bring like-minded locals from a variety of entities together to share our successes and challenges on the path to protecting the Napa Valley through sustainability.” St. Supéry was honored at the celebration for recently receiving their Napa Green Winery re-certification.
The event was held at Domaine Chandon, a Napa Green Certified Winery and wines, appetizers and décor were provided by Napa County Certified Green Businesses. The NVV, Sustainable Napa County and Napa County are planning to make the celebration a regular event to recognize local businesses for their sustainability efforts.