Published in Petaluma Business, January 2015, Vol. 24 No. 1



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An important new program designed to show businesses how to make substantial savings in operational costs while operating a sustainable business is being offered through a partnership of the Petaluma Chamber, True Market Solutions, and PG&E.

Designed for businesses with 30 or more employees, the program is called the Sustainability Circle, and will involve ten selected businesses or institutions that will send representatives for six monthly sessions covering a range of subjects designed to reduce costs and reduce usage of valuable resources.

The wide ranging sessions cover topics such as lighting, HVAC, and water to procurement, branding, metrics, and utility programs and incentives. The intent is to work with each business to create a customized five-year action plan that makes the business case for investment in short and long-term initiatives. Participants will receive hands-on help from coaches to develop this plan.

In addition to full-day group work sessions, participants gain valuable advice during individual meetings with True Market Solutions coaches and on-site walk-throughs. The outcome of the program is a customized 5-year Sustainability Action Plan that makes the business case for investment in short and long-term initiatives.

PG&E is paying half of the $7,500 fee for each participant in this program.

Chamber CEO Onita Pellegrini said that True Market Solutions’ track record nationally, and the substantial operational savings shown by businesses that have completed the program, speaks for itself. “We consider this an important opportunity for our larger business members,” she said. “We are planning a luncheon informational meeting on this program in February for our members, to answer questions and present the program in detail.”

True Market Solutions has been running Sustainability Circles in Northern and Southern California, and in the Midwest, for four years with over 120 companies and organizations having completed the Circle program thus far. Recent participants have seen significant results from their experience, with average projected five-year annual savings per organization of $286,000; 1.5M kWh; and 960,000 gallons of water.

While participating businesses need to meet a minimum energy usage threshold in order to qualify for the program, all organizations are encouraged to apply. Past Circles have included the likes of Shaklee Corporation, Club Sport, Drakes Brewing Company, Metropolitan Golf, Grand Pacific Resorts, and the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

Interested businesses should contact Onita Pellegrini at 762-2785.