Business Programs

Green Office Challenge

Buildings have a huge effect on climate change; they account for about 70 percent of Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Green Office Challenge is an invitation to property management firms and major tenants in the central business district to “green” their buildings. Both parties are challenged to meet energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste minimization goals through capital improvements and behavioral challenges. The vision is to develop a collective sense of action backed by a suite of support tools and Mayoral recognition.

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Waste to Profit Network

Chicago is one of the largest and most diverse urban industrial regions, home to 13,000 manufacturers. With industry comes a tremendous amount of resources used, energy consumed, and carbon dioxide emitted. The Chicago Waste to Profit Network was developed to benefit businesses through a multi-industry approach to identify ways where the waste of one company becomes a valuable resource for another company. Since its inception in 2007, the Network has diverted 60,000 tons of waste from the landfill, reduced 74,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and created $6.4 million in economic value. The Network current has 175 members.

To join the Network or receive more information, visit the Waste to Profit Network.

Clinton Climate Initiative

The Clinton Climate Initiative brings together ten of the world's largest energy service companies, five of the world's largest banks, and 17 of the world's largest cities in a landmark program designed to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings. The program provides both cities and their private building owners with access to the necessary financing to retrofit existing buildings with more energy efficient products, typically leading to energy savings between 20 - 50 percent.

Contact the Chicago Department of Environment at (312) 744-7406 for more information.

Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op

The Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op uses strength in numbers to negotiate competitive prices for sustainable hospitality products such as to-go disposables, paper products, and light bulbs. Co-op members are active supporters of community action including new legislation that will improve environmental conditions for Chicago. Currently, the Co-op has 200 members and welcomes any institution, restaurant or hotel seeking green products to join.

The Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op has a program for green business certifcation, called Guaranteed Green Restaurants. View a list of the current Guaranteed Green Restaurants here.

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Green Hotels Initiative

Chicago leads the nation with the greatest number of hotels with Green Seal certification, an environmental lodging standard with requirements in waste minimization, energy efficiency, water conservation, wastewater management, and green procurement. The Green Hotels Initiative provides resources, best practices and recognition to certified hotels as well hotels seeking certification. With its 24 hour operations, the hotel industry has a large environmental impact, and Chicago's hotel industry has proved its environmental leadership.

Green Museums Initiative

As major cultural and education centers, museums are important role modelsto demonstrate how institutions can reduce their environmental footprint. The Green Museum Initiative is a best practices network, where participating museums meet regularly to discuss green procurement, green capital improvement projects, eco-themed exhibits, and environmental outreach and education.The majority of participating museums have received a certification of environmental excellence from the City of Chicago.

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