SOURCE: Green Irene

April 16, 2010 10:48 ET

Green Business Bureau and Green Irene Team Up to Create Comprehensive Green Business Certification Program

Partnership Provides Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses in Over 20 Industries With Green Business Bureau's Tailored Initiatives as Well as the In-Person Support of Green Irene's National Network of More Than 500 Expert Eco-Consultants in Their Quest to Become Certified Green

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) -  The Green Business Bureau (GBB) and Green Irene LLC announced today that they have signed an exclusive long-term agreement to merge their respective services to create a comprehensive in-person audited green business certification program. Through the joint venture, GBB gains in-person local Eco-Consultants to help its members implement certification and to provide on-site audits to ascertain ongoing eligibility with the requirements. 

"We're thrilled that this agreement adds Green Irene's national network of well-trained Eco-Consultants to our existing arsenal of green business certification tools and that we can offer our members more personalized assistance on their path to going green," said Marcos Cordero, GBB CEO and co-founder.

"Green Business Bureau offers its members an innovative, web-based system of initiatives a business can undertake on its path to greening its operations. Green Irene provides the largest national network of well-trained Eco-Consultants who help local businesses reduce operating costs, create a healthier workplace for their employees, and attract green-minded customers and business partners," said PJ Stafford, co-founder of Green Irene. "Together, we now offer a comprehensive, in-person audited green business certification."

Richer Certification

The GBB online platform is being integrated with Green Irene's existing in-person Green Office Makeover service, resulting in a joint offering that provides members a deeper, more complete menu of services with the strengths and benefits of both programs.

"We will still offer our basic service, but Green Irene's expert Eco-Consultants allow us to add much deeper premium services to our members," said Cordero.

The Premium Green Business Bureau Certification powered by Green Irene will combine the current GBB offering with an in-person consultation with one of Green Irene's more than 500 Eco-Consultants and unlimited access to "Ask Green Irene," a combination online database of the most effective green innovations and expert U.S.-based green researchers who offer personalized support in helping businesses on their path to more sustainable business operations. Eco-Consultants can also provide onsite overview presentations for employees about their company's green initiatives at member businesses. Eco-Consultants will remain in contact with members and will verify, in person, that businesses are performing the initiatives set forth by GBB for certification.

"Green Irene Eco-Consultants currently undergo more than 30 hours of initial training, and they bring a wide breadth and depth of skills. Our Eco-Consultants work part time or full time to be a force for positive green change in their communities. We have consultants whose qualifications range from LEED accredited professionals and energy auditors to MBAs with a concentration in sustainable business management," said Stafford. "To ensure the highest quality service in an evolving market, Eco-Consultants will now be trained not only in business sustainability issues, but GBB certification requirements specifically, before we send them to implement GBB certifications or audit member businesses."

Greater Assurance

The combination of GBB's state-of-the-art technology and green business certification program and Green Irene's national network of professional Eco-Consultants means that eco-conscious businesses can be confident they are receiving the most thorough and comprehensive service offering on the market today.

"Greenwashing is such a huge concern today, and rightly so," said Cordero. "GBB and Green Irene together are creating the industry standard for a reasonably priced green business certification for small- and mid-sized businesses. Businesses who want to go green can be confident that a certification through GBB and Green Irene will stand against the strongest detractors. I speak for PJ and myself when I say we're proud to offer a combination of environmental initiatives and accountability that is truly hard to beat."

"Green Irene and GBB can now offer specialized green business certifications tailored to more than 20 industries," said Stafford. "Topics covered include energy and water conservation, improving indoor air quality, creating a toxic-free workplace, green purchasing and paper reduction strategies, lighting replacements, sustainable travel and transportation options, tax credits and other available federal, state and local financial incentives."

The combined GBB and Green Irene green business certification program is available now. Visit www.gbb.org/gbb-and-green-irene-announce-partnership or GBB.GreenIrene.com for more information on either company and to sign up for this certification.

About GBB:

GBB is a national third-party program providing certification for businesses that follow environmentally responsible practices. Started by a group of environmental and business professionals who recognized a need in the marketplace for a trusted green certification for small- to medium-sized businesses, GBB fosters environmental awareness among businesses and promotes business practices that are both environmentally responsible and commercially beneficial.

About Green Irene:

Founded in 2007 by the original "Green Irene," Rosamaria Caballero, Green Irene helps people save energy, water, and money. Founded on the notion that everyone can make a difference with simple changes in lifestyle and habits, Green Irene Eco-Consultants perform Green Home Makeovers and Green Business Makeovers with advice and products to make your living or working area more eco-friendly. The only Green Consulting firm with a national reach, Green Irene has over 500 active Eco-Consultants in 47 states. The goal for Green Irene Eco-Consultants is to lead your family members and coworkers to a healthier, safer and more sustainable lifestyle, and save you money, energy, and water with its consulting services and green home and office products. Green Irene is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau.