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Port and City of San Diego Selected to Develop Green Business Challenge

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The Port of San Diego and City of San Diego are joining Charleston, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Arlington County, Virginia, in developing a program aimed at helping businesses engage in a friendly competition to reduce costs and conserve water and energy, as well as meet other environmental goals. 

The Port and the City of San Diego, the only government agencies chosen on the West Coast, were selected to receive technical assistance and support in the development of a Green Office Challenge. The program is patterned after a successful program started in 2009 by the City of Chicago and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a nation-wide association with 600 local, regional and national governments that are committed to sustainable development. ICLEI will provide technical assistance to the Port and City of San Diego. SDG&E and the San Diego Port Tenants Association will also contribute to the Challenge.

The cities’ selection to receive this assistance was announced yesterday, Feb. 18, 2010, by ICLEI. Based on work with these four pilot communities, ICLEI is developing a program that can be replicated by local governments across the country. These cities were chosen because they are considered to be leaders in local climate, energy and sustainability issues. 

“The Port of San Diego is honored to be able to participate in the Green Office Challenge," said Robert "Dukie" Valderrama, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "We are going to use this as an opportunity for our tenants to assist them with developing energy saving and sustainable business practices." 

Over the next several months, the Port and City of San Diego will develop the Challenge with support from ICLEI, with plans to start it in the fall. Tenants participating in the program will initially establish a baseline score of energy and sustainability features ranging from efficient lighting and low-flow toilets to solar panels. 

During the program’s first phase of implementation, scheduled to be conducted during 2011, tenants enrolled in the program will receive support and training to monitor and reduce their energy and resource use. 

The second phase of the program will continue into 2012. The focus will expand with the City of San Diego including downtown businesses. 

Port tenants and downtown businesses demonstrating the greatest improvement to their baseline score will be recognized for their achievements. 

In the fall, the Port will open registration to a limited number of Port tenants. 

For information about the Port’s program, please contact Cody Hooven, Associate Environmental Specialist, (619) 686-8162. For more information about the Green Office Challenge, visit http://www.icleiusa.org or http://www.chicagogreenofficechallenge.org/.

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