EPA Grant Supports Green Business Office

Dominican has received a $222,222 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the work of the Region 9 Environmental Finance Center (EFC9), which recently relocated to Dominican.
EFC9 is part of a nine-member network of Environmental Finance Centers located throughout the United States and funded in part by the EPA. Each EFC is associated with a local university and pursues its own environmental goals. EFC9 coordinates the Green Business Programs for California, Hawaii, Arizona, and Nevada. The office encourages businesses in those states to adopt source reduction, pollution prevention, and energy efficiency.

EFC9’s move to Dominican is related to the University acquiring the trademarked Green MBA from New College of California. This fall, Dominican will add the MBA in Sustainable Enterprise to its graduate business offerings. The Green MBA was among the first of its kind and remains one of only a handful of MBA programs specifically focused on corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and social justice within the business context.

“EFC9 will work closely with Dominican students and faculty in the Green MBA program to help develop and implement green business practices in our community,” said Sarah Diefendorf, EFC9 executive director.  “The major focus of our work in the next year will be to build on our experience working to promote green business.”

Recent EFC9 initiatives include encouraging the use of healthy, non-toxic personal care products, working with southern California tribes to reduce illegal solid and toxic waste dumping, and introducing environmental product placement to the film and television industry. Earlier this year, EFC9 placed a number of environmentally favorable posters in several TV shows including CSI New York, House, and Crossing Jordan. EFC9 will host a “Green Your Film” panel at the Silverlake Film Festival in Los Angeles in May to launch a new effort to work directly with filmmakers to incorporate green behavior on the set and within their films.

EFC9 projects include:

The California Green Business Program: This ongoing project was initiated and originally funded by an EPA Region IX, 2003 Pollution Prevention Grant. The program is designed to encourage businesses to undertake source reduction, pollution prevention, and energy conservation.

Tribal Waste Reduction: The Torres Martinez Reservation in Riverside County has been the dumping ground for large amounts of illegal waste, particularly construction and demolition debris and green waste from off-reservation sources. At the request of US EPA staff and with the encouragement of the Torres Martinez Solid Waste Collaborative, EFC9 conducted an assessment of the problem regarding illegal dumping of golf course green waste on the Reservation.  EFC9 identified 130 golf courses in the region and contacted each one to determine how they managed their green waste. EFC9 helped the US EPA and the Collaborative publicize their “No Dumping” campaign to golf course superintendents.  In addition, EFC9 conducted outreach to the Golf Course Superintendent Association and identified at least one hauler engaged in illegal dumping practices. Currently, EFC9 is working with the Collaborative, US EPA, and the Riverside County Illegal Dumping Task Force to develop a certification program for “green” and legal waste haulers.
Studio Sector Technical Assistance: This project initially was funded by the US EPA Innovations Workgroup and is currently supported by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, US EPA. This project continues efforts to green the television industry by promoting environmentally friendly behavior and products in television shows.  In 2004/05, EFC9 proposed to adopt the private sector concept of “product placement” to place environmentally beneficial behavior (EBB) in television shows. Examples included having actors bring cloth bags to the grocery store, recycle soda cans, use worm bins, and consider how to properly dispose of a computer monitor and other electronic waste.

The Biodiesel Roundtable will convene California biodiesel stakeholders in a roundtable format to update participants on the very latest in technology, law, and policy, and to discuss and develop sustainable criteria for use.
The Greening Dominican Roundtable will bring together the University Departments of Business and Environmental Studies, as well as other interested members, to explore the potential for green opportunities and programs at Dominican.  Potential outcomes could include strategic partnerships between various programs within the University to promote green projects.  Other outcomes could include efforts to incorporate integrated pest management into University landscaping practices, improved campus recycling, reduced energy use, and adopting a broad EMS-type environmental policy approach. 
African American Hair Care: This ongoing project was initially funded through a 2006/07 Pollution Prevention Grant to promote safer, less toxic hair treatment practices in the African American community.  

Posted May 7, 2007