Get Certified Now!
We suggest you scroll briefly through the application to get a feel for the level of effort required to become a certified Green Business. The application is designed to provide each business with the flexibility to pursue a wide variety of measures. In each section, there are required actions as well as a specified number of additional actions that must be completed in order to receive certification as a Green Business. Identify those actions that you currently practice, complete additional actions necessary for becoming certified, and submit your application.
Once your application has been submitted, the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program staff will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time for an on-site verification visit. The onsite visit includes a visual review of your facility (and 2-3 worksites in the case of landscape businesses), and discussion with your staff members involved in your certification effort.
You are encouraged to think about what you would want to show the Program staff to demonstrate particular checklist item accomplishments. Documentation varies by action, but would generally include things like company policies, performance measurement, landscape design/maintenance specs and plans, office products and signage, etc.
While verification is central to ensuring the integrity of the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program, the onsite visit is designed to be collegial and helpful. The visit should not take long, although this is dependent upon the size and complexity of your organization.
Note: Independent consultants offer coaching and assistance to businesses seeking to improve their environmental performance. These consultants can help you identify and implement environmentally responsible measures (although the Green Business Certification Program does not specifically endorse any of these consultants). Official certification is achieved only through the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff and third-party consultants who have been contracted by DEP.
Here's How the Certification Process Works:
1. Explore this website, which has lots of information about eligibility to participate, application forms, opportunities for training, and additional resources. A great place to start is the Frequently Asked Questions.
2. Download the application form. Be sure to choose the right form for your business:
- Office/Retail Checklist - Owner Occupier (if you own your property)
- Office/Retail Checklist - Tenant (if you rent your facility space)
- Landscape Business Checklist
3. Fill out the application form— the Office/Retail Checklist is a PDF and the Landscape Business Checklist is an EXCEL document. Both should be saved on your computer, starting and stopping as needed. If you need some extra assistance, contact the Green Business Certification Program Manager at MCGreenBiz@montgomerycountymd.gov for advice. There are usually valuable training opportunities available.
- For the Office/Retail Checklist, submit your application form by clicking on the “submit” button in the PDF. This will automatically convert the application to “xml” format and enclose it in an email which you can then send to the Green Business Certification staff for review. You’ll receive an automated email confirmation to let you know the submission was successful.
- For the Landscape Business Checklist, simply enclose your saved application and email it to: MCGreenBiz@montgomerycountymd.gov.
5. A staff member of the Green Business Certification program will contact you within 3 business days to set up a time for onsite verification at your business. For Landscape Businesses, verification also includes onsite visits to 2-3 project work sites. Meetings will be scheduled at times that are mutually convenient for everyone, usually within 2-3 weeks of your application submission.
6. On the day of your onsite verification meeting, make sure that you have personnel on hand to clarify your responses in each section of the application form. Be prepared to give the verifier a tour of your facility and/or worksites.
7. In most cases, the verifier will be able to tell you right away if you met the Green Business Certification requirements, or if there are a few steps that still need to be completed. In a few cases, the verifier may need a day or two to conduct additional research or review documentation that you supply.
8. You will receive official notification of your status from the Green Business Certification Program within 10 business days.* Organizations that achieve certification will receive a certificate and window decal, and have use of the program logo, to help you promote your Green Business Certification to employees and customers!
* If you do not meet the verification requirements, don't worry! We will explain exactly what you need to do to become certified—including providing supporting documentation, implementing a new program, or simply gathering more data.