Since it launched last year, the SAGE Sustainable Business Program has been helping Westminster businesses save money and reduce their environmental footprint through a variety of financial resources and expertise. SAGE is an acronym that stands for SAVE, ACT, GROW, and EARN – the key outcomes the City hopes businesses will achieve in participating in the program.
“We act as a concierge service for businesses, connecting them with cost-saving and resource-saving initiatives,” said Bridger Tomlin, Sustainability Associate for the City of Westminster. “We’re able to work with a business wherever they are in their sustainability journey, and act as a main point person. Basically, we are a sustainability staff person for the businesses that don’t have one.”
Since April 2021, over 175 businesses have received some type of assistance – whether it be information sharing, education, or additional outreach services; that’s approximately 6% of Westminster’s total businesses. The City also partners with local organizations and service providers (such as Eco-Cycle, Xcel Energy, and the Colorado Green Business Network) for several initiatives, including lighting upgrades, free energy assessments, and electric vehicle education.
Additionally, the program distributed $6,500 directly to businesses last year through the SAGE Accelerator Grant. This year, SAGE will expand its grant funding to $3,000 per project, and offer free energy and water saving products. You can learn more about available all of the SAGE financial incentives here.
SAGE also provides a certification program that recognizes businesses who complete unique operational best practices that reduce operating costs, improve the wellbeing of employees, and benefit the health of residents and Westminster’s environment. Ten businesses have already fulfilled the requirements for SAGE certification. Two businesses went above and beyond certification and were recognized as the “Sustainable Business of the Year.” Premier Members Credit Union and Vestar: The Orchard Town Center received this award in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Looking ahead, SAGE aims to build upon its offerings through increased financial assistance, strengthened partnerships, and industry specific programs. In doing so, the City will continue to help local businesses save money, improve the energy and water efficiency of their buildings, and adopt practices and policies that benefit the Westminster community and environment.
All SAGE services are free, confidential, and voluntary, and are available to all business owners, landlords, tenants, managers, nonprofits and institutions located in Westminster. For more information on the SAGE Sustainable Business Program, click here.