What makes a business environmentally friendly? Does it mean structurally, in the ways it interacts with customers, or how knowledgeable the employees are? Well, the Businesses for the Bay program has taken the lead in identifying ways in which businesses can partake in the restoration effort.

Run by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay since 2015, Businesses for the Bay encourages members to take action in five ways:

  • Combating climate change
  • Engaging communities
  • Creating habitat for wildlife
  • Cleaning water
  • Conserving land

These categories directly tie in to the themes of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

Businesses of all sizes can do something that makes an impact in their community, which in turn directly impacts the watershed. Ranging from large government contractors and food-processing companies to coffee roasters and native plant nurseries, members cover a wide range of the business sector.

To be part of this program, businesses must complete at least one action that works towards the themes of the Watershed Agreement, pay member dues, comply or work toward compliance with applicable environmental regulations and submit annual metrics.

There are many ways businesses can meet membership requirements and their own environmental goals together. For example, MOM’s Organic Market runs a carbon offset program in which they offset carbon emissions for each customer’s commute to their store. Mobjack Coffee Roasters uses the bags from their coffee beans to make dog beds to donate to local shelters. Other ways business can get involved include:

  • Planning employee volunteer days.
  • Placing bird boxes, bee blocks, raptor perches or other structures to promote wildlife presence at your business.
  • Managing wildlife areas or nature trails for employees to enjoy.
  • Partaking in or hosting workshops to educate employees and the local community.
  • Reducing or stopping the use of single-use products.

If you’re interested in becoming a Businesses for the Bay member, apply here.

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