Green Business Guide

Baltimore’s Green Economy

The green economy is a new term that encompasses the economic activity related to reducing the use of fossil fuels, decreasing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the efficiency of energy usage, recycling materials, and developing and adopting renewable sources of energy. There are many ‘spin off’ jobs and businesses that can be created through the Green Economy includes retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency, promoting usage of mass transit, producing energy-efficient automobiles, increasing the use of wind or solar power, and developing and producing cellulosic biomass fuels.

Baltimore City is well on its way to developing a strong green economic and becoming one of the greenest cities in the country. Our Office of Sustainability develops and advocates for programs, policies, and actions by government, citizen, businesses, and institutions that improve the long-term environmental, social, and economic viability of Baltimore City. In addition to overseeing and tracking the implementation of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan, the Office integrates sustainability into City government operations and develops partnerships with ground performing related work.

To read the green latest news download the City’s 2010 Annual Sustainability Report.

Go Green

Example of Baltimore Green Business Creating Green Jobs

  • TerraLogos Energy Group: is a Baltimore City based firm that performs Energy Audits and Energy Improvement contracting for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Big City Farms: is a for-profit urban farming company that is creating a network of small organic farms across the country. Their first farm is located here in Baltimore City.
  • Waste Neutral: is a collection and compost service provider of pre and post consumer food waste and provides businesses with sustainable waste management solutions.
  • Baltimore Center for Green Careers: is a Civic Works social enterprise program that trains unemployed and underemployed Baltimore residents to enter careers in the residential energy efficiency retrofit industry as well as brownfields remediation and environmental hazard abatement. The Center is home to the B’more Green Occupational Skills Training, the Baltimore Energy Entrepreneur (BEE) project and the home performance social enterprise, EnergyReady.
  • Baltimore Biodiesel Cooperative: is a non-profit organization that promotes and sells biodiesel fuel. They operate the only biodiesel fueling station in the City of Baltimore.
Terra Logos

An Overview Of Sustainability And Benefits To Your Business

Definition of Sustainability: Meeting the current environmental, social, and economic needs of our community without compromising the ability of future generations to meet these needs.

People, Planet, Prosperity: Businesses that utilize the “Triple Bottom Line” approach are ones who adopt practices and operations policies that create profits while protecting the environment and improving the lives of employees and the general public that the business serves.

Many businesses that create an inherent culture of sustainability within their operations often achieve continued success and profitability for years to come. And, businesses that adopt sustainable business practices positively contribute to our City’s sustainability goals as well. We alone as the City government cannot reach our goals as laid out in the Baltimore City Sustainability Plan. It takes cooperation and leadership from all stakeholders and that includes business owners like your selves.

Benefit Corporations: In 2010, Maryland became the first state in the Country to recognize “Benefit Corporations. ”This legislation allows corporations to pursue socially responsible causes as well as profits. It recognizes the Triple Bottom Line approach of “people, planet, and prosperity.”

Green Business Practices: Green or sustainable business practices reduce your carbon footprint, but also can reduce operational costs and be friendly on the company budget. Every business, in every sector can adopt greening practices.

We encourage all businesses in Baltimore City to consider the benefits of incorporating sustainability practices in to your everyday operations.

Green House

Suggested Tips And Practices

  • Practice Energy Conservation – whether you lease or own your office or business space, there are many things that you can do to reduce your energy usage. Always turn off lights when not in use, utilize power strips, use compact fluorescent light bulbs, purchase ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and office equipment. Contact the Baltimore Business Energy Challenge’s Coordinator at 410-927-6088 to find out more information on how your business can start saving energy today!
  • Recycle – recycling everything from paper to electronics can be easy with a few minor steps. Place recycling receptacles in convenient locations and make them easy to use by providing clear signage that outlines what can be recycled.
  • Print Less – according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 30% of our waste stream is made up of paper products. Thoughtful printing practices and reuse strategies can save on paper usage and ultimately costs for your business.
  • Promote Sustainable Commuting Practices – encourage employees to carpool, walk or bike to work. Offer secure bike parking for employees and customers and market your business as bicycle friendly. Join the MTA’s Commuter Choice Maryland program and offer pre-tax vouchers to your employees as an incentive to encourage the use of public transportation. If possible, incorporate teleworking into your business – it is good for business, the environment and employee morale.
  • Utilize Green Cleaning Products – indoor air quality is important for any form of business. Utilizing environmentally friendly cleaning products that are free from harmful chemicals contribute to a safe and healthy environment for employees and patrons.

Federal And State Resources

Maryland Green Registry: The Maryland Green Registry is a free, voluntary program that offers tips and resources to help organizations and businesses meet their own goals on the path to sustainability. Consider registering today! It is easy and free!

Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance: educates the public on supporting local businesses and provides resources, support and networking for businesses that are and looking to become environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.

Definition of Green Jobs: The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics has developed a definition of green jobs they utilize for data collection.

  • Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
  • Jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

*Source U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Collaborative (MARC) Green Consortium recently completed a study of the MD, DC and VA region’s green economy, and found that following data:

  • Roughly 8% of regional employers have green jobs;
  • Approximately 29,000 ‘green’ establishments are located throughout the MARC region;
  • Roughly 4.8% of the Maryland workforce is defined as ‘green’;
  • 30% of the MARC Region green jobs are in construction, 21% in Professional, scientific and technical services, and 16% in other services;
  • Hiring projections indicate that green activities in Construction, Professional, scientific and technical services and support, and waste management services can expect to grow.
Suzie In Her Glory

According to the MARC study, the top Green Industries in the region are as follows:

Region Green Jobs
Green Jobs as
a Percent of Industry Employment
Specialty trade contractors
Professional, scientific, and technical services
Administrative and support services
Educational services
Construction of buildings
Repair and maintenance
Merchant wholesalers, durable goods
Religious, grant making, civic, professional, and similar organizations
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing
Waste management and remediation services

If you would like additional information on the Baltimore’s green economy, please contact the Office of Sustainability.