If you’re serious about trying to lessen the impact of your own actions on the environment, you may have looked into the environmental practices of the businesses in your community before choosing a shop or vendor. Or perhaps you are concerned about how pollutants generated by local businesses may harm you, your children, or others in your community. For people who live or work in West Oakland, with air pollution many times higher than in the rest of Alameda County, encouraging businesses to take up more sustainable practices is paramount. Yet even if small businesses in that neighborhood want to make needed changes, they may lack the resources to do so.

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. EPA Region 9, Community Energy Services (CESC) partnered with the Alameda County Green Business Program and the California Air Resources Board in 2016 to create Green West Oakland. Part of the Bay Area Green Business Program, which not only verifies that businesses meet higher standards of environmental performance and offers public certification that consumers and neighbors can trust, Green West Oakland also provides support to local businesses to help them comply with environmental regulations and take actions to conserve resources, prevent pollution, and minimize waste. The goal of Green West Oakland has been to increase Green Business Program participation and awareness in the underserved West Oakland business community.

CESC recently attended a celebration and press event in honor of Green West Oakland’s work (held at Mandela Foods Cooperative, one of the newly certified businesses). The event showcased business leaders who participated in the program, EPA administrators involved in the grantmaking, leaders from the organizations involved (including CESC’s Martin Bond), and others involved in the project. Check out our great video about the event!

With support from Green West Oakland, twelve businesses have begun the certification process through the Green Business Program, and dozens more have become aware of opportunities to improve their business practices. Congratulations to the twelve businesses in West Oakland that are in the process of becoming certified as Green Businesses!


Brown Sugar Kitchen
Sandy Walker/Ellen Webb Dance Foundation
La Bonne Cuisine (recertification)
OMSS Truck Scales & Mini Mart
Zella’s Soulful Kitchen
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project
Craig Communications
Every Dog Has Its Day Care
Mandela Foods Cooperative
Starline Supply Company
Pipe Spy



The Green Business Program tracked the environmental impacts of the Green West Oakland Project, and it has made a difference!

Are you interested in greening your business or helping a local business to do so? Although the Green West Oakland project has been completed, the Alameda County Green Business Program still offers technical assistance and incentives to many types of businesses towards Green Business certification. CESC also helps small and medium-sized businesses with energy-efficiency upgrades including lighting, refrigeration and referrals to HVAC programs. Contact us now.