The city of Spokane recently gave out SMART -- sustainable management of assets, resources and technology -- awards to 47 businesses for their efforts in cutting waste and reducing energy use.
This is the second SMART group getting the recognition (and window stickers, shown above) for cutting energy use, for recycling materials and significantly consuming less water. The first SMART group of about 40 firms were honored in 2008.
The full list of the 2010 group is at www.developingspokane.org. The honorees range from used-records retailer 4000 Holes to well-established major companies such as Access Telecom and Ross Printing Co.
The SMART program was developed by the city’s Business & Development Services Department in partnership with Avista, Eastern Washington University and the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Under the program, businesses apply to be recognized at either a “participant” or “certified”
level in a variety of categories, including energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling,
renewable energy, water conservation, green building, transportation/commute trip reduction, and
pollution prevention. Businesses also can seek special “innovation” recognition in each of the categories.
A key role is played by EWU's Business Resource Center at the Riverpoint Campus. Under the direction of Professor William Kelley, the BRC provides interns to the city to recruit businesses for the program.
The interns also help business owners or managers establish all the steps or investments made to meet the SMART progra criteria.
Benjamin Ross, of Ross Printing Co., at 1611 E. Sprague, said his company was already operating as a sustainable business when first contacted about the city's SMART program.
His company had already won the Spokane Regional Clean Air Award for 2009. After learning about the SMART option, Ross provided the EWU interns with a list of the business's efforts at sustainable practices. He received one of the 2010 SMART business designations.
"My business philosophy is to reduce as many volatile organic compounds as possible," Ross said.
"And my spiritual philosophy is to make sure that the choices I make today don't leave the world worse for my grandchildren."