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Better Business Challenge Encourages Sustainability, Efficiency - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Better Business Challenge Encourages Sustainability, Efficiency

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A portion of a model scorecard for the Better Business Challenge. A portion of a model scorecard for the Better Business Challenge.

It's a competition for central Virginia businesses to become more eco-friendly, and it could save your company some serious cash.

The Better Business Challenge is a competition among companies in this region to encourage them to increase their efficiency and sustainability in their daily operations. It kicks off soon, and interested businesses can start signing up now.

The challenge is put on by Better World Betty and the Local Energy Alliance Program, or LEAP. Any business, nonprofit, restaurant, church or retail shop from Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson, Greene, Louisa, or Fluvanna County can join.

Businesses start by accessing their resource use in terms of water, energy, waste, transportation and purchasing. They are then given a scorecard of ways they can improve and get points. A series of "lunch and learns" are provided for free to give them help cutting costs and use.

At the end of the 10 month competition in June, organizers will roll out the "green carpet" at the Paramount Theater and reveal winners. Award categories include largest reduction of energy, largest reduction of waste and top innovator.

So what do the businesses win? Major bragging rights and hundreds of dollars' worth of savings, according to companies who participated last year. The Better Business Challenge organizers calculated they provided about $75,000 of mini-consulting and training and education for these businesses.

"You know, it's Charlottesville, it's a small market. It's the small businesses that can't really afford, you know, a big program or sustainability reporting on a big high level, so this is a great mid-range," said Teri Kent, the director of the Better Business Challenge and the program manager for Better World Betty.

There's a kickoff happy hour for the Better Business Challenge Thursday 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Main Street Arena. At that event you can find out more about the challenge and see the new scorecards.

The last competition included 100 businesses and this year organizers are looking for more. Some of the 2013-2014 participants include Main St. Arena, Jaunt, Coxito, and Rivanna Natural Designs.

To sign your business up click here.

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