Green Business Challenge

Building local capacity to encourage private sector participation in, and understanding of, key actions that increase business and community efficiency and sustainability.


What is the Green Business Challenge?

The Green Business Challenge (GBC) is a customizable national model that local governments can use to engage local businesses and commercial property managers in a fun and friendly competition to save money, energy, water, and waste, improving their business’s environmental performance. This innovative program in turn helps local governments reach their energy and climate goals.

The GBC arose from a growing need for methods and practical tools that allow local government to engage the business community in climate protection and sustainability. For mutual benefit, businesses want to be recognized socially and environmentally in a positive light and have more economic and regulatory incentives to reduce their carbon footprint. It is about businesses being responsible and responsive to the local community’s priorities and about the community providing businesses with opportunities for recognition for their positive actions.

Why the Green Business Challenge?

For Local Governments:

  • Easy, cost-effective setup and customizability
  • Platform to promote existing local initiatives or green business programs
  • Identification of business candidates for additional engagement
  • Visibility as joint public-private effort

For Businesses:

  • Bottom-line cost savings
  • Increased operational effectiveness
  • Ability to partner with local government
  • Recognition & leadership at local and national scale
  • Opportunity for all employees to participate
  • Competition and gamification tools to make it fun and effective
  • Benchmarking and directed resources

Green Business Challenge Features

  • Standards & Framework
  • Toolkits & guides
  • Trainings
  • National & local network
  • ICLEI expert staff guidance
  • National sponsorship & implementation packs
  • Access to national sponsors

Join the Green Business Challenge

Over 16 cities, including Washington D.C. and Austin, TX have already joined the challenge. In Charlottesville, VA, 78 businesses participated in 450 actions that have saved $180,000 and reduced CO2 by 1,823 tons.

Begin planning your own Challenge program today with ICLEI. Local governments can contact ICLEI about setting up a program, or if you are a business, tell ICLEI you want the government in your area to begin a GBC you can participate in.

Contact for more details on GBC and how your local community can benefit.

Your ICLEI Support

ICLEI provides its members with one-on-one support to work through the process and overcome any hurdles in implementing GBC in communities, and helps members develop innovative strategies to engage local partners and participating businesses. If you are an ICLEI member and want to start a GBC program in your area, contact us at today.