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The Green Life: The U.S. Green Chamber Opens for Business

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February 23, 2011

The U.S. Green Chamber Opens for Business

Green business As the world gets greener, businesses are finding that eco-friendly practices can be as good for shareholders as they are for the planet. One business association in particular believes in the green movement so much that it's going nationwide with the cause: The Green Chamber of San Diego announced over the weekend that it has rebranded itself the U.S. Green Chamber to accommodate what CEO David Steel describes as a rapidly expanding interest in sustainable business practices.

The chamber offers consulting and facilitates idea-sharing between its member companies about how to go green at work. Steel said, “We really believe that you can be successful in business and be environmentally and socially responsible.”

Since the original San Diego chamber opened in Nov. 2009, Steel has been fielding calls from eco-minded companies in Texas, Hawaii, Florida, and elsewhere, all looking to join. Eventually he decided it was time to expand nationally.

Member companies say the chamber has helped them green their practices, and has put them in touch with like-minded entrepreneurs, creating what Collan Koeppen (whose San Diego chiropractic office has been a chamber member for several months) described as a think tank. “The green movement has more of a vision for what the future’s going to be rather than the way it already is,” he said.

That sentiment was echoed by Rebecca Aguilera-Gardiner, VP of a San Diego printer that's one of the chamber's newest members. Since joining, the company has greatly increased its facilities for recycling paper and has already noticed savings from reduced trash pickup.

At the moment, the chamber only asks it members to commit to adopting sustainable practices. But Steel hopes to develop a more rigorous certification process in the near future, which could induce more companies to join. “Once you’re on the merry-go-round, you’re kind of on it,” he said, “and people start doing more and more and more.”

--Tim McDonnell

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