By Rachael Carlyle
OCEAN – The N.C. Coastal Federation became the first non-profit organization in Eastern N.C. and one of only 11 nonprofits in the United States, to earn Green Plus Certification, which the Institute for Sustainable Development awards to businesses and organizations that go above and beyond in sustainable business practices.
Todd Miller, federation executive director, is proud of this accomplishment: “It’s important for environmental groups to practice what we preach,” he said. “Green Plus Certification recognizes that the federation has policies and systems in the workplace that conserve our natural resources and make cost-effective use of every donated dollar.”
The certification process was fairly simple. Green Plus offers an online diagnostic tool that assesses an organization’s policies and procedures in obtaining triple bottom-line sustainability.
The process reminded us that everyone can always do a little better. Through the review we identified and implemented areas for improvement that will make the federation even more efficient with the funds and resources donated to us by our members.
The federation is the state’s only non-profit organization focused exclusively on protecting and restoring the coast of North Carolina through education, advocacy as well as habitat restoration and preservation. Maintaining a healthy and productive natural environment is integral to the mission of the federation, and the Green Plus Certification helps to make sure the federation operates in an environmentally sustainable fashion.
The Institute for Sustainable Development, a non-profit partnership between universities, chambers of commerce and private businesses, awards the certification. Through Green Plus, the Institute works to help smaller employers and their communities understand and integrate environmentally sustainable practices, and trains a new generation of environmental stewards. Businesses and organizations in 15 states are Certified Green Plus or are working toward certification.