EPA Resources for Small Businesses and Congregations
To help small businesses and congregations reduce their environmental footprint and increase sustainability, EPA has a number of resources available from across its many programs. Use the resources below to learn how your small business or congregation can help protect human health and the environment for your local community. Click on a topic below to get started.
- Energy & Climate
- Waste & Recycling
- Safer Products
- Healthy Buildings
- Healthy Habitats
- Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
- Environmental Justice
Energy & Climate
ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of small businesses, congregations, industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—partner with EPA to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions that protect the climate while improving air quality and protecting public health.
- ENERGY STAR for Small Business: The program provides resources for energy efficiency at small businesses to help them save energy and utility costs. One key resource for small business energy savings is the ENERGY STAR® Action Workbook for Small Business.
- ENERGY STAR for Congregations: An average worship facility can save up to 30 percent on energy through no-cost actions, strategic investment, and smart operations and maintenance. These savings can verify the careful stewardship of member’s donations and can be repurposed to the mission and ministries of the congregation. One key resource for small business energy savings is the ENERGY STAR® Action Workbook for Congregations.
- During ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunts “green teams” around a facility looking for quick ways to save energy, guided by a Treasure Map. Hundreds of organizations have used Energy Treasure Hunts to reduce facilities’ energy use by up to 15 percent. Check out these and other maps: Convenience stores; Hotels, motels, and inns; K-12 schools; Multifamily housing; Offices; Restaurants and commercial kitchens; Retail stores, wholesale clubs, supercenters; Senior living; Student housing; Supermarkets and grocery stores; Vehicle dealerships and Worship facilities.
- The ENERGY STAR Competitions guide and resources can be a great way to motivate your team to find new efficiencies, educate and engage building across your portfolio – all while helping the environment.
- The ENERGY STAR Best Value Finder is a resource for smart savings all in one place. In addition to the energy-cost savings, the tool shows where to find the lowest prices on ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators, TVs, and light bulbs plus utility rebates and other special offers that are now available.
- ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an interactive resource management tool that enables you to benchmark the energy use of any type of building, all in a secure online environment. Benchmarking in turns the information on your utility bill into knowledge you can act on.
EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program offers free tools, data, and technical expertise about energy strategies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and other emerging technologies, to help state, local and tribal governments achieve their environmental, energy and economic objectives. A guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Low-Income Communities is a free download. Additionally, the Energy Savings and Impacts Scenario Tool (ESIST) is a customizable and transparent Excel-based planning tool for analyzing the energy savings and costs from customer-funded energy efficiency programs and their impacts on emissions, public health, and equity.
The Green Power Partnership offers a Guide To Purchasing Green Power and the Renewable Energy Power “Toolbox” which includes project development, policy considerations, financing approaches, project economics and evaluation, RFP and contracts guidance and consumer claims guidance.
Climate Resources: EPA is restoring the role of science in addressing the climate crisis. Climate change is happening now; EPA publishes key indicators of the causes and effects of climate change which are important input to the National Climate Assessment. EPA has resources on heat islands and equity.
Mapping Power Plants and Neighboring Communities: This EPA tool summarizes the population for 6 key demographics and demographic indices (average populations of low-income and people of color) for communities within 3 miles of over 3,400 fossil fuel-fired power plants on interactive maps and graphs.
WaterSense is a resource for your home, landscaping, kids, as well as a label for water-efficient products certified to use at least 20% less water, save energy and perform as well as or better than regular models. In addition to tools, webinars and case studies for commercial buildings a best management practices guide is a free download.
The Saving the Rain Guide offers green stormwater solutions to help congregations enhance worship facility grounds with sustainable stormwater management practices and landscaping to reduce or eliminate local stormwater fees, improve air and water quality, provide habitat for wildlife, improve aesthetics of the site and offer a peaceful outdoor sanctuary.
Waste & Recycling
Learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. Check out the Food: Too Good to Waste Toolkit and how to donate and recycle used electronics, how to recycle Used Household Batteries and Used Lithium-Ion Batteries. You can learn How to reduce wasted food and about Donating Food and Composting at home. Find out what you can do at home, at school, at work and in the community. It’s also important to know about Recycling During COVID-19.
Safer Choice helps consumers and organizations find products that perform well and contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment. Safer Choice is an EPA Pollution Prevention (P2) program, which includes practices that reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at its source, such as using safer ingredients in products. The Design for the Environment (DfE) label helps consumers and purchasers find antimicrobial products, like disinfectants and sanitizers, that have been reviewed by EPA and found to meet both the pesticide registration requirements and the standard for DfE-certified products. These products contain ingredients that have been reviewed for both human health and environmental effects.
Supporting Healthy Houses of Worship is a free guide to effective, affordable measures to protect the health of congregational members and staff while in the worship facility. Topics include asthma & triggers; drinking water and heat events; buses & vehicle idling emissions; carbon monoxide; radon and radiation; indoor air quality and ventilation; mold and moisture control; chemical management, lead, mercury, PCBs in caulk and fluorescent light ballasts; pesticides and pest management, facility assessment and federal grants and other financial assistance.
Pollinator Protection: Many types of plants, including fruit and vegetable crops, depend on animals for pollination. In addition to honeybees, many other types of animals pollinate crops and wildflowers. You can learn about the importance of pollinators, what EPA is doing, what you can do and view webinars on Pollinator Health and Habitat.
Lawn Care Tips: Interested in learning more about healthy, environmentally friendly lawn and landscape practices? You can reduce erosion, stream sedimentation, flooding, runoff of pollutants into local waterways, and the risk of pesticide exposure to children, adults, pets, and wildlife with these tips.
Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
EPA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization advocates and advances the business, regulatory, and environmental compliance concerns of small and socio-economically disadvantaged businesses.
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has developed a new environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening tool called EJSCREEN, based on nationally consistent data to combine environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports. You can also learn more about Environmental Justice and about
- EJ Grants, Funding, and Technical Assistance
- Resources for Communities
- EJ in Your Community
- EJ Program Funded Projects
- EJ Learning Center
- Tribes and Indigenous Peoples