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How much does it cost?
It is FREE to participate in the challenge! However we always appreciate it if you can host or sponsor an event.

Do I have to share sensitive business information?

All data collected during the challenge is strictly confidential, and will not be able to be viewed anyone other than GBC coordinators. It will be the businesses' decision whether they want us to share their final results with the GBC. Data will be reported collectively as a program, not on an individual basis.

What types or sizes of businesses can take part in the Green Business Challenge?

The Charleston GBC was designed for both small and large businesses, and a variety of industry types. Challenge strategies and resources provided through the program were designed for companies with just a few staff to large companies of 50 or more employees. There is no size specification to participate in the Charleston GBC-all are welcome.

Running a business is tough work. Do I really have time for this?

If you can spare 20 minutes a month, you have time for to accomplish much with the GBC. We have made the GBC implementation as streamlined as possible in order to insure the least amount of effort to attain maximum gains.

Really the amount of time needed depends on how many new goals you set for the year.  So you set the pace that is right for your business.

What is the minimum time it takes to DO the GBC?

Here’s a good example. Note: It can be vastly different depending on the size of your business and the number of people on your green team.

15 min- putting in company info
30 min- set up green team
1 hour- go through scorecard and share what is being done and set goals for the year
30 min- retrieve online energy, water, waste and recycling data (not everyone can do this)

Throughout – suggest monthly:
5 min – 1 hour a month to meet with Green team and go after goals
5 min - Receive monthly updates on energy, water, waste and recycling (not everyone can do this)

30 min - Finalize energy, water, waste and recycling data
30 min – Update scorecard with achievements

Do I need to own my building or office space in order to participate in the Green Business Challenge?

No, participating businesses may own or lease their facilities or office space, and may occupy only a portion of a larger facility/building. Even home offices are welcome to participate! Organizations with multiple buildings or facilities may consider focusing on one building at a time. Contact for further information or to discuss your facility or office space.

I run my own small business. Can I still participate?

Of course! Small/Single person businesses may have a small impact alone, but if hundreds of small businesses act together they can have a great impact.

What if I attempt to perform some of the Scorecard strategies, but only in part? For example, what if a business uses recycled content paper for some printing, but not for all printing?

Participants are given the full year to plan for and implement the strategies listed in the Scorecard. When you review the Scorecard to assess your baseline score and discover you are already doing some of the strategies outlined in the Scorecard, use the Challenge as an opportunity to enhance these efforts and achieve a greener practice– be it by recycling more, purchasing environmentally preferable items or conserving water, for example. Then, for all the strategies you select to implement as a participant, integrate the suggested practices or protocols with the intent of eventually achieving that strategy to its fullest.

Use the strategy description column on the help tab of the scorecard to fully describe the changes and the extent to which the green practice has been integrated into permanent operations.

What if I cannot access energy and water usage data for my business?

Estimate to the best of your ability. If you pay a water or electric/gas bill, you can get the information directly off the bill. If your utilities are worked into your lease, ask you property manger or landlord to help access this information.

Can offices outside of the City of Charleston participate in the Challenge?

Yes, the Green Business Challenge is open to all business in Charleston and the Charleston Metro area, including East Cooper, Goose Creek, West Ashley, James Island, Folly Beach, Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston, just to name a few.

If I missed signing up for the GBC this year, can I still sign up for the Challenge?

This GBC year runs November 1st, 2015 through October 31st, 2016. It’s never too late to sign up, but the sooner you do, the better! However, you may just want to wait until the start of the 2016-2017 GBC year. The choice is yours.

There are items on the scorecard that I can’t do, either because of my size or my industry.

The scorecard is designed to accommodate businesses of all shapes and sizes. For everyone (not just you), there will be items on the scorecard that you can not do. There are items that are easy for small businesses to achieve and items that are easy for large businesses, and items that are easy for a restaurant to do, and things that are more for offices. You get the idea. There are still plenty of items on the scorecard that your business type can achieve. And remember, you are eligible for bonus points too. So there should be enough items on the scorecard for all business types to gain enough points to achieve the highest tier.