SACRAMENTO - Today the California Air Resources Board approved a prototype toolkit that it will begin marketing to the state's 3.4 million small businesses to help them reduce energy costs and help the state meet its ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
The toolkit, still under development, can be found at www.CoolCalifornia.org and includes cost-effective actions, checklists, funding opportunities, success stories and a calculator that helps business owners voluntarily reduce their carbon footprint. Also included is a small business award program.
"Small business owners have shown themselves to be adaptable, creative and driven - the perfect combination to meet tough challenges like climate change head-on," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "We hope that everyone from the donut shop owner to the independent dry cleaner will give the toolkit a test run and get back to us to let us know what works in the real world and what needs fixing."
The toolkit was created in response to AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and the AB32 Scoping Plan adopted by the ARB in December 2008. The Board directed staff to create a toolkit to ensure California's small businesses play a role and benefit from AB 32 emission reduction strategies. ARB created the toolkit with a spectrum of public input and peer review, including small business owners, state and local government, business groups and non-profits.
The main goals of the toolkit are:
The toolkit provides specific tips designed to save money and reduce emissions:
ARB is treating the toolkit as a living document and is still looking for input as part of its continuous improvement. ARB is committed to working with small businesses across the state to effectively distribute and implement the toolkit.
A local government toolkit is expected to be considered by the Board in May.
AB 32 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2006 and calls on California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The AB 32 Scoping Plan, adopted in December 2008, made California the first state in the nation to formally approve a comprehensive greenhouse gas emission reduction plan that is required under statute and that involves every sector of the economy.
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.