Arc of Westchester Receives Official Green Business Certification
Arc of Westchester celebrated their official Westchester Green Business-Certification (WGBC) in a ceremony on January 29, 2016 at Arc of Westchester’s Gleeson-Israel Gateway Center at 265 Saw Mill River Road in Hawthorne, NY. The event was led by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino; Arc of Westchester Executive Director Richard P. Swierat; WGBC Program Director Dani Glaser and The Business Council of Westchester Executive Vice President John Ravitz. Representatives from the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities/Division of Solid Waste Management were also in attendance.
“Congratulations to Ric Swierat and the entire Arc of Westchester team on achieving this prestigious certification," said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. "Arc of Westchester is a long-time partner of the County and a shining example of environmental leadership in our community. From green purchasing and transportation to sustainable land use and energy choices, Arc has embraced all aspects of running a smart and sustainable organization in the 21st century."
WGB-Certified is an expansion of the highly successful Westchester Green Business Challenge program, a public-private partnership launched in 2009 by Westchester County and The Business Council of Westchester to help businesses become more environmentally sustainable while saving money and improving performance. To date, more than 300 businesses have taken part in the Challenge.
Arc of Westchester is among many local Westchester businesses and municipalities taking a lead in energy efficiency. From selecting energy-efficient lighting and Energy Star certified appliances to using double-paned/tinted windows and low-VOC building materials in its headquarters, Arc of Westchester’s leadership has played an extensive role in creating a sustainable work environment for employees and the individuals they support. These are just a few of the initiatives Arc of Westchester is taking in the workplace.
The agency operates a greenhouse and garden on site for growing seasonal vegetables and participates in the operation of the Rocket, an in-vessel composter on the grounds of Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities, to supply compost to Food Bank for Westchester and Westchester Department of Public Works. The agency reduces paper through the increase of electronic communications, operates a fleet of fuel efficient vehicles and encourages car pooling for their staff.
Arc of Westchester’s gallery265 received the Westchester County’s 2014 Earth Day Award for their creative use of reusing and diverting otherwise waste materials to create art. The gallery has held several exhibitions using recycled materials and encourages artists to consider the environment in their creative work and everyday lives. The non-profit also earned the 2015 Charles W. Brown, Jr. Sustainability Award for visionary leadership and commitment to sustainability.
“We’re making this a very strong part of our culture, and in the future we’re going to see teams of individuals sharing with us their experiences and their suggestions for being a better green citizen in our society,” said Arc of Westchester Executive Director Richard Swierat. “We are at the very beginning, this is not the end, and we’re on a journey to make ourselves totally green in the future.”