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Art By: Chris Muzzio

Arc Awarded Green Business Certification

Arc of Westchester Receives Green Business Certification

County Executive Joins Other Officials at Ceremony

HAWTHORNE, NY – January 29, 2016—Arc of Westchester, the largest non-profit in Westchester County supporting people with autism and other developmental disabilities, celebrated their official Westchester Green Business-Certification (WGBC) in a ceremony  on January 29, 2016.  

The certification ceremony was held 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 and WGBC Program Director Dani Glaser. Representatives from the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities/Division of Solid Waste Management and Westchester Business Council 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.

“The dedication and determination that the Arc of Westchester Green Team applied to their Westchester Green Business Certification is nothing short of stellar,” said WGBC Program Director Dani Glaser.  “Their approach has been welcoming, inclusive, positive and innovative. Thank you to the Arc of Westchester Green Team for your leadership and we look forward to sharing your shining example with others.”

WGB-Certified takes environmental stewardship a step further. The WGB-Certified program is designed to provide a collaborative group of Westchester County organizations from diverse industry sectors, with step-by-step training (individualized and group) and tools they need to successfully integrate environmentally sustainable practices into operations and measure their greenhouse gas emissions in order to become certified.  Behavioral and technical solutions are provided to organizations in the following categories: organizational commitment, energy, materials management (waste and recycling and green purchasing), refrigerants, transportation, land use and water. There are currently 50 member businesses in WGB-Certified, 18 of which have achieved certification.

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.”


About Westchester Green Business Certified:

WGB-Certified is the region’s only green business certification program for Westchester-based organizations ready to take their sustainability efforts to the next level. Members receive enhanced tools to measure their performance, unique opportunities for peer collaboration, hands-on support from WGBC program staff and a higher level of recognition as leaders within their industries.  The program was launched in early 2014 and represents an expansion of the highly successful Westchester Green Business Challenge, a public-private partnership between Westchester County and The Business Council of Westchester.  


About Arc of Westchester

Arc of Westchester is the oldest and largest agency in the county serving children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Over 800 employees provide more than 2,000 individuals throughout the county with a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services designed to foster independence, productivity and participation in community life.

The mission of Arc of Westchester is to empower children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, to achieve their potential by strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests.

Arc of Westchester’s vision is a world in which children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including individuals on the autism spectrum enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future            


Arc of Westchester is a chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc.


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Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as Arc of Westchester, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.

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