Dozens of businesses and organizations recently got kudos for getting certified as Napa County Green Business operations.

On July 13, 50 firms and groups certified or recertified over the past 18 months were recognized for their commitment to environmental sustainability. The inaugural event was hosted by Napa Valley Vintners, Sustainable Napa County and the county of Napa.

Today, there are more than 90 Napa County Certified Green Businesses, including more than 60 wineries.

“More than a decade ago, when the Napa Green programs were developed, it was impossible to estimate how crucial they would become,” said Jeri Hansen-Gill, CEO of Sustainable Napa County and emcee of the event. “At once the Napa Green Business program is practical and symbolic; it is a guidepost for anyone who needs direction and inspiration for those who may not be sure of what to do or how to start.” Following her remarks, Hansen-Gill was joined by Chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors, Belia Ramos, to present each honoree with a custom award made from repurposed wine bottle glass and wine barrel staves.

Napa County was one of the first participants in the Bay Area Green Business Program, which later became the statewide California Green Business Program (greenbusinessca.org). In 2008, the vintners trade group and other industry partners launched Napa Green Certified Winery, customizing the program specifically for wine producers.

Participating businesses must go beyond environmental compliance. Re-certification is every three years based on tracking water and energy use and waste diversion and demonstrating continuous improvement in resource conservation.

“I’m tremendously proud of Napa’s commitment to creating sustainable companies and cutting our carbon footprint,” said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, via a pre-recorded video message at the event. “Being a Certified Green Business isn’t just about a catchy label. It’s about commitment. It’s about making meaningful changes to minimize your impact on the environment. You’ve shown we can create good jobs and grow our economy without sacrificing our environment.”

Thompson, who recently joined the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in Washington, D.C., is an advocate for addressing climate change.

In 2015, Napa Valley Vintners established the goal that all the trade association’s eligible members will be in the Napa Green program by the end of the year 2020.

“We’re proud that our member wineries have made the commitment to become Napa Green Certified, but other local businesses also deserve to be recognized for their efforts,” said Emma Swain, immediate past chair of the group's board of directors and CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery. “We helped create the Napa Green Business Celebration to bring like-minded locals from a variety of entities together to share our successes and challenges on the path to protecting the Napa Valley through sustainability.”

St. Supéry was honored at the celebration for recently receiving their Napa Green Winery re-certification.

The event was held at Domaine Chandon, a Napa Green Certified Winery and wines. Appetizers and décor were provided by Napa County Certified Green Businesses.