Mon September 1, 2008

Today we added “Community Certification” to the Forum.  Since this is so pertinent to our current efforts, I will include it here also:

Community Certification

GreenLane’s most formidable challenges fall into 3 categories:

  1. Credibility
  2. Workable Structure
  3. Manpower/Funding

Credibility – We need a way of assuring the public that our businesses are indeed Green and special. So our members must agree to be evaluated by our panel of experts and become “GreenLane Certified”.

The meaning and methods behind this certification will be critical to GreenLane’s success.

The DEQ is equipped to measure whether a company is in compliance with government regulations but do not go beyond that.

EWEB, Master Recyclers, and Climate Masters are trained to be knowledgeable and helpful but are not specifically trained to measure a company against a set of standards.

Official federal certifications, such as those for organic produce, are often pages thick and expensive to measure and comply with.

So, how does GreenLane put its stamp of approval on a particular company and at a reasonable cost?

We must come up with a Community Certification by establishing our own simplified guidelines and measurements. It would be done by company type. For example, we would establish a set of criteria for printing companies and then measure according to those simplified rules.

The community criteria would be simpler than the federal rules but still contain the essence and the spirit of the more complex code.

To get started, we can use our Premier companies to help set the local standards for their type of business. Other groups in other cities have also set standards from which we can borrow.

Once the standards have been set for a particular type of business, e.g. printers, then any new printer will have a ready made set of standards to aim for.

The GreenLane Blue Ribbon Panel and their auditors will then have clearly defined standards to evaluate. It will be the community overseeing the community… local businesses meeting local rules.

So clearly, Credibility and Structure are decidedly interwoven and will go hand-in-hand in establishing a working solution. That leads us to our 3rd and final challenge enumerated in the very 1st paragraph…

Manpower and Funding.

We will be looking for the big players such as DEQ, EWEB, Lane County Recyclers, Climate Masters and perhaps some additional help from local for-profit companies to participate in the auditing, training, and evaluating of the companies to be Community Certified.

The participating companies would have to pay both a membership fee to join and a certification fee to cover the expense of the evaluating team. Also, if the company seeks more training than standard GreenLane auditors could provide in how to meet their certification standards, these companies may opt for outside paid experts to help them reach their goals more speedily.

For now, the burden of expenses for obtaining a GreenLane Community Certification will reside with the company desiring certification. However, with social pressure, government may eventually acknowledge the importance of what we are doing and to help fund our efforts. In the meantime, we must be able to stand on our own 2 feet and produce a self-sufficient organization of our own.

GreenLane itself must be sustainable!

Robert

152 Responses to “Mon September 1, 2008”

  1. hugh says:

    .

    thank you….

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