For many local governments, the commercial sector presents a significant opportunity to achieve many of their environmental goals, and, likewise, many companies aspire to demonstrate their environmental leadership and to be recognized as “green” businesses. The Chicago Green Office Challenge was launched by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2009 as a strategy of the Chicago Climate Action Plan. The program was developed in partnership with the City of
The Green Office Challenge garnered significant interest by local governments throughout the country as an innovative tool to inspire environmental awareness and friendly competition within the business community, and as a means to quantify the results of their climate actions. The program evolved into the Green Business Challenge as a result of these local governments’ desire to be more inclusive of the broader business community. While each program is unique, the model remains essentially the same.
In February 2010, ICLEI launched a pilot program to provide guidance and technical support to help four communities set up their Challenge programs:
Beyond these pilots, other communities have also launched their own programs.