Straus Family Creamery Becomes a Certified Sonoma Green Business
Isabelle Reining, Kevin Kumataka, Albert Straus
Petaluma, California, September 4th, 2013
Spearheaded by Straus Family Creamery’s former VP of Human Resources and Sustainability, Elizabeth Romanoff, we are proud to announce our completion of the Bay Area Green Business Program and subsequent certification as a Sonoma Green Business.
The Sonoma Green Business Program describes itself as “a partnership of government agencies and utilities that assists, recognizes, and promotes local organizations, focusing on small- to medium-sized consumer-oriented businesses that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. To be certified, participants must be in compliance with all environmental regulations and meet program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution, and minimizing waste.” Sonoma County Green Business Coordinator Kevin Kumataka personally dropped by the Straus Family Creamery office in Petaluma to hand-deliver the honor, further demonstrating the Program’s dedication and involvement with its community.
From start to finish, the entire Green Business Certification process took nearly a year. During that time, Romanoff and Straus Family Creamery’s Sustainability Coordinator Isabelle Reining joined forces to analyze our current business practices and strategize additional ways Straus Family Creamery could achieve optimal green-business practices. Lighting was swapped out for more efficient technologies to save energy; in-office, post-consumer waste was reduced; printing standards were greened; and new packaging technologies were sourced, among a myriad of other improvements. “Who cares about the minimum; let’s aim for the maximum sustainability standards,” Romanoff has said.
"When I started the process there was no Sonoma County Green Business Certifier,” Romanoff remembered. “So I went to [Green Business Program’s] Marin County office to begin the assessment process, and waited for a member from the Sonoma County office to contact us.” Romanoff knew the certification was worth the wait. Not only was it an important step in furthering Straus Family Creamery’s commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership, but it was also the Capstone Project for her Sustainable Practices Certificate from Dominican University.
Through the practical application of her continuing-education pursuits, and in close collaboration with Reining, Romanoff took the creamery’s administration to the next level and created meaningful and enduring change. Every three years, businesses which are awarded the Sonoma County Green Business Certification, will be audited again. As new standards arise, new practices will need to be put in place. Implementing innovative, sustainable business practices is limitless by daring to imagine what more can be done. Straus Family Creamery will continue to up our green commitment under the guidance and inspiration of Reining, who has taken on the management of our Sustainability Department.