Frequently Asked Questions

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Is my establishment eligible?

Establishments must meet the following requirements to apply:

  1. Physical location within Mecklenburg County.

  2. Sell food and/or drinks for on-site consumption.

    • Excludes establishments such as grocery stores, ABC stores

    • Includes establishments such as restaurants, pubs, bars, and breweries

  3. Food trucks registered within the City of Charlotte are eligible

  4. Maintain at least a score of 90 from the Mecklenburg County Health Department

Why is the city doing this program?

Charlotte’s Green Crown is a citywide voluntary and free program that shines a spotlight on eating and drinking establishments in the restaurant and beverage industry implementing environmentally sustainable practices. Complementing the city’s larger sustainability and resilience strategy, Green Crown businesses demonstrate their commitment to the environment through four main categories: Waste Management, Energy and Water Conservation, Pollution Reduction, Commitment to the Community. The Green Crown program highlights these local establishments to help these businesses reach their full potential in reducing carbon emissions, saving energy, reducing waste and creating a healthier environment for all. Promoting sustainable practices amongst eating and drinking establishments means less waste going into our landfills, and a reduction in resources, such as energy and water.

How many crowns are needed to become certified?

Participating establishments must earn at least 15 points including at least 2 points in the Waste Management category and at least one point in each of the other categories (Energy and Water Conservation, Pollution Reduction, and Commitment to the Community). There are a total of 57 eligible points to obtain.

These 2 criteria are REQUIRED in order to be certified and count towards your 15 points:

  • No Styrofoam containers (cups, plates, to go clam shells etc.) (2 points)

  • Non-essential single use items (to go bags, straws, napkins, utensils, extra condiments, other accessory items) are provided only upon request of the customer or if deemed necessary. (1 point)

Tiers for certification are as follows:

  • One Crown: 15 - 20 Points Total

  • Two Crowns: 21 - 24 Points Total

  • Three Crowns: 25+ Points Total

What does my establishment receive for participating?

  • Satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to a greener planet by less waste going into our landfills and reduced strain on our resources.

  • Join a cohort of like-minded businesses and understand best practices for a more environmentally sustainable business.

  • Increased business from customers who value sustainability.

  • Each qualifying establishment will receive a Green Crown certificate and door decal denoting their one, two, or three Green Crown accomplishment for display.

  • All qualifying Green Crowns will be listed (by number of crowns) on the City’s Office of Sustainability webpage.

    • Listing includes the establishment’s logo and sustainability paragraph that links back to the establishment’s website.

  • >Digital Green crown logo will be proudly displayed on qualifying Green Crown establishment’s website that links back to the City’s Office of Sustainability webpage.

  • The city will recognize establishments in social media posts that highlight establishment’s sustainability practices.

  • Save money by reducing consumption (ie: purchase less bags, utensils, straws; reduce energy and water bills).

  • All certified Green Crown establishments will have access to a list of vendors and best practices, used by other Green Crown’s, that help the establishment gain points in the program (ie: straws, to-go containers, cleaning products, recycling and composting companies etc.). Please note: The City of Charlotte does not endorse or approve any vendors reported by fellow Green Crown Establishments.

How do I apply?

Apply to be a Green Crown. Establishments are eligible to apply during the application window of March 1st - May 31st each year.  The Office of Sustainability certifies businesses annually each summer and certification is good through the summer of the following year.  Newly certified eating and drinking establishments are added to this website each year. There is no cost to apply.

How long is my establishment certified?

The Green Crown is active for one year from date of issuance. After each year of participation, your sustainable practices, committed to in your application, will be evaluated through a detailed report form that the participating establishment will be asked to fill out.  This report will be used to evaluate and recertify establishments for the following year.