How to earn Green Crown

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To apply, establishments must be performing environmentally sustainable practices in the following areas: waste management, energy and water conservation, pollution reduction and commitment to the community. There are 57 points eligible to obtain, point amounts are shown in parenthesis. Participants must earn a total of 15 points (or more) 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). Two of the criteria are required but count towards your 15 points.  There are 54 remaining eligible points to obtain. At the end of each eligibility year, the establishment will be asked to fill out an evaluation report form which recertification, for the following year, will be based upon.

Tiers for certification are as follows:

  • One Crown: 15 - 20 Points Total

  • Two Crowns: 21 - 24 Points Total

  • Three Crowns: 25+ Points Total

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)

  • Ask if customer needs a bag for to-go order or leftovers (do not just assume customer needs a bag); also straws, napkins, utensils, condiments, and other accessory items are provided ONLY upon request from customer (1).

Waste Management (pick at least 2 practices; 16 points available):

  • Products are recycled and proper practices are followed (2 points):

  • Food waste is composted properly and/or recycled or repurposed (2).

  • Take-out containers and to-go cups are made of non-plastic biodegradable or compostable material (2)

  • Only reusable tableware is used onsite. This includes cups, plates, utensils, and condiments. (2)

  • Use repurposed building materials (wood, medal, flooring - from old barn - etc.) for establishment space and/or furniture (bar, stools etc.) (2).

  • Accept and encourage, verbally and with signage, customers bringing in their own reusable cups, food containers and/or bags for take-out and meal leftovers (2)

  • No bags or paper bags are used instead of plastic bags (1)

  • Straws are made of environmentally friendly material (agave, paper, bamboo) and are only offered upon request by customer (1)

  • Offer email receipts before paper receipts (1)

  • No paper towels in restrooms (1)

Energy and Water Conservation (pick at least 1 practice; 14 points available):

  • Use electricity generated from renewable sources (ie: solar panels) (3 points)

  • Purchase and use low flow toilets and/or low flow (or sensored) faucets in restrooms (3)

  • At least two of your appliances are Energy Star or energy efficient (dish washer, refrigerator, water heater etc.); and LED light bulbs used in all light fixtures (3).

  • Use rain barrel for plant, herb, and garden watering (2)

  • Set your establishment’s thermostat to a schedule to save money and energy (check local utilities website for recommendations) (2)

  • Serve drinking water only upon request (1)

Pollution Reduction (pick at least 1 practice; 7 points available):

  • Purchase and use fuel efficient delivery vehicles (3 points)

  • Offer bike racks for patrons (1)

  • Reward or compensate your employees who ride their bikes or take public transit to work. (1)

  • Offer bicycle benefits; (1)

  • Use organic/environmentally-friendly cleaning products (1)

Commitment to the Community (pick at least 1 practice; 17 points available ):

  • >Purchase at least 50% of products (produce, meat, liquor, beer etc.) from local or regional suppliers (3 points)

  • Offer internships for local students and residents (3)

  • Pay for employee community service hours (2)

  • Donate to, sponsor, or host community organizations, programs, or events (2)

  • Donate unconsumed, perishable food to a food shelter, homeless shelter, or other non-profit organization on a regular basis (2)

  • Participate in Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services Adopt a Stream program (2)

  • Participate in Keep Charlotte Beautiful’s Adopt a Street program (2)

  • Add a section to employee training manual about Green Crown and/or sustainability efforts to educate employees on sustainability best practices (corect recycling, turning off lights when closing or leaving a room to save energy, etc.) (1)