Smart | smärt

"astute, as in business; clever or bright"

The Resource Smart Business Program (RSBP) helps local business owners and employees work smarter, not harder. It is a voluntary six step certification program that helps businesses increase their competitive advantage by reducing their resource consumption.

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About RSBP
The Resource Smart Business Program (RSBP) is a past program that helped local business owners and employees work smarter, not harder. It was a voluntary six-step certification program that helped businesses increase their competitive advantage by reducing their resource consumption. Businesses who participated learned how to assess their energy consumption, worksite wellness and overall sustainability. Businesses that made positive changes became “Resource Smart Certified” and received recognition and promotion for their efforts.

Find a list of participating businesses here

The RSBP was created through collaboration between Bright Green LLC, Fort Lewis College Environmental Center, Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency (4CORE), Healthy Lifestyle La Plata, Local First, La Plata Electric Association and SWConnect.

The grant used to fund this program ended in 2014, so new businesses are no longer being accepted. However, over thirty businesses who did participate are still being recognized for their resource smart actions in the 4CORE newsletter and when other opportunities arise.  

Find more information:

Resource Smart Business Program Brochure



The RSBP aims to provide local businesses and consumers with accessible tools that promote informed resource use in order to create a thriving community, and benefit individuals, the economy and society.

Benefits of participation

By participating in the RSBP and implementing recommended measures, businesses can expect to achieve the following benefits:

  • Comprehensive assessments
  • Rebate(s) to implement energy efficiency measures
  • Reduce operation costs, improve profit and cash flow
  • Open new markets and acquire new customers
  • Increase employee productivity
  • Boost brand integrity for competitive advantage
  • Positive media exposure and promotional materials
  • Multiple levels of participation and recognition
  • Access to ongoing support and education on sustainable business practices
  • Network with other resource smart business participants and graduates
  • Exclusive online resources

Engaging Employees

Check out the report Greening Work Styles: An Analysis of Energy Behavior Programs in the Workplace  to learn ways to engage your employees in reducing resource consumption within your business. This report focuses on energy behavior programs in the workplace, which aim to reduce building energy use through change in employees’ attitudes and behaviors. The report reviews five energy behavior projects across the U.S. and Canada. The figure below summarizes four common strategies that contribute to successful employee engagement programs. Read the report for more details and innovative tactics used by other businesses to increase employee engagement.

As emphasized above, creating a “Green Team” is one key tactic to engaging employees and reducing resource consumption within the workplace. 

Provide your employees with this Workplace Checklist to give them tangible actions they can do to help your business reduce its resource consumption.

Local Contractors

To make going “Resource Smart” easy, the RSBP team has compiled a directory of local contractors who can help you implement Resource Smart actions. 

Other Resources

Local Business Resources
Small Business Development Center
La Plata County Economic Development Alliance
Region 9 Economic Development District
Local First 
City of Durango
Durango Chamber of Commerce
Ignacio Chamber of Commerce
Bayfield Chamber of Commerce 
Frequently Asked Questions
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At this point in time we are only serving businesses in La Plata County, but may expand service in the future.
Your business can expect to allocate a minimum of 10 hours to the RSBP in the first three months of the program. After that, the RSBP timeframe is variable depending on the level of recognition and implementation your business seeks to achieve.

As of March 2014, twenty-five businesses have become certified.

We work with small and large businesses from a variety of diverse sectors. Whether you are already a sustainable business leader or are a busy business owner who is interested, but not sure where to start, the RSBP can provide you with the resources and guidance to set you on the right path. In return, we expect participant businesses to be engaged, enthusiastic and committed to becoming “Resource Smart.”

No, the initial assessment is free. However, there may be other in-depth assessments that have fees.

This is a great deal!  The initial free assessment and $500 rebate is likely a limited-time offer to be taken advantage of now.

Save money on utility bills, market and promote your business, access resources to operate more efficiently, retain high-performing, dedicated employees, and track your sustainability progress.
Due to a growing population of environmentally conscious consumers, many businesses have begun to market themselves as “green.” However, many of these businesses have taken little to no action to actually green their operations. Third-party certification, such as is offered by the RSBP, is important to distinguish yourself from the “greenwashing” present in today’s market. The RSBP will help you measure and demonstrate the real changes you make to your business practices.

"The RSBP has enabled us to reduce our energy use to improve our bottom line, as well as help our employees, customers and the environment. The $1,194 we are projected to save annually is good for our pocket book, and the 22,085 pounds of greenhouse gases we'll prevent is good for our community and the earth. I recommend all businesses in the 4 Corners area look to the RSBP for help in improving their resource efficiency and therefore their bottom line; it is a wonderful community resource." --  Tim Wheeler, owner of Durango Coffee Company

“This program is guiding us on a path to deeper efficiency for our business. Our staff is excited about the benefits and  ideas the RSBP has introduced.  The culture of our work place as well as that of employee’s homes has shifted.” -- Peter Schertz, owner of Maria’s Bookshop 

"The Resource Smart Business Program has inspired me to start making changes that will improve our business, staff satisfaction, and ultimately the community. LED lighting has enhanced the look of the store and merchandise and will drastically lower my electric bill. We even created a mission statement to indicate our enthusiasm about minimizing our impact on the environment and having fun doing it." --  Renae Muller, Owner of Renae Marie

"Working with the RSBP pilot program has enabled us to make smart business decisions for the Coop that not only affect the bottom line, but also our employees, customers and the environment. So far the program has helped us to convert our refrigeration lighting from T-12 to LED, saving 7,688 KWh and $769 annually. We expect to see a return on this investment in just 24 months."-- Joshua Jackson, General Manager, Durango Natural Foods

“We’re excited to be part of a program that makes energy savings possible for so many businesses in La Plata County. Without the assessments provided by the RSBP we wouldn’t have known what adjustments to make to our systems. It is also great to have the opportunity to get to know and work with other businesses that are working toward similar goals.” -- Jesse Westback, owner of Brown’s Sport Shoe.

“Congratulations to these businesses for becoming Resource Smart Certified! Their actions directly translate to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, and employee health. Not only does this program help our area businesses improve the environment, but the money they save on utility bills can then be reinvested in our local community.  By cashing in on economic, environmental, and social value, they also serve as models for other businesses.”  -- Dick White, Durango City Councilman


“It’s an honor to recognize these businesses for their efforts and accomplishments in striving to be ‘Resource Smart.’ We look forward to supporting them and other local businesses as they reduce energy consumption and work toward long-term sustainable business development in La Plata County.” --Gwen Lachelt, La Plata County Commissioner