Free Green Purchasing Workshop Offered for Lexington Businesses


When we work toward a more sustainable lifestyle, we spend a lot of time thinking about the things we should do (or not do): turn off the lights, recycle and compost, don’t leave the faucet running, don’t litter.  Equally important – but less discussed – is the impact of the things we buy.  In our consumer-driven society, the way we spend sends a major message to manufacturers; and we want that message to be, “I support sustainable, responsible practices.”

Every person can do their part to green the supply chain, but sustainable purchasing is even more important in the workplace, where major accounts and large quantities carry more weight with suppliers.  That’s why Bluegrass Greensource, LFUCG, and the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge are teaming up to offer a lunch-and-learn style Green Purchasing Workshop for Lexington professionals.  Attendees need only worry about the learning half of the equation; a catered lunch is on us.  The workshop will take place at the Barrel House (903 Manchester Street #150) on Tuesday, November 18th from 12-2pm.

Led by industry sustainability leader Office Depot, the Green Purchasing Workshop aims to provide Lexington’s business community with an overview of green purchasing past and present, its benefits (and yes, you will save money by going green), product samples from sustainable vendors, and tips to get your organization moving in the right direction.  The workshop is free and open to anyone representing a Lexington business, and is ideal for purchasing managers and green team members – but any and everyone can benefit from this great information, so don’t be shy!  If your organization purchases anything from office supplies to appliances to cleaners, this is the workshop for you.  To reserve your seat, register here.


Sustainability partner Office Depot to lead free Greensource green purchasing workshop


Those working toward a more sustainable lifestyle often spend time thinking about the things they should do or should not do such as turning off the lights, recycling, composting, making sure the faucet isn’t left running or picking up litter. What is equally important, and often not discussed, is the impact of things we buy.

In this consumer-driven society, the way we spend sends a major message to manufacturers and retail outlets. Bluegrass Greensource wants that message to be, “I support sustainable, responsible practices.”

To that end, BG and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government launched the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge and are now offering a free green purchasing workshop for Lexington professionals.

The lunch-and-learn event is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 12-2 p.m. at the Barrel House in Lexington. The Barrel House is located at 903 Manchester St. in Suite 150.

“Every person can do their part to green the supply chain, but sustainable purchasing is even more important in the workplace,” reads a BG news release, “where major accounts and large quantities carry more weight with suppliers.”

The workshop will be led by Office Depot, an “industry sustainability leader,” as identified by Greensource. The event is intended to give Lexington’s business community an overview of green purchasing past and present and its benefits, such as saving money. Product samples from sustainable vendors will be available, and there will be tips to get any organization “moving in the right direction.”

The free workshop is open to anyone representing a Lexington business, but is ideal, say organizers, for purchasing managers and green team members of businesses from office supplies to appliances to cleaners. To register, click here. For more information about Bluegrass Greensource, click here.

This article appeared in KY Forward on November 6, 2014.


Ready, set, go with the 2015 LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge

Lexington professionals, listen up: if you’re interested in becoming more sustainable, you love saving money on your utility bills, and you have a little bit of a competitive streak, this one’s for you! The 2015 LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge is now underway, and it’s anyone’s game to win.

The launch party is tonight, Oct. 2, at the Carnegie Center for Literacy in Lexington from 5-7 p.m. Join us to represent your business and find out more about the challenge. You’ll also have a chance to meet our partners, network with peers, register to compete if you haven’t already, and enjoy light refreshments.

The challenge is a sustainability competition for Lexington’s business community. It uses practical activities – from energy conservation to transportation, and everything in between – to help you set and achieve your sustainability goals and have a little fun while you do it.

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re already as green as can be, the challenge has something to offer your business – it provides structure and direction, lets you brag on the things you’re already doing, and encourages you to keep improving all year long. And with more than 100 activities to choose from, it’s flexible enough to meet any organization’s needs and budget.

The challenge is free and available to any Lexington business or organization, and it comes with plenty of perks, thanks to support from Elite Partners Office Depot, Graybar, and Klausing Group.

Challenge participants can take advantage of free energy and lighting assessments, free landscaping assessments, free waste audits, and exclusive training opportunities on topics ranging from green purchasing to water quality best management practices.

Head over to to find out more about this great opportunity and register while you’re there. Competition runs through June 30, and registration is open until Feb. 1. If you sign up early, you’ve got more time to earn those points.

1 bethBeth Oleson is an outreach specialist for Bluegrass Greensource, working primarily with Lexington businesses to help build a more sustainable community. A Lexington native, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marine science and environmental studies from the University of South Carolina before returning home to the Bluegrass to pursue non-profit work. When she’s not busy with Greensource, Beth’s other passion is animal rescue and welfare.

This article appeared in KY Forward on October 3, 2014.


Take the Challenge: Competition Opens October 1

GBC Logo

Lexington’s business community is invited to participate in a new-and-improved sustainability competition starting October 1: the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge!  Formerly the LiveGreenLexington Games, the Challenge offers a structured – and fun – way for Lexington businesses to earn recognition for their sustainability initiatives, set and work toward efficiency goals, and take advantage of a broad range of trainings, resources, and services along the way.  Whether your business is already one of Lexington’s sustainability leaders, or you’re just getting started, the Challenge has something for you.

One of the big changes coming in this year’s Challenge is its new format: competition is activity-based, and all online at  Powered by Green Per Square Foot, the Challenge website is more than just a way to earn points; GreenPSF also assists businesses in tracking their utility usage, finding financial incentives, and locating outside resources to help make their sustainability goals a reality.

Another exciting perk for 2015 Challenge participants is the opportunity to take advantage of exclusive resources and services, thanks to support from partner organizations Office Depot, Graybar, Klausing Group, and Bluegrass Greensource.  Office Depot will be offering a workshop on green purchasing; Graybar is offering comprehensive lighting and energy assessments; Klausing Group is offering consultation on green landscaping; and Bluegrass Greensource is offering waste audits, staff training, and printed materials.  The best part?  It’s all free for Challenge participants.  Even if you’re not in it to win it, you don’t want to miss out on these great events and services.

Lexington’s business community is diverse – from mom-and-pop to large-scale industrial operations – but the Challenge is flexible enough to work for any organization of any size.  The 9-month competition period running from October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 allows participants plenty of time to complete activities on their own schedule.  Participants can peruse over 100 activities, and choose the ones that suit their needs – as many or as few as they prefer.  And if your business is already green, never fear: many of the activities can be completed retroactively, so you’ll get credit for the things you’re already doing.

Registration is open now at  Sign up before competition opens on October 1 and you’ll hit the ground running with 50 points from the Earlybird Bonus activity!  Any and all Lexington businesses and organizations are welcome to compete.

Whether you’ve already signed up or just want to learn more, please join LFUCG and Bluegrass Greensource as we launch the 2015 Challenge on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 5-7pm at the Carnegie Center.  The launch will feature a welcome from the city, words of wisdom and inspiration from Challenge partners Office Depot, Graybar, and Klausing Group, Challenge Q&A, registration stations, and plenty of time to network with your peers – it’s a friendly competition, after all!

Register Now!

Questions?  Contact program administrator Beth Oleson.


2015 Green Business Challenge: Registration Walkthrough

Need help enrolling in the 2015 Challenge?  We’ve got you covered.  If you need additional assistance, or are encountering an errors with the Challenge website or registration process, contact us and we’ll do our best to get it worked out.

Jump To:

Create an account with GreenPSF
Property or Space?
Add your business to the GreenPSF database
Enroll in the Challenge
Navigate the activities index

1. Head to the Challenge page: Feel free to browse; when you’re ready to create an account, the link is in the upper right corner.

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2. Select “Property User” to compete in the Challenge; if your business is a contractor or other service provider you may wish to enroll as a “Solutions Provider” with GreenPSF at a later date.

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3.  Enter general information to create your account; ideally, the contact person listed should be someone actively involved in your business’s sustainability initiatives.

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4.  Select either property or space: If your business owns its facility/space, select property; if you rent your facility/space, select space.  The activity tracks for owners and renters are slightly different.

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5.  Your property (or property and space) will need to be in the GreenPSF database in order to compete.  Try searching for your address first; it may already exist in the database.  If not, click “Add New Property & Space.”

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6.  Fill in all relevant information for your property, or for your property and space if you rent – see below.  Renters: Property information refers to the building in which you are located (in this example, a shopping center called “Fictional Plaza”), and space information refers to the space specific to your business (“Suite 555”).  Add a photo of your business if you like, then click “Save & Continue.”

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7.  Once your property/space is added, you have two options: Complete your profile, or go to the Dashboard.  To enroll in the Challenge, click “Go to the Dashboard.”  If you opt to complete your profile, GreenPSF will walk you through a series of questions about your property/space; you can finish this all at once, complete it partially and come back at a later date, or skip it entirely.  It will remain an option throughout the Challenge.

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8.  Welcome to your GreenPSF dashboard!  From here, you can access your space/property profile, view financial incentives, sync your Portfolio Manager account, see suggested ways to save, and get to the Green Business Challenge.  You can add multiple spaces and/or properties to the same account if you so desire; each space or property can compete in the Challenge independently.  But to do that, you’ll need to enroll in the Challenge.

Click “Challenges” on the left side menu bar.

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9.  You should see both the DC Smarter Business Challenge (a national competition) and the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge.  Click “Join the Challenge.”

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10.  Congratulations!  You are now enrolled in the Challenge.  Click “Get More Points” to access the activities index and start racking up points!  You will be able to view full activity details and begin completing activities on October 1, 2014.  From this page, you can also view the leaderboard and see where your business stands.

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11.  The activities index is sortable by category (drop down menu on the upper right), or by status (open vs. completed).

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That’s it!  You’re registered with GreenPSF, enrolled in the Challenge, and ready to compete.  Get your green on, Lexington!


Does your business measure up? Find out with Green Business challenge

Being sustainable at home? Piece of cake. Being sustainable at work? A little tougher.

When your coworkers are all using energy, running water, printing documents, commuting to work and using (or not using) the recycling bins, it’s easy for your workplace’s environmental footprint to get big in a hurry. That’s where the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge comes in: it’s designed to help Lexington’s business community be a sustainable one.

Since 2011, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Bluegrass Greensource have teamed up to host an annual, friendly competition for Lexington businesses, formerly known as the LiveGreenLexington Games. This year, Lexington has the distinction of being one of only four cities nationwide to receive grant funding from the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives to expand and improve that competition.
And expand and improve it we have.

The challenge is designed to engage participants from start to finish, keeping them actively improving their energy and water efficiency and reducing their waste production throughout the nine-month competition. Participants complete activities to earn points and move up the leader board.

With more than 100 activities to choose from, from “Form a green team” to “Earn LEED certification for your facility,” there are opportunities for any organization of any size to compete. We know sustainability for sustainability’s sake isn’t every company’s cup of tea; but even if going green isn’t a top priority in your workplace, the challenge is still a great opportunity to save some green – those shrinking utility bills look pretty good from where we’re standing.

Challenge participants don’t have to walk the road to sustainability alone. With the support of partner organizations Green Per Square Foot, Office Depot, and Graybar, the 2015 challenge offers more trainings, workshops, and services than ever before. The challenge is all online and powered by Green Per Square Foot, which also helps businesses track their energy consumption, bid out facility improvement projects, and find financial incentives. Energy and lighting assessments, waste audits, and much more will be available free of charge during the challenge period. Additionally, nearly all activities come with a host of resources to help participants achieve their goals.

Want to take the challenge? Here’s what you need to know:

‣ Any Lexington business or organization can compete – not just LiveGreenLexington Partners, as in the past (although we hope you’ll become a partner if you decide to compete).
‣ It’s free! Just go to to sign up and get started.
‣ Registration is open now. Sign up before Oct. 1 and start off the challenge with 50 bonus points for being an early-bird.
‣ Competition runs from Oct. 1 through June 30, 2014, with an awards ceremony in July 2015.
‣ The challenge is whatever you want it to be: you choose which activities to pursue, you work on your own timeline, you tailor it to fit your business and your needs.

Whether you’re ready to drop everything and sign up now, or you want to find out a little bit more about the challenge, join us on Oct. 2 from 5-7 p.m. at the Carnegie Center in downtown Lexington and represent your workplace at the official 2015 Green Business Challenge launch. We’ll be kicking off the challenge in style – and there will be plenty of time to network and share ideas with your peers. It’s a friendly competition, after all.

1 beth

Beth Oleson is an outreach specialist for Bluegrass Greensource, working primarily with Lexington businesses to help build a more sustainable community. A Lexington native, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marine science and environmental studies from the University of South Carolina before returning home to the Bluegrass to pursue non-profit work. When she’s not busy with Greensource, Beth’s other passion is animal rescue and welfare.

This article appeared in KY Forward on August 21, 2014.


Congratulations to the 2014 LiveGreenLexington Games winners

In an awards ceremony held on July 31st, the winners of the 2014 LiveGreenLexington Games were recognized by Bluegrass Greensource, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and their peers.  Since 2011, the Games have challenged Lexington businesses to see how green they can go; our 2014 competitors did just that, and we’re excited to share some of their accomplishments with you.

3M Ceradyne - overall winner

Overall Winner: 3M Ceradyne

3M Ceradyne earned the most points across all three categories – Energy Conservation, Waste Reduction, and Water Stewardship – making them the overall winner of the 2014 Games.  Their active Green Team keeps up with sustainability initiatives indoors and out; Ceradyne maintains a robust recycling program that extends beyond regular city pick-up, composts yard waste and uses biodegradable packing materials, and takes extra steps to ensure that their facility is energy efficient year-round.  Keep up the good work!

Energy Conservation Winner: Good Foods Co-op

Good Foods takes energy efficiency seriously, and their energy team is always busy looking for new ways to conserve!  Their building and appliances are Energy Star certified, and lighting controls in the café and market help them go dark when spaces aren’t in use.  And the Good Foods staff members do their part, too; everyone works together to make sure lights are off and equipment is shut down when not in use.

Waste Reduction Winner: Dupree Catering + Events

Dupree has made waste reduction an important part of the way they do business and their dedication has really paid off.  They have reduced their landfill-bound waste stream by 85% through a combination of composting, recycling, and use of compostable flatware, and they keep those numbers up by incorporating their green initiatives into the training of every new employee.

Water Stewardship Winner: Kentucky American Water

Kentucky American doesn’t just provide clean water to the city; they do their part to conserve and protect it, too!  Their low-flow fixtures and responsible landscaping practices keep their water consumption low, and by reducing chemical use and educating both their staff and the public on storm drain and litter issues, they’re making a positive impact on water quality as well.

Stewardship Accolade: Bullhorn Creative

Bullhorn’s impressive résumé of sustainability initiatives benefit both their staff and their community.  They compost with Seedleaf, provide bicycles for employees to ride to work, and dedicate their time and effort to partnering with other like-minded organizations to make an impact on the community at large.  100% of Bullhorn employees participated in the 2014 Downtown Trash Bash; they spend time every month working in a Seedleaf community garden; and they’re currently working with NoLi CDC on a grant that implements urban forestry and runoff abatement projects to improve storm water quality.

Education Accolade: Employment Solutions

Employment Solutions trains and educates adults with developmental disabilities to prepare them for the workforce – and they go above and beyond the call of duty to teach the value of growing and preparing food and cutting wasteful habits.  Employment Solutions staff and students have turned what was once a parking lot into a vibrant and productive garden; every individual learns to plant, tend, and harvest, and prepare their own produce and flowers, as well as care for chickens.  They have also eliminated disposable dishware from their kitchens and compost all of their food scraps to help nourish their garden.

Innovation Accolade: Bluegrass Technology Center

Bluegrass Technology Center’s Assistive Technology ReUse Program keeps waste out of the landfill by redistributing medical and technological devices that would otherwise be discarded.  BTC refurbishes computers, home medical equipment, and assistive devices for individuals with vision, hearing, mobility, and learning challenges; they then supply those items to individuals in need.

Special thanks to Blue Stallion Brewing – another one of our LiveGreenLexington Partners – for hosting the 2014 Games Awards Ceremony; and special thanks to all of our 2014 Games participants for your commitment to a more sustainable Lexington!  We hope you’ll all be back for another round of friendly competition in the 2015 LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge, launching soon.  To find out more about what’s new this year and how your workplace can get involved, go to