Green Success Stories

Emerald Packaging is one of the largest flexible packaging manufacturers on the West Coast and one of the biggest suppliers of produce packaging in the country.  The 175 employees of Emerald Packaging have developed a robust "green" culture encompassing waste reduction, packaging redesign and waste prevention. Emerald Packaging began their go-green journey with close scrutiny of their internal waste stream, and now they recycle 900 tons of plastic a year. Along with other recycling efforts, this translates to an impressive landfill diversion rate of 70% of the company's waste.

Emerald Packaging also takes the lead in sustainability by actively engaging their clients to collaborate on packaging designs that are more efficient, biodegradable or both. In addition to their recycling and redesign initiatives, Emerald Packaging prevents waste before it needs to be recycled. Their durable plastic core program leveraged a StopWaste Partnership Mini-Grant to purchase reusable plastic cores. These cores last through hundreds of reuses, replacing cardboard cores that were only used twice. Their adoption of more efficient reusable materials saves Emerald Packaging $20,000 dollars a year by preventing 50,000 pounds of cardboard.

If your company is interested in free StopWaste Partnership Mini-Grant funding, click here or contact us at Partnership@StopWaste.Org.

Trailblazin' American Recyclin'See how Jatco Incorporated, a local business has established an extremely successful Recycling Program. Jatco Incorporated has set the precedence amongst local businesses in Union City when it comes to recycling, not only does the community benefit from their efforts, their employees also reap the rewards! Doing the right thing doesn't always come easy, but the pay off can be well worth the effort.....Click here for full article.

Recent Union City Green Businesses to be Honored - La Terra Fina and Emerald Packaging Win StopWaste Awards

Two Union City companies – La Terra Fina and Emerald Packaging – are among twelve Alameda County firms honored with the 2009 StopWaste Partnership Business Efficiency Awards for outstanding achievements in enhanced operational efficiency, environmental performance and waste reduction.

La Terra Fina’s 80 employees produce high quality quiches and dips for the restaurant industry. The company found a way to prevent waste by switching to reusable metal bins in the production process. Off-spec food and food waste is collected for composting, and mixed paper, cardboard, plastic drums, bottles, and cans are collected for recycling. All of these measures keep over 276 tons of waste out of the landfill each year. In addition, by changing freezer compressor settings the company has significantly reduced electricity use. La Terra Fina was honored with a StopWaste Partnership Business Efficiency Award.

Emerald Packaging is one of the largest flexible packaging manufacturers on the West Coast and one of the biggest suppliers of produce packaging in the country. The Union City based company has 175 employees. Staff prevents waste by switching from disposable to reusable cores for rolls of plastic film in the manufacturing process. Last year the company recycled 900 tons of plastic and diverted 70% of the company’s waste. They are also working with their clients to design packaging that is less wasteful and biodegradable. Emerald Packaging received an Honorable Mention.

For more information about the StopWaste Partnership and the awards program visit







Union City Chamber of Commerce Green Business Program

The Union City Chamber of Commerce "Save Green by Going Green" program is a collaborative effort between private business, government, economic development professionals, organizations serving Alameda County, and the Tri-City area communities. Our program is to enhance the delivery of Chamber services and to address environmental and economic development issues in Union City.

Click here to view Green Business Resource Guide

Resources to Green Your Business

Green business is becoming business as usual in Union City. Operating your company efficiently saves money, period. Whether you call it clean, lean or green, efficient business practices keep your company current, competitive, and in environmental compliance. Business practices that save waste and resources also improve employee morale, meet community and customer expectations, and increase your chances of attracting positive press coverage. Smart businesses in Union City know that green business is good business.

The green business information below is provided to get you started. You'll find a short description of local business programs and links to more information. Use this information as a checklist, or pick the services and organizations that you're most interested in today.

Bay Area Green Business Program

The Alameda County Green Business Program provides hands-on support and recognition to local businesses that operate in an environmentally responsible way. This voluntary program helps small and medium sized busiensses conserve resources, prevent pollution, minimizing waste, and encourages businesses to comply with all environmental regulations. Visit or contact Pamela Evans at (510) 567-6770 or


StopWaste Business Partnership-The StopWaste Business Partnership helps medium and large businesses reduce and prevent waste. They provide a wide spectrum of services and free resources from recycling program consulting, coordination with your waste hauler, grant money for recycling and compost bins, and guides, posters and more. www.StopWastePartnership.Org

Download free business resources at

Email Partnership@StopWaste.Org or call (510) 891-6500 and ask for the StopWaste Business Partnership team


Union City Commercial Recycling Services - Union City Recycles is the City of Union City website featuring lots of valuable information about garbage and recycling services. Learn about City-sponsored waste reduction programs for businesses, view the complete schedule of commercial solid waste and recycling rates, or follow key links to additional green resources. To visit, go to and click on the Union City Recycles logo.

Union City recycling and compostables collection rates are discounted 75% below garbage rates. Allied Waste Services and Tri-CED Community Recycling are the city's exclusive franchised haulers. Allied provides bins and boxes and Tri-CED services carts.


 Allied Waste Services

 Compostables: Plant Debris & Business Food Scrap Collection


Buy Green Products - Protect the health of staff, customers and community by purchasing environmentally preferable products (EPP). Consider product attributes such as durability, recycled content, efficient use of packaging materials, toxicity and more. Local agency StopWaste.Org has free EPP guides and factsheets available on topics such as janitorial products, paper and non-paper products, remanufactured toner cartridges, rechargeable batteries, biofuels and compostable bioplastic products. Visit www.StopWaste.Org/EPP or email Partnership@StopWaste.Org


Small Business Hazardous Waste - Looking for a way to safely dispose of hazardous materials at reasonable, affordable rates? Businesses that qualify as small quantity generators can dispose of hazardous materials safely, conveniently, and in ways that protect our environment. Learn more and get started at


Business Energy Efficiency - Pacific Gas & Electric Company provides energy conservation tips, complete lists of energy efficiency rebates currently available, financing assistance, solar and self-generation information, and free online and on-site assistance to help reduce energy bills. Visit these pages for more information:

To contact PG&E’s commercial customer service center call 1-800-468-4743 or email PG&E via the online form at

Union City is a California FIRST Community, where property owners may pay back the cost of energy improvements over time, rather than a single up-front cost. Commercial and residential property owners may receive financing based on the value of the property and their timely payment of property taxes, rather than a personal credit score. Find out more at

Have questions regarding the State's energy programs? Contact California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Representative Zenaida Tapawan-Conway at 415-703-2624 or


Commercial Water Conservation-The Alameda County Water District (ACWD) offers businesses in its service area free water conservation resources and cash rebates for purchasing water efficient fixtures. (Funding is limited.) Find out more at or call ACWD's

Water Conservation Department at (510) 668-4207.

Commercial Green Building-The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Northern California Chapter is the on-the-ground force for green building and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system in Alameda County. The USGBC provides LEED workshops as well as green building tours, networking and educational events. LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building performs across all the metrics of energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.


Bay-Friendly Landscaping-Bay-Friendly Landscaping is a whole systems approach to the design, construction and maintenance of the landscape in order to support the integrity of the San Francisco Bay watershed. Bay-Friendly landscape professionals can be a part of the environmental solution, while having a competitive edge in the marketplace. Companies can find certified Bay-Friendly landscaping professionals who use practices which can save money by reducing the need for irrigation, fertilizer, green waste disposal and pest control.


Public Transportation, Ride Sharing & Bicycling

Find extensive information about local public transportation including the Transit Trip Planner, RideShare Program, Bike Mapper, transit apps for the iPhone and more. Visit or dial 511 (free).


Spare the Air

Businesses can sign up with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Spare the Air Employer Program for Spare the Air advisories for days on which the Air Quality Index is forecasted to be unhealthy. This program provides employer outreach tools for spreading the word to tenants/employees.