Application Instructions and Process

Application Period Closed

The application period was from January 3, 2012 to March 16, 2012.



The CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards recognize California small businesses that reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; promote climate friendly practices; and integrate the tools on into their business operations.

The 3rd CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards will be based upon actions taken by businesses during calendar year 2011.

Award Categories

There are two award categories:

  • CoolCalifornia Small Business of the Year Award: Awarded to California small businesses that took significant actions to reduce their environmental impacts and can document measurable GHG emission reductions. The Small Business of the Year Award winners will also be able to document costs and benefits of the actions taken (energy savings and/or cost savings; investments in clean/renewable energy; major process/operational improvements; environmentally preferable product purchasing; purchases electric/hybrid vehicles).
  • CoolCalifornia Climate Leader Award: Awarded to California small businesses that were proactive in reducing their climate impacts and can describe in detail the specific actions taken (changed lighting; implemented recycling programs; purchased environmentally preferable products; increased weatherization; educated employees; customers; or the public; etc.). Potential Climate Leader Award winners will have taken actions that may not all be as substantial as those of the Business of the Year candidates, and/or they may not be as well documented or described in the application.

Award Ceremony and Reception

  • An award ceremony and reception will be held in May/June, 2012 in downtown Sacramento attended by dignitaries from ARB, the Legislature, and current and past winners.
  • A reception will be held immediately following the award ceremony. Attendance at the reception will be limited to award winners and their guests, judges or their designees, and special guests. You must have an invitation to be admitted to the reception.
  • The reception is a great opportunity to network with current and past winners, and mix and mingle with many business and government leaders involved in reducing costs and environmental impacts of doing business in California.
  • Winners will be responsible for their own lodging and transportation to and from the awards ceremony and reception.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant must not be a prior Business of the Year winner. Past Climate Leader Award winners are eligible for a Business of the Year Award.
  • Applicant must be a small business as defined by the Department of General Services.
  • Applicant must not be a franchise.
  • Applicant must not be a government entity.
  • Applicant must not be a non-profit.
  • Applicant must be in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations (e.g. air, water, waste, etc.).
  • Applicant must be in compliance with any applicable business license, permit, and certificate requirements in the State of California.
  • If the business is a corporation, it must be in good standing with the Secretary of State.
  • The completed application and all supporting documents must be received electronically or postmarked by the due date.
  • Application must be signed by the business owner or someone with signature authority.

Application Submittal

  • You can complete and submit your application electronically by clicking here.

    If you are unable to submit your application electronically, you can mail it to:

    California Air Resources Board
    Stationary Sources Division
    P.O. Box 2815
    Sacramento, CA 95812
    ATTN: Mary Farr

  • Applications and supporting materials submitted electronically must be received by March 16, 2012.
  • Applications and supporting materials submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than March 16, 2012.
  • Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail upon receipt of their application.

Supporting Documents

  • Applicants are encouraged to use the CoolCalifornia Carbon Footprint Calculator and include the results in your application. Additional credit will be given to those applications that contain evidence of the use of the calculator (e.g. initial emission data, actions taken, and reduced emission calculations).
  • Applicants are encouraged to include other types of supporting documentation along with your application, such as examples, samples, and/or copies of printed reports, utility bills (i.e. documentation of energy and/or water savings), photos, pamphlets, advertisements, videos, green business program year-end reports, awards, certificates, articles, newsletters, etc.
  • Any supporting documents that cannot be submitted electronically with the application should be sent to the address listed above. Both the application and supporting documentation submitted by mail should clearly reference each other. These documents must be postmarked no later than March 16, 2012.
  • All supporting documents submitted electronically, must be received by March 16, 2012.
  • ARB will not return any supporting documentation.


  • Only actions taken during calendar year 2011 will be scored.
  • An ARB staff evaluation team will review each application received during the application period.
  • Applications passing through the initial evaluation will be scored by a scoring team. The scoring teams will consist of one person from the public sector and one person from the private sector with business and/or energy efficiency expertise.
  • Applications will be scored on a 50-point scale according to the point value of each section identified on the application.
  • All applicants will be subject to a routine background, compliance, and environmental review of business.
  • Potential award winners may be visited on-site to verify the information received, to take pictures for publicity purposes, and to meet the business owners and employees.

Notification of Winners

  • Winners will be notified and posted on in April/May, 2012.
  • An award ceremony and reception will be held in May/June, 2012 in downtown Sacramento.