The Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitment to support Victorian businesses to go green.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith said the $5 million Backing Green Business Plan will provide families with the confidence to purchase goods and services that are produced in a way that is sustainable.
"The Coalition Government will provide funding and support to establish a voluntary green tick accreditation program for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Victoria," Mr Smith said.
"An independent sustainability performance standard, developed by industry and environmental groups, will provide SMEs with an incentive to shift to greener practice and increase consumer confidence, certainty and choice.
"This program will provide Victorian consumers and businesses with the option of purchasing goods and services from businesses that are recognised as implementing sustainable practices. Businesses that improve their environmental credentials and gain independent accreditation will have a significant competitive advantage.
"Under our program, independently accredited Victorian businesses will be recognised as operating with best practices in environmental and sustainable practices, and will see cost savings through improved use of resources and energy, water and waste efficiency," Mr Smith said.
Sustainability standards will be based on criteria such as energy and water use; emissions generation; use of cleaning products and chemicals; paper, cardboards and packaging consumption; and waste management and disposal methods.
Businesses that apply for green tick certification will be regularly audited to ensure they continue to meet agreed accreditation standards.
While there are green accreditation schemes operating within certain industries, the Coalition's scheme will be available to all Victorian businesses and will welcome existing scheme members to participate.
"The Coalition Government supports and encourages Victorian businesses to seek recognition as leaders in environmental sustainability, and restore the trust of Victorian consumers," Mr Smith said.