Businesses have the need and desire to increase their financial bottom line, but typically do not understand what measures they can implement to operate more sustainably and create near term and long term cost savings, increased revenue, more effective employee recruitment and retention, and increased customer loyalty.  This is especially true for small and emerging businesses that either do not have the experience, expertise, and/or resources to develop and implement sustainable operations practices.

Thus, the birth of the Hotshots Project.  With the support of a USDA Rural Development grant, young local sustainability professionals (a.k.a. Hotshots) were selected, trained and mentored, and coordinated to provide training and technical assistance to businesses interested in becoming more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and being recognized by Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling as a Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle (RRR) Business Leader and TripAdvisor as a Green Leader.  

Areas of sustainability training and assistance include purchasing and waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation, alternative fuels and transportation, community investment, social access and equity, and sustainability planning and management.

The Hotshots Project produced the following results:

  • Provided training and technical assistance to 112 business representatives from 99 businesses over 102 ninety-minute sessions and follow up communications
  • Assisted 92 businesses in passing Teton County’s sustainability survey and receiving recognition as Reduce, Recycle, Reuse Business (RRR) Business Leaders between September 2016 – June 2017 (more than doubling the number of RRR BLs)
  • Direct impact on creating and enhancing 12 Hotshot, project management, and training jobs for providing training and technical assistance for small and emerging businesses
The Hotshots Project was supported by the participation of the following organizations in Hotshot training and providing technical assistance to businesses based on the needs and interests identified during the Hotshot sessions with businesses:  Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling, Town of Jackson, Energy Conservation Works, Lower Valley Energy, Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, Slow Food of the Tetons, and Hole Food Rescue. 

Because of the success of the Hotshots Project, the Riverwind Foundation accepted an invitation by Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling to formalize a long-term working relationship to support business sustainability through the signing of a Community Partnership Agreement.  Please see the BEST Certification Program for the next Riverwind Foundation-Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling collaboration.