Business happy going green

Wendy Foulks understands why some businesses resist going green. The practice is still novel, and companies worry the cost will be too much and the results too small.

Foulks, who helps operate Premier Finishing in Stockton, says businesses shouldn't be afraid. The first business to be certified green by Stockton's new Green Team San Joaquin, Premier Finishing, which applies a variety of coatings to products, has recouped its costs through reduced energy bills in only three years.

"It's been fantastic," said Foulks. "It was the best thing we could have done."

She said businesses can tailor their upgrades according to their budgets, so they don't have to bust the bank to start on the road to sustainability. Many of the upgrades come at no or little cost.

Premier's biggest results came from changing out lighting. It cost $16,000 over two years to replace all the lights in the 50,000-square-foot plant, but the savings was so significant that the expenditures were recouped in less than a year.

The biggest expense was $300,000 for a cool roof, but a tax rebate partially offset that. Now, the 110 employees work in a much more comfortable environment, she said.

Green Team San Joaquin works under the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.