What is the Better Business Challenge?

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A friendly competition

The Better Business Challenge is a friendly competition aimed at helping businesses achieve cost savings through energy efficiency and other “Challenge Scorecard” actions while making a positive impact on the community!

Based on smart investments

Whether you’ve long been a savvy player in the green business game or are just warming up, the Better Business Challenge is your entry point to a network of Charlottesville businesses who come together to learn innovative ways to set and achieve efficiency goals tailored to your business!  Players receive an onsite visit, lunch n' learn trainings on cutting edge solutions, positive publicity, and community-wide recognition for these efforts. 

That yields powerful results

During the 2013-2014 round of the Better Business Challenge, 78 businesses joined. Small homegrown businesses like Albemarle Baking Company and Beer Run; national brands like Whole Foods and Plow and Hearth Corporation; and local schools and churches saw the following success:

  • 78 businesses
  • 450 actions
  • $185,000 saved per year moving forward
  • Reducing CO2 by 1,823 tons – taking 4,270 cars off the road


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At the heart of the Challenge is a Scorecard that helps you:

• Take stock of your current operations (“Ready”)
• Set goals for improvements and success (“Set”)
• Take credit for those actions as they are implemented (“Go”)

Every business who registers is empowered with the resources needed to compete: site visits, "coaching," extensive business resource lists, online benchmarking tools, case studies, training sessions, and avenues for networking and collaboration. Entry fee is modest.

The 2018 Playing Field

It's Your Turn

2018 will focus primarily on Energy. Businesses rack up as many points as they can in a 9-month period to see who will rise to the top.  Any Charlottesville or Albemarle County business, restaurant, school, congregation, retail, office or non-profit can join.

Make the Highlight Reel

All businesses who participate will be recognized and a review team of area leaders will award the top scorers in small, medium, and large businesses, as well as “biggest loser,” top innovator, runners up, and green champion. At the conclusion of the Challenge we will host an awards ceremony where the winners will be honored.

Last round businesses earned plenty of positive publicity – 33 TV, radio and print coverage and over 300 shout outs. Businesses that have already taken strides on the sustainability front or have unique perspectives to share will be invited to speak at Challenge trainings and networking events.

I can honestly say that the Challenge pushed us into areas of improvement that we wouldn’t otherwise have gotten to.
— Gary O'Connell, Albemarle County Service Authority

Get in the Game!

Local businesses of all shapes and sizes are invited to compete in the Better Business Challenge, which will open in Spring of 2018.

For more information or to get involved, please email cvillebizchallenge@gmail.com and sign up below to receive email updates on when the Challenge will launch.