On September 9, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors honored twelve local organizations for their exceptional sustainable business practices. Each winner received a resolution and posed for photos with members of the Board of Supervisors. The Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC) will further celebrate the winners at the Sustainable Business Awards event on September 18, 2014. The awards ceremony will feature keynote speaker Wade Crowfoot, Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor, Office of California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. The event is open to the public and registration is free.
Presented by BERC, the Sustainable Business Awards recognize organizations that take a proactive approach to environmental stewardship beyond compliance and stand out as models for the community. The awards are part of BERC’s Sustainable Business Program, the region’s benchmark for achieving sustainable practices. Since its start in 2007, the program has certified more than 500 businesses and organizations.
This year’s winners employed ingenuity and innovation to reduce energy consumption and water use, improve air quality, convert waste products into fuel, and much more. For example, Spot-On Signs & Graphics uses PVC-free vinyl and recycles nearly all their materials in-house from plastics to metals. The Special Waste Collection Center in Elk Grove is a LEED Gold Certified building designed to take advantage of the wind direction to lessen the need for ventilation, heating and cooling. The majority of lighting in the facility comes from skylights and solar tubes. Thai Basil restaurant offers returnable and reusable to-go boxes, and they deliver to-go orders on bicycles.
Each organization’s efforts demonstrate that sustainable practices are both good for the environment and good for business. Following is a complete list of the winners and their award winning projects or programs.
Energy Conservation: Small Business
Capitol Energy Systems developed a low cost Energy Management System that utilizes a school districts existing wireless infrastructure. It has already saved 15,000kw of energy which is equivalent to removing a passenger vehicle that drives 24,627 miles/year from the road.
Energy Conservation: Large Business
General Truss Company manufactures roof and floor trusses for every size project from garage packages to multi-family apartments. Their facility is solar powered, they donate wood shavings to other organizations for composting and animal bedding and they have a robust recycling program.
Green Building: Small Business
Casa Bella Verde, a resort, uses insulating concrete forms instead of wood-frame construction to maximize energy efficiency. The home uses geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floor technology and separate water systems for gray water and rainwater collection.
Green Building: Large Organization
The Special Waste Collection Center in Elk Grove is LEED Gold Certified. It was constructed with recycled materials, uses solar panels for energy supplementation and features a drought-friendly landscape design.
Pollution Prevention: Small Business
Spot-On Signs & Graphics uses an ENERGY STAR HP l25500 printer that utilizes latex based inks and they installed high efficiency fluorescent lighting while also taking advantage of natural light.
Pollution Prevention: Small Organization
California Product Stewardship Council is promoting the benefits of Pharmaceutical Stewardship and has implemented the “Don’t Rush to Flush”, a shared responsibility medication take-back program in Sacramento County that includes bins hosted by Sac State and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Solid Waste Reduction: Small Business
Thai Basil composts leftover food in the back of their restaurant. They use the compost in their own garden to grow basil and other herbs used in their meals.
Solid Waste Reduction: Large Business
Republic Services is a solid waste hauler. The company receives food scraps from participating restaurants in downtown Sacramento. They take the food scraps to the CleanWorld bio-digester, which breaks the food scraps down and creates usable natural gas, which is then used to fuel Republic’s fleet of compressed natural gas trucks.
Transportation & Air Quality: Large Organization
CleanWorld converts more than 10,000 tons of organic waste per year collected from food processing companies, restaurants and supermarkets into renewable natural gas, electricity and heat, as well as fertilizer and high-quality soil amendments.
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District has replaced ambulances with newer models that use diesel exhaust fluid to reduce emissions and particulate matter. The District overhauled the lighting and HVAC systems in its fleet and logistics buildings with LED bulbs and also eliminated the use two 900 BTU boilers.
Water Conservation: Small Business
Sacramento Laundry Company upgraded their washer to the new Milnor PulseFlow CBW. It uses 0.45 gallons of water per pound of linen compared to older machines that use 3 gallons of water per pound. The machine also uses 35% less gas and uses 42% less energy to run.
Water Conservation: Large Business
Quick Quack Car Wash is the first local area car wash to be certified by the Sustainable Business program. Quick Quack reclaims up to 85% of water at every facility. They use as little as 8 gallons of fresh water per car, as opposed to the 150 gallons used to wash a car in a home driveway.