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Small Business of the Year Award Winners
Recognizes California small businesses that demonstrate exceptional climate change management practices and communication.
Arkin Tilt Architects, Berkeley • Employees: 9
This northern California firm designs alternative construction systems -- strawbale, rammed earth, renewable energy systems and gray water. The firm uses non-toxic and recycled materials and replaced their computer servers with energyefficient systems that reduced carbon emissions by 5,000 lbs/year. Twice per year, they change the angle on their photovoltaic panels to provide both passive solar heating and cooling, as well as increased electricity output by 5 to 10%. In addition to their electric and biodiesel cars, they converted an AWD Audi to run on E85 ethanol. The company adheres to the Architecture2030.org challenge for their designs that sets greenhouse gas reduction targets for new and existing building construction. They received the Acterra Business Award for the Sustainable Built Environment and two AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Project Awards.
ATDynamics, San Francisco • Employees: 15
This clean-tech company designs and delivers fuel-saving aerodynamics technology for the freight and transportation industry. After collaboration with a team from the Presidio School of Management to minimize the environmental impact of their operations, the company took several actions. As a result, they build products from recycled materials; recycle their scrap materials; offer customers an incentive program to reuse and recycle products at the end of useful life; use electronic systems for communications, invoices and purchase orders; support telecommuting and their employees’ use of alternative transportation; buy their furniture from scrapwood, prototype materials or from second-hand stores; and, use energy-saving laptops. Using the CoolCalifornia.org calculator, the company estimated a reduction of nearly 20 tons of CO2 emissions annually from their green operations. In addition, they’ve calculated that the commercial use of their TrailerTail product has reduced 2,200 metric tons of CO2 with a total annual savings of $200,000 in diesel in 2010.
Dixon Ridge Farms, Winters • Employees: 36
This family owned and operated farm and processing operation grows organic walnuts on over 500 acres, and buys about 2,500 more acres of organic walnut production from 67 growers. As the largest handler of organic walnuts in the country, the company engages in a sustainable, whole systems approach to organic farming and business. They replaced their ag pump with a high-efficiency electric motor and variable speed controller; installed variable speed drives on condenser units to slow the motors down during periods of less than 100% load; and, upgraded the wall and roof insulation in a 6,000 square foot freezer that will pay for itself in 4 years due to energy reduction. They retrofitted 150 400-watt, metal halide fixtures with 6-lamp high bay fluorescent fixtures that use about 221 watts. Additionally, the company set a goal of zero waste by 2014.
Hero Arts, Richmond • Employees: 65
This business designs and manufactures decorative stamps and stamping supplies for the craft, scrapbooking, and cardmaking markets. The company uses a 68-kW solar array that produced 60-kWh for their Oakland facility in 2010. They established a “Sustainability Team” in 2010 that works on sustainability issues, planning, continued improvements, and educating their employees. The firm stopped using an electric heating system in 2010 when they installed two, gas-heat blowers that use only 20% of the energy previously supplied by electric heaters.
They installed sensors to turn off lighting when not in use, eliminated all toxins, chemicals, and solvents in their manufacturing processes, and have a 70% recycle rate. They use wood from Forest Steward Council (FSC)-certified, sustainably managed forests. Overall, they reduced their CO2 emissions by approximately 240 tons and electricity usage by 15% in 2010, saving the company $6,000.
Orchard Hotel, San Francisco • Employees: 78
This business runs two LEED certified green hotels in the heart of downtown San Francisco. They installed new efficient hot water storage tanks, actuators, thermometers and pressure gauges; placed LED bulbs in every guest room; and, installed flow restrictors and aerators in guest bathrooms. The company purchased ENERGY STAR appliances, FSC-certified wood furniture and recycled products, and uses low or no-VOC paints, adhesives and sealants. They limit their food and beverage menu to items produced within a 100 mile radius. They implemented a strict recycling and composting program throughout the hotel from housekeeping to the kitchen, and offer the option to guests to participate in their re-use program for towels and bed linens. For alternative transportation, the company encourages their employees to use commuter checks – a pre-tax benefit that lowers commuting costs, and Zipcars – employees can sign up for a Zipcar with no application fee and reduced annual fee and rates. It pays to be energy efficient! During 2001 and 2002, nearly one-third of California businesses cut overall energy use by at least 20%, saving California companies millions of dollars. Over the next decade, California could realistically and cost-effectively reduce its peak electricity needs by 5,900 Megawatts (MW), saving businesses and residents an estimated $12 billion.
Climate Leader Award Winners
Recognizes California small businesses that have taken proactive steps to reduce their impact on our climate and communicate this information to their employees and customers.
Chavez Trucking, Dixon • Employees: 58
A construction materials hauling company that replaced 16 old trucks with new trucks through the Sacramento Emergency Clean Air Transportation program (SECAT) and trained drivers on fuel-saving driving techniques for a savings of $80,640/year in fuel costs.
Citadel Environmental Services, Inc., Glendale • Employees: 39
An environmental consulting firm that integrates sustainable practices in daily operations and installed waterless urinals, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and toilets, and high-efficiency HVAC units.
Community Business College, Modesto • Employees: 8
A private, postsecondary vocational institution of higher learning that adopted energy-saving and waste reduction practices such as a recycling program that reduced waste going to the landfill by more than 11%.
Conejo Awards, Thousand Oaks • Employees: 7
An award and promotional products company that modified their operations by shutting down equipment at the end of the day, purchased refillable, bulk-ink cartridges, and converted to 100% e-invoicing.
Domus Development, LLC, San Francisco • Employees: 9
A real estate development and property management company that specializes in building sustainable urban infill projects. They installed solar panels that meet 100% of their energy needs, reducing their tenants’ energy bill to zero.
Green11, San Francisco • Employees: 3
A non-traditional, closed-loop retail store that purchases products in bulk from the manufacturer (sans packaging) and gives consumers the option to bring in their own container. By eliminating packaging, they reduced their costs and passed the savings to their consumers.
Greenshops, Bakersfield • Employees: 2
Sells eco-friendly, sustainably-manufactured products. The company created their “We love our ugly boxes” campaign so customers re-use boxes cutting the need to purchase them, and uses 100% recycled-content gift wrapping materials and bags.
Lafitte Cork and Capsule, Napa • Employees: 16
A supplier of premium cork selling their product to wineries across North America. The company installed energy-efficient lighting and ENERGY STAR appliances. They are a two-time Small Business Awards winner!
Light & Motion Industries, Monterey • Employees: 40
A manufacturing firm that adopted sustainability practices, using recycled paper and non/low toxic biodegradable products. In 2010, they recycled 6,040 lbs. of aluminum.
NortonsCleaners, Inc., Placentia • Employees: 11
A green dry cleaner and laundry facility that converted to a wet cleaning system, insulated their steam pipes and installed energy-efficient lighting.
Outer Aisle Foods, Murphys • Employees: 2
Operates a Community Supported Agriculture program and provides members with local, organic and sustainably harvested products. The company installed solar panels and reduced water use via a drip system at their organic farm.
Paragon Label & Mrs. Grossman’s, Petaluma • Employees: 29
A full-service, pressure sensitive label company replaced all air compressors with energy-efficient compressors. All waste water-based inks are sent to a recycler and turned into fuel blends.
Quivira Vineyards and Winery, Healdsburg • Employees: 25
An environmentally conscious winegrowing and winemaking company has been a certified organic winery since 2005. They use a steam cleaning machine to significantly reduce water and detergent use. The company also installed solar panels.
Royal Hawaiian Honey, Oakland • Employees: 2
A 100% certified carbon-free, organic honey producer that measures their carbon emissions generated from their operations. Once measured, the company offsets their carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.
Silverado Brewing Company, St. Helena • Employees: 34
This full service restaurant and micro-brewery serves local organic and sustainably produced food. The company replaced their lamps with energy-efficient lighting, insulated hot water pipes, increased recycling and purchased less toxic cleaning solvents.
Synergy Solar & Electrical Systems, Inc., Sebastopol • Employees: 6
Designs and installs solar photovoltaic and energy-efficient relighting. The company replaced their water heater with a new on-demand gas water heater and installed dual pane windows.
Three Squares, Inc., Santa Monica • Employees: 3
An environmental consulting firm and green event producer that adopted sustainability practices such as recycling, purchasing EPEAT Gold (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) certified computers and non-toxic cleaning products.
Zan Media, Novato • Employees: 3
A digital video production company that implemented energy-efficient practices and educates the community on ways to foster sustainability.
Acknowledges the following California small businesses that have taken steps to make their operations more sustainable.