The daily news is full of constant and dismal descriptions of the effects of climate change on the earth. Floods inundating whole communities. Hurricanes pounding shorelines. Firestorms raging out of control. Drought and images of puckered farmland.
It’s a welcome change to learn about several green businesses awards recently distributed in honor of sustainable management plans and practices. These individuals, groups, and communities are dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthy environment through their consumer-driven practices.
Green Business Awards Recognize Commitment and Effort
These businesses and communities have demonstrated that they incorporate principles of sustainability into their business decisions. Their products or services are environmentally friendly and replace demand previously fulfilled by non-green competitors. Moreover, they have made a lasting commitment to pursue environmental principles in their business operations.
- Verona is one of seven municipalities selected for the Sustainable Jersey Solar Challenge program. As a challenge participant, Verona will receive a $3,000 grant and technical support to set up a local Solar Challenge, which is a custom online solar marketplace for local businesses and homeowners. The participating municipalities will compete for the title of Solar Challenge Champion and a range of awards including a $10,000 first prize. “Finding a contractor to install a still evolving solar technology, with a confusing array of incentives and financing options, has emerged as a significant barrier to the growth of solar energy,” Randall Solomon, co-director of Sustainable Jersey, said, “Sustainable Jersey launched this program to overcome obstacles and provide a simple, cost effective way for municipalities to engage homeowners and small businesses in adopting solar.”
- TOF Tigers Wildlife Tourism Awards 2016 honor individuals working to restore the green cover of India and Nepal in multiple ways. The awards offer both monetary benefits and equipment to be used in tiger conservation or services. “For forests to flourish we need communities support and people visiting wildlife areas. Never can this be achieved by foresters and government officials alone. That is why TOFTigers is a unique initiative and a step forward,” said Kant, who is also the creator of the “Incredible India” campaign.
- Savannah-based Green Badger has been selected as the winner of the Urban Clean Energy Prize by Tumml, a program that provides resources to early stage, urban-focused startups. Green Badger, a subscription-based app, aims to streamline and automate construction for environmentally friendly building projects by instantly verifying LEED-certified materials. This eliminates the need for paperwork and cumbersome data bases. As a winner, Green Badger will receive a $15,000 grant, hands-on consulting services, mentorship from the Tumml team and mentorship board, and free office space in downtown San Francisco. “We’re thrilled to be a recognized with some of great sustainability focused startups from around the country,” said Tommy Linstroth, CEO of Green Badger. “This is a great opportunity for us grow our presence on the west coast and tap into some fantastic organizational resources in the Bay area.”
- Ireland’s Green Awards provide a voice for the individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the green industry within the country. The Green Awards recognize key functions that promote sustainability. The Green Business of the Year winner for 2016 was a joint venture between BAM Civil and Wayss & Freytag, who, together, are constructing a 4.9 km Corrib tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay. The partnership demonstrated expertise in the area of civil engineering work in conjunction with environmental concerns, plus its knowledge of and proven record in the Irish construction industry.
- PECO was recognized for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for its Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania building upgrades and operational enhancements. They include extensive energy-efficient lighting improvements, heating and cooling upgrades, the installation of a new building automation system to control the HVAC system, a 45,000 square foot green roof, and energy-efficient LED technology atop the building. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council for our continued environmental focus and dedication to sustainability,” said Mike Innocenzo, senior vice president and COO. “Our work to achieve LEED certification for our largest company building further demonstrates our commitment to environmental leadership and we continue to realize ongoing benefits of this important sustainability work.”
- The city of Lancaster in southern California has been named a Green Power Community by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to utilize zero-emissions electricity. A Green Power Community is an area that prioritizes the use of alternative power – solar, wind and geothermal – in large quantities. Lancaster has numerous solar installations it owns within the city as well as those built by private operators. City-owned Lancaster Choice Energy became operational in 2015 and provides power to residents and businesses. Mayor R. Rex Parris said, “Lancaster is working hard to give our residents and businesses easier access to renewable energy, as we strive to become a zero net energy city.”
Learning from Award-Winning Eco-Businesses and Communities
These award-winning eco-businesses and communities have set and achieved goals so that their business practices have had a positive impact on the environment and local landscape. They have demonstrated a commitment to a healthy and sustainable future for us all, benefiting the environment, their communities, their customers, and their balance sheets.
Emphasizing sustainability improves profitability, generates greater loyalty and commitment from employees, and cements relationships with customers and suppliers. To coexist in harmony with the surrounding environment, particularly in matters of environmental protection, makes for good business.
Photo credit: danigutib via Foter.com / CC BY