Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
2009 Environmental Awards
This year EPA received over 200 award nominations. Award winners were publicly announced at a ceremony at the EPA Pacific Southwest office in San Francisco in April. EPA issued press releases announcing winners to the public at that time.
- U.S. EPA Honors Central California Environmental Hero
- U.S. EPA honors Contra Costa County for pledging to remove nearly 2,000 pounds of lead from its vehicle fleet
- U.S. EPA Honors 4 Environmental Heroes from Hawaii, Pacific Islands
- U.S. EPA Honors 19 Northern California Environmental Heroes
- U.S. EPA Honors 3 Nevada Environmental Heroes
- U.S. EPA Honors 8 Southern California Environmental Heroes
- U.S. EPA Honors 5 Arizona Environmental Heroes
- Environmental, Community and Non-Profit
- Federal, Tribal, State or Local Government
Environmental, Community and Non-Profit
Cascade Sierra Solutions
Cascade Sierra Solutions, a non-profit organization founded in 2006, is dedicated to reducing emissions and fuel consumption from heavy-duty diesel trucks. Since diesel trucks are responsible for 10 percent of our country’s petroleum consumption and six percent of greenhouse gas emissions, their work benefits communities, particularly children and the elderly, along transportation corridors. This organization promotes, finances and installs the EPA’s SmartWay technology packages that reduce idling and fuel exhaust. They also replace old, dirty polluting vehicles with new, clean ones. They have retrofitted over 1,600 trucks. To date, Cascade Sierra Solutions has reduced over 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, 279 metric tons of nitrogen oxide and six metric tons of particulate matter -- the deadliest outdoor air pollutant in the United States.
Environmental Law and Justice Clinic
Golden Gate University School of Law
The Environmental Law & Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law is an inspiring model of collaborative work with community partners. The clinic combines social justice advocacy, direct service in legal and technical areas, and student education to address environmental problems in low-income communities, communities of color and those facing language-access barriers. The clinic has participated in important legal advocacy for underserved communities, in areas such as greenhouse gas regulation, renewable energy projects, and the disproportionate and cumulative impacts of air pollution.
Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District
Lisa Hulette, Executive Director
The Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District’s agricultural program works with small family farms to promote effective watershed management practices. Working with farms in Sonoma County’s Estero Americano and Salmon Creek Watersheds, the district has provided training, technical expertise and over $6 million in watershed management projects. The district and its partners, including the agricultural community, were able to set goals and develop actions plans to reduce nutrient and sediment loadings in both watersheds. Over 80 percent of landowners participate in both watersheds. From this crucial partnership, family farms in western Sonoma County are on the path toward environmental and economic sustainability.
GreenPlumbers is an innovative, national training and accreditation program that helps plumbers understand their role in protecting the environment and public health. The organization’s goal is to change consumer behavior by training plumbers to promote use of water saving technologies and energy efficiency. By teaching “an army of plumbers” about the connection between water and energy, about alternative means of heating water in the home, about water-efficient technologies, and about how to evaluate a household’s water use, GreenPlumbers is educating thousands of consumers on how to conserve and use water and energy more efficiently -- reducing bills and carbon footprints.
Acterra: Action for a Sustainable Earth
Acterra: Action for a Sustainable Earth brings people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet. Its solution-oriented programs and projects provide youth and adults with hands-on opportunities to learn, get involved and improve the environment. The organization trains 30 adults annually on projects that include: a Carbon Reduction Campaign to combat climate change, a Green@Home campaign that provides free home energy audits on the San Francisco peninsula, and an “Act Green” campaign that educates groups about global warming and actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprints. The organization’s Low Carbon Diet workshops provide participants with the opportunity to measure their carbon emissions to start personal carbon reduction strategies. And Acterra’s Stewardship Program offers several thousand youth and adults annually many opportunities to restore local ecosystems. Acterra’s initiatives help ordinary people do extraordinary things.
West Hawaii Youth Fisheries Council
In an effort to clean up local beaches, smoking was banned at all Hawaii County Parks in 2008. This was a result of several years of efforts by middle and high school students of the West Hawaii Youth Fisheries Council at Hualalai Academy. The council first initiated a law to ban smoking at Kahalu'u Beach Park. As part of a beach clean-up, they collected over 2,000 cigarette butts in 30 minutes at the beach to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. They spent months doing research, gathering petition signatures and testifying more than six times before the Hawaii County Council. The students helped write the bill to ban smoking at the beach park, which was approved unanimously at every step. Kahalu'u Beach Park was the first smoke and tobacco-free beach on the Big Island of Hawaii, and Hawaii was the first county in the state to ban smoking at all county parks.
Million Trees Los Angeles
A City Of Los Angeles Green Initiative
Last year, the Million Trees Los Angeles initiative engaged tens of thousands of individuals, businesses, and community groups in tree planting and maintenance -- increasing L.A.’s annual tree planting tenfold and creating a legacy of environmental activism. The trees will benefit the environment for generations to come, providing shade for cooling, reducing electricity demand for air conditioning, and, in turn, lowering greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to tree planting, the initiative includes community organizing and civic engagement, environmental education, and career opportunities in green industries – all which engage schools, residents and businesses to work collectively. The initiative also hosted the nation’s largest 2008 “Get Your Green On” Environmental Youth Conference, with over 5,000 youth participants, plus teachers and parents. The conference offered opportunities for ongoing environmental activism through community organizations, volunteering, service learning and careers.
Elkhorn Slough Foundation
The Elkhorn Slough Foundation has led more than 25 years of successful conservation and restoration efforts at Elkhorn Slough on Monterey Bay. The slough is one of California’s most significant estuaries, and has been named by Audubon as a “Globally Important Bird Area”. The foundation has raised tens of millions of dollars to protect and manage nearly 4,000 acres of key lands in the watershed, restored hundreds of acres of coastal and estuarine habitats, and worked with local farmers to demonstrate and adopt practices that conserve water and prevent erosion on hundreds of acres adjacent to the slough. It has trained hundreds of volunteers, has ongoing research programs, started a schools program, and created a curriculum used by several hundred thousand K-12 students visiting the slough.
Manhattan Beach Planet Pals
Planet Pals is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise environmental awareness through education, create a sustainable school, and encourage people to "take a step" to make a difference. Planet Pals offers a walk-to-school program, trash-free lunches, newsletter earth tips, suggestions on removing harmful cleaning supplies and pesticides from campuses, recycling and composting education, e-waste fundraisers, energy saving tips and more. Their “Trash Free Tuesday” program started with 650 students using 40 Hefty trash bags per day at lunch, and they are now down to an average of two bags a day -- and a record low of only 1/2 a bag! Planet Pals was started in 2007 by parent volunteers in Manhattan Beach, who continue to work with school personnel, city leadership, and the private sector to support sustainability programs and environmental education for the local school district.
Ann Marie Wolf
Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc.
Ann Marie Wolf is the program manager for the Community for A Renewed Environment, or CARE; the executive director for the Sonora Environmental Research Institute; and works with the Community Assist of Southern Arizona (CASA) program. Her leadership has been instrumental in the success of the CARE program’s voluntary reduction of toxic emissions in predominantly low income and minority neighborhoods in South Tucson. Under her guidance, a cadre of 50 promotoras was recruited, trained, and directed to visit 300 businesses in the autobody repair sector, which had been identified as having the greatest potential for toxic emissions reductions in an area of South Tucson. As a result, 129,000-pounds of solvents were reduced in autobody shops. Wolf’s knowledge, integrity, and sincere concern for the community’s health and the environment have made this a highly successful community project.
The Pharos Project - Healthy Building Network
The Healthy Building Network is the leading organization advocating for health-based green building standards. Its mission is to transform the market for building materials --more than three billion tons per year -- in order to advance best environmental, health and social practices. In 2008, the network worked with partners, architecture firms and health care systems in the Pacific Southwest to develop the Pharos Project -- a revolutionary on-line tool for evaluating and comparing the health, environmental and social impacts of building materials in a comprehensive and transparent way. The Pharos Project is redefining green labeling practices and establishing an evaluation method that is in line with environmental health and justice principles. The Healthy Building Network has been a regional leader by partnering with ground-breaking environmental health initiatives in the public and private sector.
Recognizing that healthy communities and a healthy environment are critical to health and wellness, Kaiser Permanente has shown dedication to sustainability and environmental justice. For example, in an effort to reduce car trips to shops and increase access to locally grown produce, Kaiser hosted 28 farmers markets at its facilities in six states. In addition, its newly deployed laptop and desktop computers and monitors received at least a silver-rating by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). Its newly opened medical center in Modesto, California features solar panels, energy-conserving technology, permeable pavement, and safer materials. The hospital’s electronic health record system also reduces the need for paper records. Also, in replacing its San Leandro, California hospital, construction crews recycled 100 percent of the building materials generated during demolition of two warehouses. Kaiser Permanente has shown a true commitment to environmental stewardship.
Friends of the Monument
Friends of the Monument was formed to help promote the idea of creating a national marine monument in the waters around the three northernmost islands of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Friends of the Monument engaged in activities to help educate the community --distributing leaflets, conducting meetings, and coordinating with teachers for classroom presentations. The organization gathered more than 6,000 signatures on petitions in support of the designation of a Monument. The Friends sent representatives to Washington, D.C. to meet with White House officials, and participated in television and radio public service announcements and advertising. Ultimately, they were instrumental in the process that resulted in former President George W. Bush designating the Marianas Trench Marine Monument, along with three larger national marine monuments.
Heather Cooley, Juliet Christian-Smith, Peter H. Gleick
California’s greatest ongoing resource struggle has been over water supplies. Agriculture is by far the largest user, and the debate has largely focused on massive, costly, environmentally damaging infrastructure like dams, canals, and pumps. Today, it’s even more urgent to find solutions in the face of recurring drought, expanding population, and the Delta fisheries collapse. A recent report by the Pacific Institute’s Heather Cooley, Juliet Christian-Smith, and Peter Gleick found that cost-effective, environmentally-friendly water management strategies already being used by some farmers could eliminate the need for 3-20 new dams. Their work has altered how we approach California’s water crisis. The authors brought together traditionally opposed interest groups, helping farmers, irrigation district managers, policy makers, and state agencies forge a consensus on agricultural water conservation recommendations in the Delta Vision Committee Implementation Report.
California Water Environment Association, City of Palo Alto, South Bayside System Authority, Central Contra Costa Sanitation District, City of Los Angeles, City of San Diego
Sewer Science is a high school science laboratory that teaches students about wastewater treatment using specially designed tanks and standard testing equipment. The lab was developed in 1998 through a collaboration of San Jose State University, the city of Palo Alto, and 13 high school science teachers from seven high schools. The curriculum materials integrate science, math, and technology while addressing treated wastewater discharge and its effects on receiving waters. The award-winning program is used in numerous California school districts, reaching students throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles metropolitan area and San Diego County. “Sewer Science” addresses the challenges of hands-on interdisciplinary learning while providing a unique high school outreach program.
Federal, Tribal, State or Local Government
Ramona Band of Cahuilla
The Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians of Southern California has become the first fully “off grid” reservation with 100 percent renewable energy power for all facilities. Over the past decade, the tribe received funding from the Department of Energy, Housing & Urban Development and other agencies to build a sun and wind-powered energy system, and develop an ecotourism and training business. The tribe is now developing an ecotourism center as a renewable energy destination resort. The Eco-Center will also teach people about Cahuilla culture. The training component will provide consulting and ecotourism start-up business services to enable other tribes to replicate or adapt this model for business development. Once the Eco-Center opens in late 2010, the tribe will have the only Native American-owned facility to train other rural/remote tribes to adapt this model for economic development.
City of Phoenix Public Works Department
The Phoenix Public Works Department has two innovative waste programs. One is mobile Household Hazardous Waste Collection. While other cities have a permanent facility, Phoenix brings collection events into neighborhoods. Each year, 10 three-day weekend events are held throughout the city to collect car batteries, paint, used oil and e-waste -- reducing the volume of pollutants that end up in the landfill. Most of the waste is shipped directly to recyclers and disposal facilities, reducing the need for hazardous waste storage. More than 10,000 households participate. In addition, the city’s plastic bag recycling program has sprouted hundreds of “Bag Central Station” receptacles throughout Phoenix since the kickoff last November. Early results from the city’s trash sorting facilities showed a 20 percent decrease in plastic bags.
Rodney Glassman, Councilman, and City of Tucson staff
The city of Tucson has passed the nation’s first Rainwater Harvesting Ordinance, as well as a Gray Water Ordinance. Because there’s so little surface water in the Tucson area, the city’s major water source has always been groundwater. These ordinances are aimed at reducing the use of scarce drinking water to irrigate thirsty desert landscapes. The city estimates that 45 percent of water use is for landscaping, and using rainwater and gray water would greatly reduce this. The ordinance requires rainwater harvesting plans and capturing systems for any new commercial building built after June 1, 2010. The Gray Water Ordinance requires that new homes built after that date be plumbed for gray water irrigation systems. This means having a drain for sinks, showers, bathtubs, and washing machines separate from drains for all other plumbing, to allow for future installation of a gray water system.
Betwin Alokoa, Karl Olson and Mercy Muña
Guam EPA Pesticides Program
The Guam EPA Pesticides Program, led by Betwin Alokoa, Karl Olson, and Mercy Muña, often goes above and beyond what is required. They’ve been instrumental in preventing unlawful pesticides from entering Guam ports, being sold on the island, and applied to crops. Their notable achievements include completing revisions to the 25 year-old Guam Pesticides Act, and getting quick approval by the legislature and governor. They followed up with 14 stakeholder meetings to explain the new requirements, and their experiences in the field are reflected in the new, more protective laws. They’ve also increased the number of pesticide inspections at farms, resulting in improved compliance and better protection for consumers. In addition, they’ve trained Guam’s customs and quarantine officers to detect illegal pesticides to prevent them from coming ashore, have provided similar training for customs, quarantine, and health officers in the Northern Mariana Islands.
University of California, Irvine
Sustainable Transportation Program
UC Irvine’s Sustainable Transportation Program is reducing congestion, improving air quality, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing alternatives to one-person-per-car driving. The program eliminates more than 39 million vehicle-miles travelled, more than 19,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and saves the university community more than $21 million annually. The university achieved a 1.87 Average Vehicle Ridership, the highest for any employer of comparable size in Southern California. The program includes one-on-one commuter counseling, construction of an extensive network of bike/pedestrian paths, retrofitting the entire campus shuttle fleet to operate on biodiesel, and specialized nitrogen oxides traps to further reduce shuttle emissions. Other actions include replacing traffic lights with LEDs, timing traffic lights to reduce fuel-burning waits, improving shuttle service, and restricting car parking by students.
Santa Ynez Chumash Environmental Office and Chumash Casino Resort
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians has become a leader in greening casino and resort operations. Their green strategies include installing a white roof to cool their casino building; waste sorting and recycling; a composting and kitchen oil and grease management program; and reuse/recycling of used uniforms. To save water, the tribe installed a gray water drip irrigation system, low-flow toilets and showerheads, waterless urinals, and landscaping with native and low-water plants. To save energy, they provide shuttle buses -- reducing 800 car trips per year. They’ve installed an advanced heating and cooling system, compact fluorescent and LED lights, including LEDs on slot machines, and a reflective liner on their building shell. Employees use “Green Seal” certified cleaners, microfiber mops, and battery operated cleaning equipment. These changes save money, increase productivity, reduce environmental impacts and make the Chumash Resort and Casino a safer, healthier place to work and play.
California Department of Transportation, Division of Environmental Analysis
Caltrans Chief Biologist Gregg Erickson has developed innovative assessment tools that identify environmental impacts of highway projects. These tools allow regulatory agencies to identify land or easement acquisition opportunities earlier, which increases flexibility and lowering costs. This approach brings together multiple stakeholders and considers additive impacts of highway projects on biodiversity. Erickson’s approach is a model government initiative that better protects biodiversity while accelerating project completion and lowering costs.
Science Teacher & co-director of Environmental Science Academy
Oakland High School
Katharine Noonan is one of those unique teachers who knows that science cannot be learned solely through a textbook and in a classroom. As co-director of the Environmental Sciences Academy at Oakland High School, she goes out of her way to provide field trips for her students and educate them through hands-on experiences outside the classroom. With her students, she conducts long-term water quality monitoring of Lake Merritt. Her students study environmental pressures from natural and anthropogenic sources, and integrate scientific tools with public communication.
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
Dan Mosley has been working to improve water quality and habitat on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation for nearly 15 years. In that time, many of the programs he established have been adopted by other tribes, helping them sustain viable ecosystems using scientific evidence. Dan is an acknowledged and highly respected expert in bioassessments, having recognized early the importance of bioassessments in detecting impairments from stressors on aquatic communities. He was instrumental in the establishment of an Index of Biological Integrity for the Lower Truckee River and is developing an Index for perennial and intermittent streams within the reservation. In addition, he has conducted related training for tribes, and has given presentations at numerous national and international workshops and conferences.
David "Buddy" Nobriga
West Maui Soil & Water Conservation District
Born and raised on his family farm in Maui, Buddy Nobriga has dedicated over 50 years to the conservation of Hawaii’s natural resources. In 1956, he founded the West Maui Soil and Water Conservation District, the first in the county. His passion for protecting the environment of West Maui has had lasting benefits for the watershed. In recognition of his strong leadership skills and commitment to the community and the environment, Nobriga was appointed to many state boards and commissions. Nobriga, now retired, provided the needed leadership on the importance of controlling polluted runoff. The EPA is deeply grateful for his leadership, zeal, guidance and solid support for advancing the polluted runoff program and his devotion to environmental stewardship.
Pala Band of Luiseno Mission Indians
Lenore Lamb, Pala EPA Coordinator, has been instrumental in the success of the tribe’s environmental programs and influential in securing funding for critical environmental programs. Viewed by other tribes as an expert in solid waste, she is frequently consulted on solid waste enforcement issues and general solid waste management questions. Lamb secured funding for and oversaw the design and construction of the tribe’s new model transfer station, which opened in 2008. The first of its kind in the Pacific Southwest, it includes an area for electronic waste collection, a green waste and composting program, and a secured hazardous waste collection location. Lenore has not only made significant contributions to improving the environment at Pala, she has contributed to improving environmental conditions throughout Indian Country.
United Indian Health Services
Paula Allen, a Traditional Resource Specialist for United Indian Health Services, is being honored for her role in the design of the Potawot Health Village and her role in ensuring that cultural values, sustainability and stewardship were incorporated. More than just a medical building, the 40-acre Potawot Health Village promotes American Indian culture through programs integrating traditional knowledge with human and environmental health. Allen’s assistance in designing the facility restored and conserved local resources. Notable green building features and sustainable land-use practices include the construction of wetlands and on-site storm water treatment. Solar panels provide 25 percent of Potawot's energy needs, saving $2,000-$3,000 per month, which go toward educational programs and outreach. The food garden produces top-quality produce, allowing the community to be connected to their food and provides hands-on nutritional experience.
United States Postal Service
Environmental Policy and Programs
It is through the efforts of people like Patrick Langsjoen that the United States Postal Service meets environmental commitments. Langsjoen, in his role as the Recycling Program Manager for Northern California, helped establish recycling programs at 365 facilities that now recycle more than 12,000 tons per year -- generating $200,000 in revenue. In 2008, Langsjoen’s leadership facilitated the transition from the use of lead-free wheel weights for the Pacific area's 31,000 delivery fleet. Langsjoen’s work reduced workplace lead exposure by 5.5 tons and eliminated a quarter ton of lead from entering the environment each year. This initiative served as the catalyst for the decision to transition the entire 215,000 delivery fleet vehicles to lead-free wheel weights, eliminating 37 tons of lead from entering the environment annually.
United States Air Force
Travis Air Force Base
Charles H. Barnard, an Aircraft Structural Repair Technician for the Travis Air Force Base, distinguished himself by meritorious service, taking on the additional duty as Squadron Environmental Representative and Environmental Inspector, despite no change in pay. Described as one of the “most dedicated workers…always striving to improve environmental compliance,” Barnard aims to go beyond compliance. Through Barnard’s innovative thinking, procedural changes have reduced environmental impacts.
Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency
Lillie Lane, the Navajo Nation EPA’s Public Information Officer, has worked with Navajo communities and to bring unprecedented levels of awareness and protection to people at risk from the impacts associated with abandoned uranium mines. While the mines are closed, the legacy of uranium contamination from over 500 abandoned mines remains. Lane’s work was instrumental in assessing over 100 Navajo homes, 200 wells and 40 abandoned mines to determine threats to residents. She conducted extensive door-to-door outreach in extremely remote, inaccessible areas to ensure Navajo families were not drinking water contaminated with radionuclides. Lane has built strong relationships based on trust with many Navajo Nation community members and continues to help the EPA meet its aggressive goals to address the legacy of uranium mining in the Navajo Nation.
California Coastal Conservancy
Since 2004, Steve Ritchie has led the restoration planning effort for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. Roughly the size of Manhattan, the 15,100 acres of former commercial salt ponds in South San Francisco Bay are the largest wetland restoration effort ever undertaken in the western United States. Earlier urbanization caused the loss of 85 to 90 percent of the tidal marsh in the San Francisco Bay, which has led to the dramatic loss of fish and wildlife, decreased water quality and increased turbidity. Ritchie has successfully represented the interests of government agencies, along with private organizations and individuals, to complete a complicated Environmental Impact Statement. Today, Ritchie’s attention is focused on implementing the first phase of this vital restoration project.
Toyota Motor Sales/Ryan McMullan
The associates of Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, Calif. have focused their efforts on eliminating waste. Through these efforts, Toyota's vehicle distribution centers send less than four ounces of waste to the landfill for each vehicle processed, and its parts operations saved 17.6 million pounds of wood and cardboard in 2008. This work has had regional and national impacts -- with the company's headquarters and nine facilities achieving zero waste to landfill, ten plants achieving 95 percent waste reduction, and 12 distribution centers achieving over 90 percent recycling rates. These efforts have saved more than 110,000 trees and conserved the equivalent of 1.6 million gallons of gas through recycling materials. Ryan McMullan, an Environmental Resource Specialist with Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, has led Toyota's efforts to eliminate waste. He is a key regional environmental leader who has played a critical role in Toyota's efforts to improve the environment, set aggressive goals, and educate the public and others in the business community.
In 2008, FreshSense of Parlier, Calif., first introduced its Zeal brand into the retail market in an effort to promote sustainable farming practices and increase consumer awareness. All Zeal fruit complies with strict, environmentally-friendly growing standards and farming practices that focus on environmental stewardship and social responsibility. In addition, the Zeal brand is committed to sustainability through the entire supply chain. All the brand's packaging and point of sale materials are designed to be low impact and sustainably produced. Once the fruit has been grown and harvested, it is packed into sustainably-produced cartons with advertising materials that educate and motivate the consumer.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Corporate Go Green Initiative
Lockheed Martin’s Corporate Go Green initiative, “Conserve Today, Preserve Tomorrow,” is the motivating force for the company and its employees in Palmdale, California. Among its successes, the company conserved 20 million gallons of water since 2005 by identifying the most significant water usage and implementing conservation techniques in key areas. Lockheed also reduced 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions by diverting more than 1,000 tons of materials from landfill disposal in 2008, replaced gasoline-powered vehicles with electric vehicles, and renovated an existing building to LEED silver status. Lockheed Martin also extends its environmental commitment to others by partnering with the local fire department, high schools and the EPA to provide teachers with laboratory chemical safety and environmental education awareness.
As a former fine dining waiter, Lou Castro learned the importance of superb customer service and the impact it can have on business success. Castro later began driving one of the first super-stretch SUV limos in Las Vegas and, after 7 years, he created the first and only eco-friendly transportation company in Las Vegas. In January 2008, Castro launched Earth Buses, which were all powered by biodiesel fuel -- even though it was significantly more expensive than regular diesel. He launched Earth Limos last November with plans to bring on more hybrid vehicles, as well as vehicles that will operate on compressed natural gas and liquid propane technology.
The Moscone Center
Sustainable practices are at the heart of SMG’s management of the 2-million square-foot Moscone Center -- San Francisco’s major convention complex. The center’s roof top solar installation generates enough energy to power more than 600 homes. Its ten-year-old recycling program includes composting of food and serveware. The center has a system for collecting and recycling toxic materials, purchasing environmental products, and a green cleaning program. A full-time air quality technician monitors and tests indoor air quality. The center also promotes water efficiency through drought resistant plants, drip irrigation, and water-saving bathrooms, as well as encouraging public transportation to its events. The Moscone Center promotes and supports business practices that minimize environmental impact, benefit the local community and make economic sense.
New Resource Bank
New Resource Bank is a pioneer in green community financing -- providing desirable loans to companies with environmental goals -- and is the first bank in California to have a LEED-Gold rating. It negotiates desirable funding strategies for community-based projects built to U.S. Green Building Council standards by providing a 1/8th percent discount on loans for green leadership. The Bank also has a lending program that makes solar panels available to the average homeowner without a down payment. In addition, the bank works internally to reduce energy consumption and waste within its building and business. In this time of economic instability, New Resource Bank is demonstrating the economic longevity of sustainable ventures.
Evergreen Recycling, a Las Vegas recycler, has transformed recycling efforts in Nevada with a state-of-the-art automated construction and demolition debris and commercial sorting facility. The company worked with MGM Mirage to divert 50,000 tons of a construction project’s debris from landfill disposal in 2008. The company’s 85 employees have worked tirelessly to develop a business that has changed the state’s waste management practices by supporting innovative green building and recycling programs to recycle over 200,000 tons of resources. Evergreen’s founder and President, Rob Dorinson, has volunteered his expertise at federal, state, county and local forums, and his efforts have supported the growth of green buildings and helped Nevada’s recycling rate double over the past 10 years.
The Vetrazzo company uses 100 percent discarded, recycled glass to produce 5 foot by 9 foot panels of glass, which are used for stunning glass countertops, now seen at the Ritz Carlton, National Park Service, and Microsoft Headquarters. Invented in 1996, Vetrazzo employs a process that transforms recycled glass from traffic lights, windshields, plate glass windows, dinnerware, laboratory glass, beverage bottles and stained glass into a functionally superior green building material. The technique saves energy, as the glass is processed from the recycler without melting. Since 2007, Vetrazzo has produced beautiful, functional surfaces, and saved energy equal to removing more than 2,200 passenger cars from the road for one year.
Global Water is a leader in water conservation through recycling and reuse. Its new Global Water Center in Maricopa, Arizona -- the county’s first LEED certified utility facility -- incorporates the latest in water management engineering, sustainable design and construction, and public education. The center cleans and treats wastewater -- making it useful again for irrigating parks, golf courses and schools. The Global Water Center was constructed with recycled materials, including its roof, which is made of 100 percent recycled aluminum cans. The Center is Arizona’s first commercial facility with dual plumbing, which reduces drinkable water usage by 83 percent. The building also uses 33 percent less electricity by using natural light and high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems.