2012 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Winners Recognized

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2012 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Winners RecognizedThe 2012 Green Plus Award Winners

On April 12, the Institute for Sustainable Development honored the 2012 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Award Winners at the Research Triangle Park Foundation. The Green Plus Awards were created to recognize small and medium-sized U.S. employers that are sustainability innovators in their fields and that have demonstrated exceptional business, environmental, employee, and community practices.

The 2012 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Award Winners include Counter Culture Coffee; Fleetwood Fixtures; The Irregardless CaféCosmic Bobbins; The North Carolina Museum of Life and ScienceTS Designs; and Wenger Feeds (click here for more photos of the event).

These enterprises span food, consumer products, education, and agricultural sectors.

“The Green Plus Award winners set an example for companies throughout the nation,” said Chris Carmody, Executive Director of the Institute of Sustainable Development.  “A sustainable business is competitive business, and every business can become much more sustainable,” Carmody concluded.

GlaxoSmithKline was the Presenting Sponsor of the 2012 Green Plus Awards, and has been a supporter of Green Plus since 2006.

“As a company with a long-term commitment to sustainability, GlaxoSmithKline is proud to support the 2012 Green Plus Awards,” said Mary Linda Andrews, GSK Director of Community Partnerships. “The Green Plus Award Winners demonstrate that sustainability can be a catalyst for innovation in any industry.”

In addition to being recognized, the winning companies discussed the future of sustainable business in two roundtables featuring representatives of the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS), the Hitachi Foundation, the SJF Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center

Check out the photos from the awards on Green Plus’s Flickr page.


Awardee Summaries & Comments


Counter Culture Coffee (Durham, NC)

Counter Culture is a coffee supplier passionately pursuing real environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability. Its CUPS Initiative aims to achieve carbon neutrality (completed in 2011), complete supply chain satisfaction, profitability every quarter, and debt reduction to 5% of sales by 2015. The coffee roaster also engages in long-term relationships with supply-chain partners—including growers, wholesale partners, and consumers—to build a more sustainable coffee trade from seed to cup. Believing that transparency is necessary for sustaining trust, Counter Culture also publishes a Sustainability Scorecard to capture a diverse set of performance indicators that measure and communicate progress.

Counter Culture Coffee, 2012 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise of the Year“Counter Culture Coffee is thrilled to receive this award and recognition by Green Plus for our dedication to sustainability. Our close relationships on both ends of the coffee supply chain—from communities of farmers around the world to our community of coffee lovers here at home—are the foundation of our business and we hope that our experiences will continue to inspire discussion and action among our partners and peers.” – Kim Elena Ionescu, Sustainability Manager, Counter Culture Coffee


Fleetwood Fixtures (Leesport, PA)

Don Doherty and Doug Oswald receive their award from Durham Chamber president, Casey Steinbacher.A small manufacturer of fixtures and furnishings, this employee-owned company works to educate its customers about the most sustainable options for them as well as pursuing highly efficient environmental operations.

“We are proud to be part of a community that provides such a rich resource of talented craftsmen and unique local materials. We’re thrilled to see our neighbors reusing and repurposing our surplus inventory in creative retail and residential projects. Through our environmental stewardship, we seek to cultivate a higher consciousness, both here at home in the USA and with our resource partners around the world.”  – Doug Oswald, Information Systems and Facilities Manager, Fleetwood Fixtures


The Irregardless Café (Raleigh, NC)

An institution in Raleigh, this small business was green before green was cool, and is noted for continuing to pay its employees to work with local charities when its restaurant was closed due to fire damage.

Arthur Gordon, from the Irregardless Cafe & Catering, receives his award from John Kinneer with Wells Fargo.“We, at the Irregardless Cafe & Catering, have been blessed—during our 37 years of operation—to create and live solid core values: dignity for all – our employees and patrons, and professional behavior that respects all life on our planet.  Being awarded the Green Plus Sustainable Small Business of the Year Award, not only honors Irregardless Cafe & Catering, it affirms the importance to businesses that sustainable practices support us all – caring for our community, our families, and ourselves.” – Anya Gordon, Marketing Manager, Irregardless Café & Catering


Cosmic Bobbins (Cleveland, OH)

Sharie Renee receives her award from Barbara Jessie-Black, Executive Director of the PTA Thrift Shop.Equal parts fashion statement and social cause, Cosmic Bobbins engages Mexican artisans through fair trade practices in making fashion accessories with recycled paper.

“Thank you for this tremendous honor. It is a privilege to be recognized by leaders of the sustainable community for the social good Cosmic Bobbins is bringing to the world.” Sharie Renee, Founder, Cosmic Bobbins.


TS Designs (Burlington, NC)

Eric Henry receives his award from Napoleon Wallace with Self-Help.A producer of t-shirts seeking to build a complete organic cotton supply chain within its home state, TS Designs also serves as a community demonstration center for wind, solar, and biodiesel energy, and for on-site gardening in which employees are both paid and receive workplace grown produce.

“As we look at sustainability being a journey, not a destination, we realize it takes a community, not just a few individuals that make this journey possible.” – Eric Henry, President, TS Designs


Wenger Feeds (Rheems, PA)

Wenger Feeds, 2012 Green Plus Champion of the YearThis 65 year old, community based, ISO certified business has noteworthy employee training, community engagement, and innovative, environmentally friendly agriculture business.

“Stewardship has been part of our vision since 1999 and part of our business practices for much longer. Being sustainable means the efficient use of all of our resources, building connections with our employees and the community and ensuring that we’ll be here to serve our customers in the future.” – James L. Adams, President and CEO, Wenger Feeds


North Carolina Museum of Life and Science (Durham, NC)

The NC Museum of Life and Science is a model of employee engagement in sustainability. The Museum’s passionate employee green team has made not only operations but educational exhibits highly sustainable.

A segment of the Green Team from the NC Museum of Life & Science poses with their award.“Our sustainability efforts reflect who we are as an organization and we hope will model environmentally responsible practices for our members, visitors and our wider community. Receiving this award celebrates and validates the work and commitment of our Green Team members in identifying sustainable initiatives, and designing and implementing solutions to the benefit of our organization and community.” – Janet Hoshour, Director of Membership, Museum of Life & Science

Green Plus Award Sponsors

Additional sponsors included the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Hitachi Foundation; the Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce; the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce; Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment; Wells Fargo; Progress Energy; the Research Triangle Park Foundation; the UNC Center for Global Initiatives; and the PTA Thrift Shops.

About The Institute for Sustainable Development & Green Plus

The Institute for Sustainable Development is a non-profit partnership between universities and chambers of commerce dedicated to democratizing sustainability. Through Green Plus, the Institute works to help smaller employers and their communities understand and integrate triple bottom line practices, and trains a new generation of sustainability leaders. Businesses in 15 states are Certified Green Plus or are working toward certification.

More information on Green Plus can be found at www.gogreenplus.org and on Twitter @GreenPlus.

The Institute for Sustainable Development / Green Plus


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