Green Plus North American Sustainable Enterprise Award Winners Announced

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Awards Highlight Small Businesses and Chambers of Commerce Leading by Example

Today, the Institute for Sustainable Development announced the winners of the Green Plus North American Sustainable Enterprise Awards at a ceremony at the Silver LEED

Certified Research Triangle Park headquarters. Green Plus is a program of the Institute designed to help smaller enterprises and their communities understand and benefit from triple bottom line practices.

“The Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Awards were created to help smaller enterprises learn the best practices of triple bottom line sustainability – strong financial, environmental, and community performance – from one another,” said Chris Carmody, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development. “The Green Plus Awards winners and finalists have demonstrated that sustainability is not only possible, but highly beneficial for smaller enterprises, regardless of their sector,” Carmody concluded.

Award winners include an Arkansas florist, North Carolina-based public auto mechanic and order fulfillment companies, an Ohio-based furniture manufacturer, Pennsylvania based IT and construction firms. The Institute also recognized three chambers of commerce for their efforts to create more sustainable regional economies, aide their small business members, and educate other chambers on sustainability.

The 2010 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Award Categories and Winners

Research Triangle Park Green Plus Sustainable Enterprises of the Year

Two organizations won the Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise of the Year Award in a split decision: Cargas Systems of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and The King’s Daughters Inn of Durham, North Carolina

Green Plus Sustainable Medium-Sized Business of the Year

Wohlsen Construction (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)

Wells Fargo Green Plus Small Business of the Year

Riley Life Industries, Inc. (Durham, North Carolina)

Green Plus Sustainable Non-Profit of the Year

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Green Plus Sustainable Sole Proprietor of the Year

Brick Street Botanical (Rogers, Arkansas)

Green Plus Chambers of Commerce of the Year

Split Decision: The Greater Cleveland Partnership / Council of Smaller Enterprises (Cleveland, Ohio) and the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce (Syracuse, New York)

Green Plus Special Recognition

The Greater St. Louis Chamber of Commerce for its Climate Prosperity Project

Green Plus People’s Choice Award: The Taylor Companies (Bedford, Ohio)

Green Plus Champion

Marc Pons, owner of Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

More Details about the Award Winners and Special Mentions

Research Triangle Park Green Plus Sustainable Enterprises of the Year

Two organizations won the Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise of the Year Award in a split decision:

Cargas Systems of Lancaster, Pennsylvania has, from its inception, set an inspirational example in every area of the triple bottom line.  Founder and CEO Chip Cargas from the start instituted substantial employee ownership and slow, smart growth aimed at creating generations of job security in his community.  Cargas is building a new Silver LEED Certified building in the heart of downtown Lancaster – in part to allow 80% of their employees to bike to work, and in part to help revitalize its community.

The King’s Daughters Inn of Durham, North Carolina  exemplifies that potent sustainability innovation can come in small packages.  KDI has installed a fully integrated energy management system that controls each guest room, a 10,000 gallon cistern for landscape water management, and a grey water system.  Their parking lot is pervious concrete and a rain garden was planted on the grounds to limit water run off.  And they participate in educational partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce, Duke University, and local leadership and government groups to educate legislators, businessmen, students, and the general public regarding the relative ease with which green practices can be implemented

Green Plus Sustainable Medium-Sized Business of the Year

Wohlsen Construction (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) works to reuse and recycle its waste streams, tracks its carbon footprint, and gives extensively to local organizations.  Their commitment to sustainability started long before it was a buzz word and through planning and dedication they have become a leader in their community around the idea of the triple bottom line.

Wells Fargo Green Plus Small Business of the Year

Riley Life Industries, Inc. (Durham, North Carolina) holds a monthly company-wide community service activity, which all employees are paid to attend, achieved a 100% utilization of recycled or reused packaging materials, while eliminating all bubble wrap and peanuts from shipping, reduces packaging costs by 61% through the reuse of boxes coming in rather than recycling those boxes, conserves energy through programmable thermostats as well as an electric forklift, and addresses and educates its stakeholders and community about the triple bottom line.

Green Plus Sustainable Non-Profit of the Year

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) has engaged all categories of its stakeholders in the creation of a community-wide sustainability committee, uses solar power, green roofs, water reclamation and other conservation measures, and which took measures to make its food service more ecologically friendly.

Green Plus Sustainable Sole Proprietor of the Year

Brick Street Botanical (Rogers, Arkansas) works to use responsible suppliers, focusing on the local, is very active in its community, and uses recycled materials for both floral arrangements and functional decor.

Green Plus Chambers of Commerce of the Year

For Member Sustainability Support: The Greater Cleveland Partnership / Council of Smaller Enterprises (Cleveland, Ohio) for its exceptional efforts to help its 17,000 business members through an extensive array of educational, technical assistance and incentive programs to help its members become more sustainable, especially in the area of energy efficiency.

For Regional Leadership: the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce (Syracuse, New York) created The Clean Tech Center, a clean energy business incubator, to catalyze economic development in its region and has since become one of the top 10 clean tech cluster organizations in the world.  The Chamber is the center of a vibrant green hub that encompasses public policy, technology development, business development and community education.

Green Plus Special Recognition

For its exceptional creativity in helping American chambers of commerce connect conservation and environmental efficiency with job creation, the Institute recognized the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association with a special Green Plus Award for its national leadership in making the case to chambers of commerce that good environmental practices and economic growth should go hand in hand through its Climate Prosperity Project.

Green Plus People’s Choice Award: The Taylor Companies (Bedford, Ohio) for receiving the most votes from communities working with the Green Plus program.

Green Plus Champion

Marc Pons, owner of Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center, (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) was selected for his role as a community leader and his assistance in advancing the discussion of the triple bottom line amongst small businesses and the community at large.

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