2011 California Stewardship Arrow Award Winners
Custom-designed awards made of recycled materials, by Bay Area artist Ellen Blakeley, were presented at an event on August 2, 2011, at the California Resource Recovery Association Annual Conference in San Diego, attended by more than 600 local and state government representatives, state legislators, and industry representatives.
Golden Arrow Award for Overall Excellence in Product Stewardship
Opportunity Green was the recipient of the 2011 Golden Arrow Award for their efforts in bringing together leading companies and visionaries to create opportunities and innovations to drive today’s sustainability movement.
In all of their work, they focus on balancing the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. Their conference in Los Angeles brought these groups together and in addition to fostering vital changes on how businesses approach product development, they also integrated these philosophies into the conference itself by having the whole event be carbon neutral. Specific ways they integrated their organizational values included:
- Engaging conference sponsors in the conference beyond just providing monetary participation.
- Providing conference attendees with reusable water bottles and water refill stations throughout the event.
- Providing volunteers to educate attendees and manage the resource recovery stations.
- The conference supplied food from Tender Greens and Border Grill, using primarily local, organic ingredients.
- The conference was ranked #1 Green Conference on Google and it brought public and private sector attendees from around the world.
- The conference was held in Los Angeles to highlight the existing and future potential of sustainable business in entertainment and manufacturing and be the nexus for sharing innovations.
Beyond their conference, Opportunity Green inspires the businesses they engage with to embrace sustainable practices in their own work. In their location at Los Angeles Center Studios, they have encouraged the studio to make responsible changes in their energy uses, providing integration of electric vehicles with their production companies and using compostable products in their onsite catering and cafeteria. They are also active in the Los Angeles business community through their work with the LA Area Chamber of Commerce, where their CEO serves as the co-chair of the Environmental Sustainability Policy Committee. For all their outstanding efforts we were proud to honor Opportunity Green with the 2011 Golden Arrow Award.
Green Arrow Award for System Design and Innovation
Savory and Sweet Catering, located in Sunnyvale, California, was the winner of the 2011 Green Arrow Award for System and Design Innovations.
Savory and Sweet Catering has integrated Green Thinking into their entire business model with their goals to have a minimal impact on the environment by emphasizing conservation of resources, energy efficiency and a healthy environment.
They have achieved these goals by recycling all the products they use in their jobs, including cans, plastic gallon containers and paper and separating them on site and arranging pallet pick up from their vendors. They were the first US company to purchase a composting tub from Korea and bring all the food scraps back to their offices for composting into a soil amendment every 24 hours.
Over the past ten years, Savory and Sweet modified and changed their business practices on all levels to lower their carbon/overall footprint with the goal of having 95% of everything they bring to any catering event to be edible, reusable, compostable or recyclable.
The model they have developed provides a blueprint for other food service and catering businesses to follow to reduce waste and maximize the use of all their resources.
Bow & Arrow Award for Coalition Building
Ag Container Recycling Council was the 2011 Bow & Arrow Award for Coalition Building.
The recycling program in California is operated by Interstate Ag Plastics (IAG) based in Buttonwillow, California. The Ag Container Recycling Council is the oldest continuously running voluntary industry funded product stewardship program in the nation.
ACRC members consist of companies that formulate, produce, package and distribute crop protection and other pesticide products. The pesticide industry has led the way in embracing product stewardship through their recycling efforts.
The results of their efforts in California alone yielded the recycling of 20,000,000 pounds of containers – an energy saving of over 45,000 gallons of gasoline and 100,000 cubic yards of landfill space. These reductions create fewer potential hazards to public health and the environment.
Their internalizing costs in the product price and having a pro-active role in being responsible stewards of their products through the entire supply chain makes them a model for other industries to follow.
Infinity Arrow Award for Service and Take-Back
US Air Conditioning Distributors, based in City of Industry, California, was the 2011 Infinity Arrow Award winner for Service and Take-Back.
US Air Conditioning implemented a “Cash for Clunkers” Mercury Thermostat take-back program to incentivize the contractor they work with to collect and properly recycle mercury thermostats. They placed recycling bins at all their branches and collected 55.24 pounds of mercury in 2010. They won a Waste Recycling Award from the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). In addition, they saved $85,000.00 in fuel costs by switching to natural gas trucks and recycled 500 pounds of electronic waste, 12,320 pounds of corrugated cardboard, 73,180 pounds of scrap metal and 3,360 pounds of white paper in the same year.
While California in 2010 only recycled 3% of waste mercury thermostats, the pro-active efforts by US Air Conditioning in working with their client contractors and in product take-back for mercury thermostats made them a leader in the nation in these efforts and a champion for the environment.
Pictured: Bob Smith, US Air Conditioning Distributors
Photo credit: Rajesh Lathigara