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Utah Business

Join us in celebrating the winners of the 2020 Green Business Awards.

These Utah companies are taking a stand for sustainability

Salt Lake City hasn’t always had the best air quality―but these companies are doing something about it. Join us in celebrating the companies and individuals who are leading us toward a more sustainable future. 

Blue Sky Program

Stacey Davis, renewable energy program manager for Rocky Mountain Power, would like to congratulate this year’s Blue Sky honorees. 

JANS Mountain Outfitters

The 2020 Community Blue Sky Legacy honor was awarded to JANS Mountain Outfitters for their environmental impact made by participating in the Blue Sky program as well as all of the sustainability measures they have taken to improve their community. Not only do they support renewable energy, but they also have a recycling program, donate a portion of bike rental and tour fees to Summit Land Conservancy, and incentivize car-pooling and bike riding to work. “We encourage all businesses and individuals to step up their efforts to embrace and support renewable energy. Whether or not you are an outdoor recreation enthusiast, it is important to recognize that renewable energy benefits us all,” says Jack Walzer, general manager. On behalf of more than 50,000 Blue Sky customers in Utah, we are proud to call JANS Mountain Outfitters a Legacy Visionary Partner.

Staker Parson Companies

Staker Parson realized that their work is a stewardship of the area and wanted to promote clean energy options. Blue Sky is a vehicle for change that they can support which is one of the reasons they became a Visionary partner in 2005. “We cannot wait to embrace the new opportunities of a sustainable future,” says Tom Thorpe, energy manager. “Our world is changing, and we can be agents of change ushering in a bright future.” 

Staker Parson Companies use recycled and re-refined lubricant oils for all of their trucks as well as partnering with Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart program to upgrade their LED lighting. Thank you, Staker Parson Companies, for being an early adopter, your loyal partnership, and for setting the example in your industry.

Uinta Brewing Co

Since 2001, Uinta Brewing Co. has been a Blue Sky Visionary partner and renewable energy advocate. Jeremy Worrell, director of marketing, states: “The ultimate goal is to be an advocate for more businesses to jump on the renewable energy train which will ultimately create a better local environment. We always work with the future in mind and challenge local community members to do the same.” Uinta is the second craft brewery in the nation to use 100 percent renewable electricity. They installed solar panels in 2011 that generate up to 30 kW of electrical power for production. They have also installed an electric car charging station, LED lighting, and have constructed a state of the art efficient brewhouse. Uinta donates their spent grain to local ranchers and have also developed a relationship with Wasatch Resource Recovery to collect unused food, expired beer, and brewing byproducts.

Westminster College

Westminster College is the first college to ever receive a Blue Sky Legacy award. Their support started out with a group of students learning about renewable energy credits as part of their economics coursework. Understanding the ecological importance of renewables, they were excited about supporting the development of renewable energy in the West.  Before long, what began as a class project became a proposal for the college administration and ultimately led to the institution’s Blue Sky Partnership. “This award means a lot to Westminster College because the discourse, locally and globally, around climate change has shifted a lot in the years since Westminster first joined the Blue Sky program,” says Bridger Layton, environmental center manager, “It feels great to know that the institution was a leader in the community, and began the work early to build a sustainable energy future.” Blue Sky extends our gratitude to Westminster College for pioneering the path for others to follow. 

Community Initiative

Utah Arts Alliance

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

Through our upcycled art and shared resources program we have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds of materials from the landfill and have used those materials to create artwork for the community. We have eliminated single-use water bottles from our festivals and events, keeping tens of thousands of plastic water bottles from the waste stream. 

What do you envision the future of a greener Utah looks like?

I hope that we can start to save what green, open spaces we have left in our cities, foothills, and canyons. I hope that there is a cultural shift where people start respecting nature, wildlife, our forests, streams, and natural places as crucial parts of life on the planet and not as “resources” to be exploited for profit.

—Derek Dyer | Executive Director

Corporate Initiative

The Front Climbing Club

LinkedIn

Who inspires you? Why?

One of SLC’s great leaders who inspires me, particularly in the green space, is Hannah Vaughan of VY Architecture. Hannah was the lead architect of our SLC and Millcreek facilities and holds energy conservation hand-in-hand with good architecture as she approached her designs. Her concentrated studies on new and innovative building practices have ensured that every project she works on encompasses many green energy practices.  

Why did you make the decision to go green?

I am a mountain lover by nature and a chemist by training. I understand the value of being in the outdoors and the science of climate change, which continues to uncover the devastating and steady progression of its effects, including the havoc it is wreaking on our recreational landscapes.  

—Dustin Buckthal | CEO

Energy Conservation

McKinstry

Twitter | LinkedIn

Why did you make the decision to go green?

As the University of Utah embarked on a replacement strategy for the aging School of Medicine building, it became apparent that the existing central heating and cooling plant did not have enough capacity to serve the three new buildings planned for the health science campus. The University developed an innovative design/build approach and selected McKinstry through a competitive RFP process to undertake the difficult task of generating enough savings in time to allow the two new hospital buildings to open their doors for business as scheduled. 

All of the costs for the project would need to be repaid within 10 years, entirely from energy savings in order to secure a loan from the University so we provided a solution that reduced the University’s annual carbon emissions by 16,000 metric tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent of not burning 16.8 million pounds of coal, and will return a total of $30 million in savings.

The Muller Company & Canyon Park Tech Center

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

Canyon Park realized substantial energy savings and Rocky Mountain Power was able to satisfy its load without bringing peak power generation assets online as often, keeping average power prices low, and reducing emissions. The 2019 incentives, totaling $169,021 from RMP for 3,271,442 kWh saved is a huge success for Canyon Park, its tenants, and staff.  As part of its continuous improvement process, Canyon Park’s team plans to reproduce this success for several more years.

What advice do you have for businesses who are thinking of going green?

The Muller Company recommends that any hesitant owner or management company, “just get moving.” The projects at Canyon Park have saved the company, tenants, and utility companies money and improved their bottom line. 

—Justin Farnsworth | General Manager

VCBO Architecture

Twitter | LinkedIn

What advice do you have for businesses who are thinking of going green?

Do it! If you’re uncertain about where to start, look online. There are a slew of great resources available to help you decide where to start, one of which is this great article from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Most of all, start a green team!

What do you wish more people knew about being a green business or going green?

It is not difficult or expensive to take small steps to reduce your environmental footprint. Buying laptops instead of desktops when you replace your equipment, setting up technology to automatically hibernate at night, and installing vacancy sensors for lighting systems are not overwhelming costs. These small steps can reduce energy use and the environmental impact of products we use each day. 

—Whitney Ward | Principal

Energy Development

Power Innovations International

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

Based on its decades of experience building custom power support systems, Power Innovations has actively sought to tackle the carbon-emissions problem and create clean, safe, and scalable power solutions. We are currently working with the State of Utah to reduce its carbon footprint for cleaner air and healthier living.

What do you wish more people knew about being a green business or going green?

Renewable energy made up over 25 percent of global electricity in 2018, and that number is expected to double in the next 20 years. Develop a plan to begin reducing carbon footprint and carbon emissions now, so it is easier to keep up with the zero-carbon regulations as they come. Going green is not something futuristic. It is possible now, using existing green energy systems.

—Robert L. Mount | President & CEO

Wasatch Recovery Resource

LinkedIn

Why did you make the decision to go green?

Our public component, South Davis Sewer District, seeks to provide the best possible outcomes for their constituents in South Davis County. In addition to providing the essential role of wastewater treatment, they believe in the plant’s ability to expand on the customary services of the District by also creating environmental benefit.      

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

While it has been possible to divert green waste from the landfill in some areas of Utah for the production of compost, there has not been an opportunity to divert the “full plate” of food waste consisting of green waste, meat, dairy products, oils, and grains. With the introduction of Wasatch Resource Recovery, this full range of food waste can now be captured and converted into renewable natural gas and fertilizer. 

—Eric Alder | President | Alder Construction

Green Building

Ivory Homes

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

This year, Ivory Homes made strides in two key areas to promote more environmentally friendly homes and communities. Starting in 2020, every Ivory Home is built with a standard outlet for electric vehicles. In collaboration with Rocky Mountain Power, Leaders for Clean Air, and with support from UCAIR, homeowners are also eligible for a discounted EV Charger. Also, Ivory Homes announced a new effort to help their homebuyers save money and be more eco-friendly with water-efficient landscaping during National Water Week this year. 

In addition to these two initiatives, Ivory Homes continues to progress on the 30,000 tree initiative in partnership with the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, TreeUtah, and UCAIR. The initiative will celebrate 10,000 trees in more than 50 locations after just two years. 

—Michael Parker | Vice President of Public Affairs, Marketing and Senior Economist

Green Business Leadership

3form

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

We have long held a leadership role as a manufacturer with meaningful sustainability initiatives and community involvement. Through the annual GreenWeek activities at our local facilities, we have educated and engaged our employees in personal sustainability.

What do you wish more people knew about being a green business or going green?

Simple: what consumers purchase dictates what is made, and by whom; in other words, every dollar spent is a direct vote for the world we live in now and the future we will create, and we can have incredibly positive influence simply by purchasing products from companies that have strong commitments to sustainability and/or regenerative practices.

—Mike Johnson | Director of Sustainability 

Woodward Park City

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

Woodward Park City is working toward returning energy and waste levels at the resort to what they were when it was the much smaller Gorgoza tubing hill by 2025. Woodward Park City is striving to set the example of what a responsible and sustainable resort can be. In a state like Utah where recreation is a key part of our economy and the happiness of many people, it’s important for resorts and other hospitality operations to take the lead on environmental action.

Why did you make the decision to go green?

Woodward Park City, along with its parent company POWDR, intends to Play Forever. We understand that we must do our part to address climate change. We feel a responsibility to do our part to be efficient with the limited resources we have, to work to combat climate change, and to inspire others to take action. While we are only one small piece of the puzzle, if we can inspire others to act and they do too, that’s when change will happen at scale.

—Laura Schaffer | POWDR Director of Corporate Responsibility

Hanko Kiessner, founder & CEO, Packsize LLC

Twitter | LinkedIn

What advice do you have for businesses who are thinking of going green?

Don’t over-complicate your decision, start small and keep it simple. Build from there. There are quite a few obvious green choices that are easy to figure out and also profitable to implement. The idea is to get beyond the consideration, to act immediately, and execute on it.

Why did you make the decision to go green?

There is no long term sustainable economy unless it is completely green. Not going green really means unloading the cost of pollution onto the rest of the society and that’s not a sustainable way to move forward.

Innovation

BuildingFit

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

BuildingFit helps reduce the environmental footprint of our clients and society by reducing the amount of non-renewable energy they use.

What do you wish more people knew about being a green business or going green?

We want other businesses to know that efficiency does not just improve the environmental conditions within the state, it makes the business community more profitable by reducing energy costs. Energy efficiency investments can pay for themselves by increasing the value of buildings and plants. Even small investments can dramatically lower operating costs. We have seen facilities reduce their energy use by up to 30 percent through low or no-cost measures. 

Cariloha

Twitter

Why did you make the decision to go green?

After years of operating retail businesses all over the world, we saw a great need, especially in the home and bedding industry to think, create, and operate in a more eco-conscious way. We had a vision for creating a new category in the marketplace―one that was dedicated to comfort and sustainability in a single package, offering a comfy way for individuals and Cariloha to help save the world together.

What do you wish more people knew about being a green business or going green?

It’s a journey. A process. You aren’t suddenly green. Or, your products aren’t suddenly perfectly green and good for the planet. It takes consistent effort over time. You don’t necessarily arrive at a point where you can say that you’re 100 percent green and nothing more needs to be done. There’s always room for improvement. 

Scott Brady | VP of Communications

Social Impact

GREENbike

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

To date, GREENbikers have removed 6 million vehicle miles from our local roads and prevented 5.5 million pounds of C02 from entering our air. All while burning 77 million calories in the process. 

What do you wish more people knew about being a green business or going green?

You will push more people away from “going green” if you’re preachy or shaming them. It’s hard to have zeal without being a zealot. But “extremist” rhetoric just creates a greater divide when the goal is behavior change. It’s hard for people to absorb information if they feel attacked. I’ve never understood the expression, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” But the message is true.

Ben Bolte | Founder & Executive Director

Waste & Recycling

Hello!Bulk Markets

LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

By offering people a place to reuse the (perfectly good) containers they already have, we have eliminated the need for our customers to purchase single-use plastics. But I think almost more importantly, we have offered people a place where they can purchase good stuff that allows them to live well in a conscientious way.

What advice do you have for businesses who are thinking of going green?

Do it. Start today. Start imperfectly, inefficiently, it’s a starting point. You will tweak it, you will fine-tune it, and a year from now you will look back, see your progress, and want to do more.

—Jamaica Trinnaman | Founder & CEO

Innovative Renewable Feed Project

Twin River & AIRC

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

In 2019, Twin River Renewable and Ace Intermountain Recycling Center collected and processed over 30 million pounds of bakery waste. Ninety-eight percent of this bakery bi-product, 29,400,000 pounds, was turned into a renewable feed ration for livestock.  

—Zachary Harman | Business Manager

Who inspires you? Why?

The recycling market is a hard industry because commodities are mass-produced and produced as cheaply as possible. In many cases, it is cheaper to throw something away and buy new rather than repair or repurpose it. To be able to isolate a product, reuse more than 90 percent, and make a profit on it is impressive. Twin River has done this with the organic material for feeding livestock. AIRC is proud to be a partner in the process that makes it happen.

—Cortney Madsen | AIRC Operations Manager

Young Living Essential Oils

Twitter | LinkedIn

How has your organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

We have focused much of our efforts to share our learnings and help others around us to benefit. Whether it is holding education events on recycling, clothing repair and composting for our employees, or sharing ideas for corporate sustainability with our counterparts in the Sustainable Business Coalition, we are passionate about sharing our ideas. 

What do you envision the future of a greener Utah looks like?

We envision a greener Utah being a place and people that are not only passionate about addressing current environmental and social issues but are also looking to the long-term future of the state and making wise decisions that will protect and preserve everything great about Utah for many generations to come. 

Air Quality

Dell Technologies

How have you or your company/organization made an impact in Utah’s green space?

We intentionally built our site next to a Frontrunner Station and offered subsidized passes to our employees as well as implementing EV charges, compostable materials in our cafes, water refilling stations, numerous educational events, and opportunities for community service. We participated in the 2020 Clear the Air Challenge and logged more than 3900 trips and over 33 tons of CO2 reduced. 

Why did you make the decision to go green?

Pursuing sustainability makes Dell Technologies a better business and it’s the right thing to do. As a company, we made the conscious decision to set very aggressive goals and we rigorously track the progress of those goals. —Darcie Mayne | Sr. Analyst, Site Project Manager

To learn more about our honorees, check out the YouTube clips below!

Lindsay Bicknell is the project coordinator for Utah Business magazine. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she graduated from Miami University of Oxford with a degree in communications. She has a background in television, print, and web media, as well as public relations and event planning. As a transplant to Salt Lake City, she can't get enough of the mountains and loves snowboarding.

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