Meet this year’s Green Business Award winners
In partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, we are proud to honor the Utah companies and individuals making strides toward our state’s environmental sustainability. Congratulations to the 2022 Green Business honorees!
Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky Legacy Awards
Varex Imaging is recognized for maintaining a 13-year Visionary Partnership with the Blue Sky Program. As the largest independent provider of x-ray technology in the world, the Salt Lake City-based company supports and promotes the adoption of renewable energy, electric vehicles, and sustainable business practices. As Varex’s Sustainability Manager Jordan Larson says, the message is simple: “Renewable energy is for everyone.” Varex Imaging’s annual participation in Blue Sky has the equivalent environmental impact of removing more than 400 gas-powered vehicles from the highways. Varex manages a significant recycling program, encourages employees to utilize alternative modes of transportation that minimize single-passenger vehicles, and even provides free, on-site electric vehicle charging options. The Varex Salt Lake campus also has an employee garden with about 35 active participants and hosts employee sustainability fairs.
Weber State University
Since 2007, Weber State University (WSU) has been working toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050—and they are a decade ahead of schedule. To date, WSU has cut its electricity consumption by 37 percent, natural gas consumption by 48 percent, and reduced its total greenhouse gas emissions footprint by 63 percent. The Blue Sky Program has been part of its mission from the beginning. A Blue Sky Legacy Award aims to recognize organizations and citizens that promote, educate, and set an example for the communities they serve. WSU is influencing the leaders of our future, and their accomplishments are valued by more than 29,000 local and international students and 2,800 employees as they pave a path for others to follow. Their message and actions play a critical role in how we view and respond to climate crises ahead. Blue Sky participants are proud to call WSU a Legacy Partner.
The Front Climbing Club
This year’s small business Legacy Award goes to The Front Climbing Club with locations in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and South Salt Lake. The Front is more than a climbing gym, fitness center, or café—it’s a gathering place for enthusiasts with interests focused on community sustainability and a hub for glass and battery recycling, promoting electric vehicles and emission-free transportation. The Front has been a Blue Sky Visionary Partner since 2007. Between its Blue Sky participation and on-site solar generation, The Front can claim that 100 percent of its electricity usage is derived from renewable energy sources at the Salt Lake City location. The company partners with several nonprofit agencies that work toward positively impacting our communities and matching member donations. “Our motto is, ‘Come as you are. We’ll send you home stronger,’” says Dustin Buckthal, the owner of The Front. “We truly focus on creating beautiful, environmentally-friendly spaces where individuals of all backgrounds can come together to recreate and simply connect and enjoy one another.”
Salt Lake County
“As the mayor of Salt Lake County, I need to keep a balanced budget while addressing residents’ expectations of protecting the environment,” says Mayor Jenny Wilson. “The Blue Sky program allows our Salt Lake County operations to be more sustainable. I see the program as a win for the county, taxpayers, and the environment all at the same time.” More than 30,000 Blue Sky participants reside in Salt Lake County, making it the highest Blue Sky supporter region in Rocky Mountain Power’s territory. “This type of participation and adoption only happens when you have top leadership and community support,” says Stacey Davis, Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program manager. Since 2019, the Salt Lake County Office of Environmental Services has worked on sustainability projects and tackled environmental issues that challenge the Wasatch Front. The county has expanded the Green & Healthy Homes program, reduced its water use by over 30 million gallons a year, and launched innovative projects like the e-bus air monitoring system. The county’s fleet of passenger vehicles is almost entirely made up of hybrid or electric vehicles, and the county owns and operates 60 electric vehicle charging stations. Salt Lake County has received a Blue Sky grant this year to install a solar array and battery storage for one of its facilities.
Becton, Dickinson and Company
This year, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is celebrating 125 years of advancing the world of health. As a global organization, BD is committed to using its scale and influence to address climate change from many different angles. For more than two decades, BD has been committed to actively managing environmental, social, and governance issues around the globe to generate the positive change needed to realize healthy, resilient communities. Here in Utah, one of those includes participation in the Blue Sky program, matching more than 218 million kilowatt-hours of electric use with renewable energy over 15 years. In the last year, BD joined the Race to Zero, committing to scope three greenhouse gas reduction targets to reach science-based net zero emissions by 2050. BD also continues to progress toward a goal of 25 percent energy reduction by 2030 by achieving a 14 percent energy reduction in their 2021 fiscal year and increasing investment in on-site renewable energy. BD’s 75,000 global associates empower us to protect our planet, our communities, and our environment. BD has been a prominent participant in the Blue Sky program, and its commitment to generating positive change in our world inspires others to follow its lead.
Eat Awesome Things (EATS) Park City
Eat Awesome Things (EATS) Park City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering and growing healthy communities. EATS gathers the Summit County community around shared nutritional and environmental values by educating and encouraging students, individuals, families, and institutions to create positive habits for food sustainability. EATS teaches the importance of growing and eating healthy food through cooking and gardening classes while also teaching about the significance of food waste with a holistic look at the food cycle. EATS promotes sustainable practices that include eating locally-grown produce, increasing plant-based consumption, and composting organics, thereby creating more waste-conscientious consumers. EATS also emphasizes how these sustainable, nutritious habits can address conditions such as diet-related illnesses, malnutrition, and obesity.
Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management
The Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) strives to create professional spaces that implement cost-effective methods for energy-efficient design, construction, and operations. DFCM achieves this through multiple programs, including the High Performance Building Standard (HPBS), the State Facility Energy Efficiency Fund (SFEEF), and the implementation of the Statewide Space Master Plan. The HPBS is part of DFCM’s design requirements, working hand-in-hand with project managers, stakeholders, and agencies to ensure that the state’s capital projects are held to strict energy efficiency standards. SFEEF was established to provide the State Building Energy Efficiency Program with a revolving loan fund from which agencies and institutions can borrow to complete energy efficiency improvement projects. Repayment of the loan is achieved by capturing cost savings from reduced energy use and demand as well as by capturing utility incentives. Borrowed funds are paid back into the SFEEF so they can be lent out again.
In 2021, the Skullcandy team announced that the company would withhold 1 million pounds of electronic waste from landfills worldwide by 2025. This goal originated from Skullcandy’s reverse logistics program launched in 2019, which takes retailer and customer returns and “upcycles” them back into the world as refurbished products. Since the launch of Skullcandy’s circular commerce program, 649,290 units of product have been upcycled or recycled, equating to 543,347 lbs of returned products withheld from landfills around the world. The Skullcandy digital team launched Carbon Checkout on each of their four websites around the globe, which allows customers to offset the carbon footprint of their online transactions. The company has achieved its goal to implement 100 percent recyclable packaging and has reduced packaging size by 20 percent, the use of unnecessary papers by 11 percent, and plastics by 16 percent. A portion of all Skullcandy sales go toward Protect Our Winters, a globally-recognized nonprofit focused on climate change.
For most of the 20th century, smoke rose above the Sharon Steel Mill smelting and ore milling facility. Today, steel and coal have transformed into solar and wildlife on what is now the site of the Zions Bancorporation Technology Center. Opened in July 2022, the center features more than 180 electric vehicle parking spaces and 2,000 solar panels that save 4.9 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually over 400,000 square feet. The LEED Platinum-certified building supports nearly 2,000 employees and offers ample green spaces, a community garden, and connectivity to nearby bike paths and public transit. This new technology hub is just one of the ways Zions Bancorporation is promoting environmental responsibility and sustainability. Two decades ago, Zions pioneered the technology that allows paper checks to be deposited electronically, eliminating millions of trips to the bank. Today, the company continues to redesign processes to promote electronic forms and signatures. Zions has been investing in renewable power generation in the US since 2009, growing its renewable energy portfolio by more than 100 percent since 2018.
Inherent to AutoSavvy’s business model is the adage, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” By reconditioning vehicles that are destined for auction yards, AutoSavvy reduces the need to manufacture yet another car for today’s congested roads—saving the estimated 60,000 gallons of water it takes to produce a new vehicle. The transportation industry leads economic sectors in CO2 pollution, and automobiles are the biggest reason. AutoSavvy takes this seriously and has partnered with the Carbon Offset Company to plant 75 trees for every vehicle purchased. These 75 trees will effectively offset the carbon emissions created over five years by that vehicle. Since the launch of the Drive Carbon Neutral program, AutoSavvy has offset over 90 million tons of carbon, which equates to roughly 9,000 years of driving. AutoSavvy is delivering a pathway to affordable car ownership that is environmentally forward-thinking.
Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center
The Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center (IIAC) was founded in 2017 thanks to funding from the Department of Energy and Utah’s Governor’s Office of Energy Development. The organization is committed to providing local manufacturers with in-depth analysis outlining real-world ways to reduce their energy use, offering green solutions to traditional energy sources. The IIAC team consists of engineering students and industrial professionals, providing hands-on experience and mentorship to prepare students for future careers by providing real-world exposure and involvement. On average, the IIAC team has reduced energy costs by $94,000, resulting in 1,790,000 kWh saved per site. By providing additional air quality services, around 2 million pounds of CO2 have been saved per location. The guidance IIAC provided to over 200 energy-conscious manufacturers and wastewater treatment plants led the organization to win the Student Research Award in both 2019 and 2020, as well as the IAC Center for Excellence Award in 2020.
General Manager | Cairns Cafe, Mountain American Credit Union HQ
Tara Anderson is the charismatic general manager of Cairns Café in Sandy, Utah, which is self-operated by Mountain America Credit Union. She is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and volunteers as the VP of the board for Waste Less Solutions. Since 2019, Tara’s culinary team has spearheaded composting efforts and partnered with Waste Less Solutions for the LEED Silver-certified Mountain America Center. They have sent ~57,000 pounds of food (compost) to be converted into renewable energy, and ~5,000 meals have been rescued through the Waste Less Solutions partnership. The café charges for to-go containers to discourage usage, offers composting, and has an internal “teams channel” where Tara offers tips to reduce waste at work and home. She also instituted “Family Meal Friday,” where her chef reuses leftovers to create completely new menu items like most fine dining restaurants do for their staff meal.
Encor Solar is a nationwide renewable energy company specializing in residential solar. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, Encor Solar has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing solar companies, deploying thousands of rooftop solar projects in the state and across the nation. Encor seeks to educate its employees and homeowners about energy conservation and renewable energy, spreading its message through efforts to switch every homeowner in America to solar.
VP, Greenfield Development | ENGIE North America
Josh Case has over 20 years of experience in solar development, real estate development, and finance. He is responsible for more than 10,000 MWac of projects sited strategically next to key transmission infrastructure, large load manufacturing facilities, and/or retiring coal generation. Josh has sold projects totaling over 10,000 MWac of solar with storage to ENGIE NA, Photosol Development US, and EDF Renewables, the North American subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles. He has also consulted for other large renewable energy companies, including EDF, Tenaska, and Renewable Social Benefit Funds. Josh’s previous experience includes financial advisory and investment banking services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and structuring capital and operating equipment leases as director of sales and marketing at MJM Capital, Inc. He is the former CEO and co-founder of Photosol US and is the current CEO of Panorama Company and Energy Capital Group.
rPlus Energies is a Salt Lake City-based company that develops solar, pumped storage hydroelectric, battery energy storage, and wind renewable energy power plants. Through partnerships with the private sector, municipalities, and utilities, rPlus projects enable access to the region’s best mix of renewable resources, boost revenue sources for the local tax base, create jobs, and enhance communities’ continued legacy in the industry of energy production. In less than four years, rPlus has assembled a portfolio of over 30 projects in various stages of development across 15 markets across the US, representing over 13 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity. In Utah alone, rPlus has eight utility-scale solar and storage projects in active development or operation that are expected to add an estimated 1,000+ full-time construction phase jobs and over $40 million in property tax revenue for Utah communities over the next 20 years.
Salt Lake City Department of Airports
In Fall 2020, the Salt Lake City Department of Airports (SLCDA) opened the first phase of The New SLC Airport—the first new large-hub airport built in the US in the 21st century. The New SLC was designed and built to provide a flexible, right-sized design for the future that is more efficient, sustainable, and maintains competitive costs. It was also designed to establish a benchmark for environmentally-responsible airports. Sustainable design strategies that aimed to minimize the airport’s environmental footprint included high-performance glazing, daylighting, energy-efficient mechanical and lighting systems, and an efficient configuration of terminal and gate locations to reduce fuel use and aircraft emissions. The SLCDA’s efforts have not gone unnoticed and were recognized in 2021 with a LEED Gold certification. Phases 2 and 3, which are currently under construction, are also on track to earn LEED Gold.
Novva Data Centers
With sustainability at the forefront of each decision made, Novva Data Center’s flagship in West Jordan was designed to operate without water year-round, use solar energy, and cool with ambient air. As a result of these green practices, the facility has earned a LEED Silver certification from the US Green Building Council, a top honor legitimizing the sustainability efforts of the facility. The most unique feature of the flagship facility is a water-free cooling system that operates by utilizing a combination of the elevated floors surrounding air and heat exchange coils. Additionally, the facility is outfitted with countless green design features, including artificial grass to cut down on unnecessary water use, refillable water bottle stations, electric vehicle charging stations, and recycling receptacles that foster an overall green mindset amongst employees. The data center is an example of how thoughtful design can go a long way when creating greener facilities.
Green Business Leadership
Nu Skin focuses on being environmentally friendly through its business practices and community leadership. By 2030, the company has committed to making all product packaging recycled, renewable, recyclable, reusable, or reduced. In 2021 alone, Nu Skin’s repackaging and sustainability initiatives saved 118.2 tons of plastic and 33.1 tons of paper. Nu Skin is the first beauty company to use Eco-Pac, which is constructed of 100 percent Bio-pe (a bio-based plastic resin derived from sugarcane) that uses 83 percent less carbon emission and an average of 10 percent less plastic per product. A designated product recycling bin at Nu Skin’s global headquarters recycled 179.8 tons of materials in 2021 alone. Nu Skin leads sustainability efforts in the state of Utah by forming and leading the Utah Sustainable Business Coalition with Adobe and Young Living, which leads businesses and communities to better the world. Within five years, the coalition has grown to include more than 300 members statewide.
The Shop SLC
The Shop SLC, a premier shared workspace for the creative professional, made history by opening the first carbon-neutral shared office space in the city. Here, teams large and small come together under one roof to share furniture, technology, coffee makers, and ideas. The Shop has championed sustainability beyond the build itself with a series of partners and initiatives, including a relationship with Momentum Recycling and Atlas Disposal to recycle appropriately, as well as a sponsorship of the nearby GREENBike station. The workspace’s roots grow deeper with outreach to eco-oriented nonprofits like the Green Urban Lunchbox and the Utah Sustainable Business Coalition. These partnerships cemented The Shop’s role in surrounding communities via commitments to provide local products for purchase in the workspace’s marketplace.
Utah Clean Energy
What started as a small group of passionate volunteers working on climate issues around a kitchen table has become one of Utah’s most impactful and trusted clean air and climate change organizations, Utah Clean Energy. When incorporated in 2002, wind and solar farms in the state were nonexistent, next to zero homes had solar, and talking about climate change in the halls of Utah’s state capital required walking a political tightrope. Utah now has enough renewable energy to power nearly 700,000 Utah homes, energy efficiency is a priority energy resource, and Utah leaders from across party lines are discussing the risks and solutions of climate change. Over the past 20 years, Utah Clean Energy has become recognized as the state’s foremost expert on climate, clean energy, and air quality solutions. The organization’s mission is to “lead and accelerate the clean energy transformation with vision and expertise” and has supported those ideals through dozens of impactful measures spanning solar energy, electric vehicles, healthy homes, energy and equity, climate policy, and more.
A global leader in clean, consumer power solutions, Utah-based Goal Zero created the portable power station category more than a decade ago following a humanitarian mission to bring sustainable energy to those in need. From emergency outages to camping and off-grid projects and events, Goal Zero solar panels, power stations, and accessories give people the power to keep their gear charged through any situation. Born out of the desire to empower people everywhere and as an NRG company, Goal Zero is working to change the way people think about and use power by pioneering the development of smarter energy solutions.
Waste & Recycling
fulFILLed’s mission is to simplify low-waste living by offering refillable and package-free products to those looking to lessen their impact on the environment. fulFILLed believes that by making zero-waste alternatives accessible, more people will ditch single-use plastics and join the reduce, reuse, and REFILL revolution. What started as a vendor at the Park City Farmers Market quickly grew into a brick-and-mortar location at Outlets Park City and is the first refill and low-waste store in Summit County that is 100 percent plastic-free. This year, fulFILLed has helped divert close to 7,000 plastic bottles from the waste stream. Through its efforts, fulFILLed supports 16 woman-owned sustainable businesses.
Nearly 40 percent of American households do not have access to convenient recycling, and existing programs are only able to recycle 10-45 percent of household waste. Recyclops makes recycling easier, more convenient, and more accessible. Founded by Ryan Smith, Recyclops launched in 2014 as the first to apply technology to environmental logistics and bring recycling to areas where it didn’t previously exist. Recyclops partners with organizations to develop solutions to unsolved sustainability issues, and the company has diverted over 8 million pounds from landfills to date. Recyclops’ mission is to build a circular economy through green tech and lean logistics, bringing sustainable lifestyle solutions to all.
LUX Catering & Events
The LUX family of designers, mavens, and epicureans guides clients in creating a zero-waste event. From sustainable rentals and linen options to coordination of mass transit, offering guests public transportation, menus featuring local ingredients, paperless proposals and invitations, eco-friendly centerpiece options, and more, these strategies boost community revenue and reduce LUX’s carbon footprint. Over the last five years, LUX has created a comprehensive recycling program that diverts nearly 90 percent of its waste from landfills and is driven to multiple recycling streams. These scraps and leftovers are recycled into fertilizers for city parks and local farms through LUX’s partnership with Momentum Recycling.
HydroJug is a half-gallon water bottle that has become a viral sensation for those seeking to improve their life through hydration. The success behind the company stems from the dedication of two entrepreneurial brothers, Hayden and Jake Wadsworth, who founded HydroJug while attending college. In five short years, the two young co-founders turned the water bottle into a thriving coast-to-coast business. HydroJug’s mission is simple: help others achieve their healthiest and happiest selves through proper hydration and a family-like community of support. Their flagship product, the HydroJug, is a game-changer when it comes to reaching hydration goals by offering an eco-friendly solution to single-use plastic bottles. Since its inception, HydroJug is estimated to have eliminated more than one billion plastic bottles from polluting the environment.
Together with Drew Hutchins of the retro streetwear brand Moby Thrift, the Lonely Ghost team sourced and hand-picked hundreds of blank T-shirts at a vintage warehouse in downtown Los Angeles to use as the base of the clothing brand’s signature tees. By using these vintage blank pieces as a canvas for creative designs, these “Ghosted Garments” stay true to the Lonely Ghost brand without harming the environment. Every week, 25 one-of-a-kind garments are sold at the Ghost Grocery store in Provo, Utah. This authentic vintage buying experience encourages reusing and repurposing, all while adhering to the buying power of the Gen-Z marketplace.
Find more photos from the 2022 Green Business Awards here.