Meet Our Green Business Honorees
Every year, Utah Business Magazine awards those who have contributed to the greater wellbeing of our state. Whether that is working to affect air quality, harvest more nourishing food for our communities, or even offer a more sustainable way to exit this world through environmentally friendly burial practices, these businesses aren’t just in it for the profits, they’re in it for the profitability of humankind.
Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky Legacy Winners
Mazza Café & Elevated Cuisine
This year Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program honors two local restaurants for leading the green energy path in Utah. Both Mazza Café and Elevated Cuisine (aka Vertical Diner, Sage’s Café, and Cali’s Natural Foods) have been Blue Sky Visionary partners since 2004. Combined together, they have supported more than 1.7 million kWh of renewable energy―equivalent to the environmental impact of taking 271 gas-powered vehicles off the road―that’s 3.1 million miles not driven! Ian Brandt, founder of Elevated Cuisine, stated that his participation in Blue Sky simply follows his company’s values of being a strong advocate and organic member of the local community. Ali Sabbah, owner and operator of both Mazza Café locations in Salt Lake City, says they are “just doing our part” to make a difference in the communities where they serve. Blue Sky customers everywhere thank Mr. Brandt and Mr. Sabbah, for their commitment to renewable energy and for setting a strong example in their industries.
Salt Lake Brewing Company
Salt Lake Brewing Company’s Squatters and Wasatch Breweries are well-known (and loved) pubs in Salt Lake City and Park City, but did you know they are also the greenest? James Soares, director of operations, is charged with keeping the brewing company’s Blue Sky Visionary partnership, dating back more than 14 years. Their participation in Blue Sky helps offset the carbon footprint of their brewing operations by 30 percent, which is equivalent to eliminating the CO2 emissions caused by 50,320 pounds of coal burned every single month. Along the way, they have inspired other breweries to follow suit, but they are definitely leading the pack in the race-to-green. Congratulations to Salt Lake Brewing Company for their Blue Sky Legacy Award, proving that Utah and beer is a more sustainable model than many people could ever imagine.
Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Legacy Awards are reserved for those that live and breathe and walk the talk. Park City is the greenest municipal in the state of Utah, and has set the most ambitious renewable goal in North America: to be carbon neutral, running municipal operations on 100 percent renewable energy by 2022. At the end of 2017, they passed the 50 percent mark toward this goal, and their community shares their commitment, with more than 12 percent of their citizens already participating in renewable energy programs. Park City’s Blue Sky Visionary partnership started in 2003, and they joined Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar program in 2017 which increased their renewable participation by 50 percent. Park City’s legacy goes beyond leadership―they are a steward, a beacon.
Fidelity Investments doesn’t just believe in inspiring better futures and outcomes for their customers, they also believe in inspiring their employees to feel empowered in the communities where they live and work. For the past seven years, their 1,800+ employees throughout Utah have participated in Utah’s Clear the Air Challenge, and their commitment has stopped almost 300 tons of carbon emissions from entering Utah’s air. Fidelity even offers each of their Utah employees a fully subsidized Utah Transit Authority pass as part of their benefits package. Since 2007, they’ve reduced their paper usage by 48 percent, their municipal water usage by 20 percent, and their greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent.
Liberty Heights Fresh | Steven Rosenberg, Founder
Since opening in 1993, Liberty Heights Fresh founder, Steven Rosenberg, has had a deep commitment to sustainable, ecological business practices. Striving every day to leave the planet better than they found it, they will be one of the first businesses to send their food waste to the new energy-producing methane digester in Davis County later this year. They also utilize naturally biodegradable packaging and have invested in a rack refrigeration system that has drastically reduced their energy usage. After 25 years of green business leadership, Mr. Rosenberg’s greatest joy is seeing the smile on his customer’s faces when they take a bite of their food, knowing that their bodies are smiling inside and out.
Park City Lodging
Park City Lodging joined Park City’s green business program at its conception in 2016. But the mother-daughter owned business has extended eco-friendly practices since they began in 1984. Across 127 condominiums and private residences, they have improved sustainability by installing solar panels, implementing rainwater catch and reuse systems, promoting recycling and providing recycled products, and subsidizing SLC-PC bus passes for its Salt Lake staff. While they know changing habits are hard, they work with their employees and owners to promote sustainable practices and sustainable education. They continue to work toward sustainable goals for the future.
The Electric Highway Company | Todd Ritter, CEO
Todd Ritter, CEO of the Electric Highway Company, knows what it takes to combat the inversion we face across the Wasatch Front. And he’s doing his part to clear the air. After being awarded a contract with the state of Utah to install electric vehicle charging station infrastructure, they anticipate installing thousands of charging stations across the state. Not only are they promoting more zero emission drivers, but they’re providing a need for local talent in sustainable engineering, installation, and business development. Their goal is to provide new and existing Utah businesses with the guidance and education to make the most of this electric vehicle infrastructure and become part of the solution.
Ivory Homes celebrated 30 years of excellence on Earth Day 2018 by announcing the planting of 30,000 trees across the state of Utah. Partnering with TreeUtah, the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR), and groups of Ivory homeowners and citizens throughout the state, the first significant community planting will take place in October. The 30,000+ tree initiative is just part of the extensive efforts Ivory Homes is making to be a sustainably-conscious builder, and they are committed to finding new solutions for enhancing Utah’s air quality.
Creative Energies is a community of adventurous solar craftsmen who care deeply about both their customers and the environment. By operating out of net-zero energy offices, they are passionate about maintaining a sustainable environment. The solar partner for the Sierra Club, they are dedicated to educating the public on solar energy usage and production, presenting at over twenty University of Utah Clean Energy events. Creative Energies regularly donate solar-powered trailers to community events and local nonprofits.
Ride-sharing isn’t new in 2018, but with the appearance of on-demand Bird scooters across Salt Lake, transportation throughout the city has been revolutionized. The company saw an opportunity to reduce car trips (40 percent of which are under two miles) thereby reducing traffic, congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions. Working closely with cities to help make transportation better & more environmentally friendly, they are also responding to other transportation needs, actively urging cities to utilize more bike lanes, and maintain a shared infrastructure.
Memorial Mortuaries & Cemeteries
Memorial Mortuaries and Cemeteries believes in providing families with a natural space to honor their loved ones. Dedicated to helping families through some of their most difficult times, they go above and beyond by providing sustainable alternatives to traditional burial practices. From hand-dug graves and wicker, biodegradable caskets to sustainable cremation practices, Memorial Mortuaries and Cemeteries knows it’s important that their environmentally-conscious clients have options, too. As Utah becomes more densely populated, they know it’s comforting to be able to provide families with large, open green spaces to honor their loved ones’ legacies.
Salt Lake City Public Library
Libraries are fundamentally green, allowing the reuse of materials and shared resources. But the Salt Lake City Public Library offers sustainable resources for their community by providing access to sustainable education. In 2017, they converted an unused outdoor space into a community garden where they host workshops about gardening in an urban environment. This fall, they’ll be offering programs like “Recycling 101.” Their newest branches, Glendale and Marmalade, were specifically designed to be energy-efficient. As a community-learning organization, they strive to lead by example. And they believe that a greater sharing of information will provide people with better access to sustainable solutions for their businesses and at home.
The Spotted Door | Jason Utgaard, Founder
The Spotted Door has diverted several hundred tons of material from landfills, which, in founder Jason Utgaard’s words, has been “a heck of an endeavor.” By offering products made exclusively from recycled and reclaimed materials in his shop, Mr. Utgaard is dedicated to showing his community how to turn their trash into not only usable items, but stylish fashion and home goods, as well. The Spotted Door provides a network for sustainable businesses to reach consumers, even offering a carbon checkout that allows customers to round up their purchases, or give change to help build zero emission energy and carbon capture products. “The time is now,” says Mr. Utgaard. “You are not going to change the landscape overnight, but you surely are not going to change anything if you don’t try.”
The Salt Palace Green Team
A green-friendly and sustainability-focused ethos has always been a priority of the Salt Palace, but year after year, they continue to outdo themselves. In 2017, the Salt Palace Green Team donated over 200,000 lbs. of recycled materials to organizations in Salt Lake City and rescued over 30,000 lbs. of food leftover from events to feed the hungry.
And they expect to reach new heights in donations for their 2018 totals. This year alone, they have recycled almost 650,000 lbs. of wood, metal, cardboard, paper, and plastics. The Green Team continues to be a leader for sustainable events in the global meetings and events industry, working with every client that comes through their venues, helping them create the most green-friendly and sustainable event strategy possible.
In 2008, dōTERRA set out on a mission to change the world through building and supporting ethical supply chains. Today, the majority of their 130 essential oils are grown and produced directly from community growers in over 45 countries. Providing jobs for rural farmers who might otherwise experience unfair wages or poor working conditions, they seek to minimize waste streams and encourage agricultural producers to be conscious of their environmental impact. Building relationships with local conservationists, community leaders, and ecologists, they work to find the best solution not only for the present, but for generations to come.
Enyo Renewable Energy | Christine Mikell, Principal
Enyo Renewable Energy is committed to meeting the demand for clean energy to help clear the air and conserve water. Developing the first utility-scale wind energy project in the state of Utah, as well as two more wind energy projects in Utah, no other renewable energy company in the region can match their achievements. The most rewarding thing founder and principal Christine Mikell has been part of was the development of Spanish Fork Wind Farm, which produces enough energy to power 20 percent of the homes in Utah County.
Green Fire HVAC | Kevin Leecaster, Owner
Kevin Leecaster’s science education lead him to become gravely concerned about the risks posed by climate change and ocean chemistry modification caused by greenhouse gas emissions. 40 percent of our energy use is related to heating and cooling buildings, and the Wasatch Front’s winter inversion made it painfully obvious that something needed to be done. So he chose to do something about it. As one of Utah’s first benefit LLCs, Green Fire HVAC not only educates their clients, but installs cleaner, higher efficiency options for home heating and cooling. While heat pumps were invented in 1902, Mr. Leecaster is making innovative strides in educating others in how they can be used to prevent smog buildup.
Weber State University
Weber State University’s sustainable journey began with a commitment by former president Ann Millner when she signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), setting the goal for WSU to become a carbon-neutral campus by 2050. Since 2009, they have cut their carbon footprint by over 25 percent. The WSU Mow Electric program has helped over 830 community members upgrade from gas-powered to clean-running electric motors, which have resulted in reducing air pollutants by 4 million vehicle miles traveled and helping clear the air during Utah’s prime ozone-pollution season. The WSU enjoys making a difference in the world, with over 60 Green Team certified departments.