Meet the 2021 Green Business honorees
I n partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, we are proud to honor the Utah companies and individuals who are making strides toward our state’s environmental sustainability. Congratulations to the 2021 Green Business honorees!
Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky Legacy Awards
Since 2007, Autoliv has been a Blue Sky Champion partner and renewable energy advocate. The Blue Sky program was a great way to contribute and ensure that renewables expanded, technology improved, and renewable installations could become less cost-prohibitive. They currently have a goal to become carbon neutral in their operations by 2030 and net-zero emissions across the supply chain by 2040.
“Autoliv’s vision of ‘Saving More Lives’ drives all our work,” says Mikael Bratt, president and CEO at Autoliv. “Sustainability is firmly rooted in our business strategy and as a market leader in our field, our efforts are aligned with the broader society’s agenda. Leading the way and being an active contributor to sustainable mobility and society is a business priority for us. It strengthens our market leadership and competitive edge.”
Blue Sky would like to thank Autoliv for their continued support of renewable energy and fostering additional renewable energy development above and beyond the company’s basic generation mix.
Black Diamond Equipment Ltd
Black Diamond Equipment is committed to making a difference on behalf of its community of users. Their ethos is rooted in the idea that the style of accomplishing goals is as important as achieving them at all, which applies to their business and advocacy pursuits. “Living in Utah, it’s easy to make a case of why investing in clean energy is paramount,” says the sustainability team at Black Diamond Equipment. “You don’t need to be a rock climber, skier, or outdoor enthusiast in order to see that a paradigm shift must occur if we want to live, breathe, recreate, and exist in a healthy environment. Redefining our relationship with energy and committing to cleaner forms of energy is just one step—the first of many that all of us should undertake to preserve, protect, and exist in this beautiful place we all call home.”
On behalf of more than 60,000 Blue Sky customers in Utah, we are proud to call Black Diamond Equipment a Legacy Visionary Partner.
George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center
The George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Salt Lake City became a Blue Sky Visionary Partner in 2006. VAMC has supported over 39 million kilo-watt hours of renewable energy, which is the equivalent to eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions from 6,047 cars driven for one year.
The Salt Lake City VAMC campus utilizes solar technology to generate about one megawatt of clean energy as well as a 2.2-megawatt combined heat and power engine that provides power, heat, and chilled water. It also utilizes active management of control systems, including night and occupancy setbacks, upgraded chiller system cooling, and design standards to achieve 30 percent better than ASHRAE requirements. The results of these systems, equipment, and techniques reduce their carbon footprint and water usage, decrease greenhouse gas production, and promote smart energy ideals to their employees and patrons.
“Doing our part to reduce wasted energy consumption allows us to use the funds we have to give back more to the very purpose of our mission, the care of veterans,” says Richard Hayden, energy engineer for the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.
Thank you, George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center—for being an early adopter, for your loyal partnership, and for setting the example in your industry.
The 2021 Community Blue Sky Legacy honor was awarded to Ogden City. As a Blue Sky Visionary Partner for 14 years, Ogden city has long recognized the importance of supporting renewable energy development. “There has to be a balance between economic growth and air quality,” says Ogden City Council Vice-Chair Marcia White. “As we are growing along the Wasatch Front, we can’t continue to think in a silo if we want to have the quality of life that we love in Ogden. Small changes lead to bigger results and this is the essence of who Ogden City residents are…working together to solve a problem.”
Since 2006, Blue Sky Grants have funded 10 solar array projects in Ogden, generating more than 190,000 kilowatt-hours annually. In addition to Ogden’s Blue Sky participation, more than 5,000 of its residents also participate in the program. Blue Sky extends our gratitude to Ogden City for pioneering the path for others to follow.
Green Business Awards
Ace Recycling and Disposal
Ace Recycling and Disposal purchased their first compressed natural gas (CNG) garbage truck in 2008, and now more than half of their fleet is composed of CNG garbage trucks. Ace has never shied away from investing in new technology that can positively impact air quality and has invested in CNG fueling infrastructure at four of their locations along the Wasatch Front. As of early 2019, Ace began purchasing Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) from a landfill in Texas. The Ace team is eagerly waiting for the arrival of their new electric side-load garbage truck that should be ready for debut in October 2021. Ace’s headquarters is home to 918 solar panels, is xeriscaped, and has a geothermal heating and cooling system.
Together with customers, suppliers, and communities, Dell Technologies upholds the responsibility to protect and enrich the planet. The team at Dell Technologies embeds sustainable and ethical practices into all that they do, embracing accountability for their actions while driving improvements wherever and whenever possible. They work collaboratively to find solutions to global environmental issues and work across their supply chain to address water stress, water quality, and waste. Dell Technology offices focus on efficiency programs like low-water landscaping, rainwater harvesting, and greywater use to reduce water waste. Their commitment to zero waste extends all the way to their customers.
ETC Group is recognized as one of the industry’s leading energy efficiency firms. For over 33 years, ETC has provided engineering solutions and delivered energy savings to thousands of new and existing facilities all over the world. Commercial organizations ranging from hospitals to casinos, large institutions like universities and Air Force bases, and industrial sites like asphalt plants and semiconductor manufacturers have turned to ETC Group to reduce their energy spend. As a member of Utah Clean Energy (UCE) and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), ETC Group walks the walkthrough education and advocacy. This commitment extends throughout the organization, as demonstrated by volunteer involvement with regional chapters of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and the Building Commissioning Association (BCxA).
The Green Urban Lunch Box
The Green Urban Lunch Box empowers people to connect to their food and community while simultaneously revitalizing urban spaces and building a resilient food culture. They believe that fresh, quality food is a human right, and their aim is to foster a community-centered approach to improving food security through their programs. One of The Green Urban Lunch Box goals is to make fresh food accessible to the people who need it most by utilizing resources that already exist. In 2020, they grew 20,000 pounds of food in neglected urban spaces while teaching aspiring gardeners and farmers sustainable growing practices through their Small Farm Initiative and Back-Farms programs. Additionally, they prevented 44,000 pounds of fruit from ending up in the landfill by harvesting the fruit from underutilized trees in neighborhoods through their FruitShare program. The Green Urban Lunch Box hosts free farm stands at Salt Lake County senior centers, where food from the Back-Farms and FruitShare programs is distributed for free. In 2020 alone, The Green Urban Lunch Box was responsible for a total of 64,000 pounds of fresh produce that directly built and strengthened the Salt Lake County food system through its distribution efforts.
As CEO and president, Steve Lindsley oversees the long-term strategy and day-to-day execution of Grōv Technologies’ core business in deploying sustainable, controlled-environment agriculture technology to grow fresh animal feed for producers around the world. Through Lindsley’s leadership, Grōv has built enterprise-scale systems to grow High-Density Nutrient™ feed using seed-to-harvest robotics, scientifically proven indoor growing protocols, and low-heat LED grow lighting technology developed by Stellar Smart Energy Solutions, a division of Grōv. Since joining Grōv in 2018, Lindsley has built relationships with the world’s leading dairy and beef producers and has created a strong strategic foundation for growth.
Executive Chairman & Founder | Packsize International
Hanko Kiessner is the executive chairman of Packsize International LLC, the leading global manufacturer of advanced On Demand Packaging® systems and automated packaging machine technology, workflow design solutions, and services. Having founded Packsize in 2002, Kiessner is the company’s aspirational leader, sustainability role model, and visionary. A German citizen whose career began with a leading corrugated supplier in the DACH region, he developed the company’s business model and the Right-sized Packaging on Demand® concept.
In an ever-changing and drought-prone Utah, Ivory Homes recognizes the importance of creating sustainable water techniques in the many communities they influence and build. Ivory Homes is committed to water conservation through the implementation of the water-wise landscaping program Localscapes® in their homes throughout the state. By creatively arranging gathering areas, activity zones, paths, planting beds, and open spaces, as well as utilizing drought-resistant trees plants, and trees, water-wise landscaping creates effective space usage and beautiful yards that can save more than 60 percent of the water used in traditional Utah landscaping. By the end of 2021, Ivory Homes will have implemented Localscapes® in more than 1,000 new homes, saving a critical 59 million gallons of water annually during a year of historic drought. Using Localscapes®, an Ivory homeowner will save an average of 56,000 gallons of water per year, a remarkable amount that will greatly benefit Utah and our water supply continuously throughout the years. Ivory Homes further aids state efforts to conserve water by installing WaterSense Certified and water-wise appliances such as toilets, faucets, and dishwashers in all their homes.
Krado believes plant care should be easy. The more plants a user adds to their Krado family, the more intelligent the Krado platform becomes. When one plant thrives at Krado, every plant thrives. With enough plants in the Krado family, not only will users offset their carbon footprint, but Krado will know what is needed for any plant to grow in any environment. Eventually, Krado can develop the next generation of plants to survive in this quickly changing climate. While plant care begins in the pot, it doesn’t end there: Anytime a plant needs anything, Krado will deliver it in eco-friendly, easy-to-use fertilizer, pesticide, and soil packs. Their app is fun and engaging, so even children can learn plant science and interact with their plant. Krado’s mission is to build a greener future together.
Liberty Heights Fresh
Steven Rosenberg is the founder of Liberty Heights Fresh in Salt Lake City and he has been embracing sustainable business practices since Liberty Heights Fresh was established in 1993. The lighting fixtures in the building were repurposed from Meadowgold Dairy in Murray as well as Derks Field, the predecessor home of the Salt Lake Bees. Lighting at Liberty Heights Fresh was energy-efficient from the beginning, and a significant investment in a computerized refrigeration system has saved an immense amount of carbon emissions while reducing electricity needs significantly since 1995. As a pioneering participant in North Salt Lake’s food waste methane digester, Liberty Heights Fresh continues to seek out ways to reduce waste and support organically-grown food to lessen the impact on our planet. In 2021, Liberty Heights Fresh started farming three organic gardens to supply vegetables and fresh figs to their neighborhood customers. Crops include okra, heirloom eggplant, tomatoes, sweet corn, melons, Chinese long beans, herbs, squash, and cucumbers.
Merit Medical Systems
Since its founding in 1987, Merit Medical Systems, Inc. has been engaged in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of proprietary disposable medical devices used in interventional, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures—particularly in cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care, and endoscopy. Merit has made it a priority to understand customers, innovate, and deliver life-changing products and services. Merit serves client hospitals around the globe with a domestic and international sales force and clinical support team totaling over 500 individuals and employs approximately 6,300 people worldwide. The company is dedicated to improving the lives of people, families, and communities throughout the world.
Misfit Produce is a grocery delivery service that aims to break the cycle of food waste by working directly with farmers and makers to “rescue” organic produce and other grocery items. When Misfit Produce was in the building stages of their new production and distribution center in the Salt Lake Valley, they reached out to Wasatch Resource Recovery to explore options for diverting their organic food waste away from the landfill. Wasatch Resource Recovery has been able to use Misfit’s expired produce in their digesters to convert organic waste into energy.
Nu Skin Enterprises
From the beginning, Nu Skin has committed to being a Force for Good in the world and in business. Nu Skin’s sustainability commitments are focused around three key areas: people, planet, and product. These commitments include product assessment for improved environmental impact, reducing waste on a global level, and providing resources for the communities around the world that are providing essential resources. In 2020, Nu Skin saved 16.5 tons of paper and 20 tons of plastic with environmentally-conscious changes to its product packaging. In 2020, approximately 115 tons of material were recycled at its global headquarters and 1.3 million dollars were donated to people globally. By 2030, all Nu Skin packaging will be recycled, recyclable, reduced, reusable, or renewable. On a local level, Nu Skin is working as a founding member of the Utah Sustainable Business Coalition to share resources and opportunities for sustainable development across all industries.
Oatly is the world’s original and largest oat milk company. For over 25 years, Oatly has exclusively focused on developing expertise around oats—a global power crop with inherent properties suited for sustainability and human health. Oatly’s commitment to oats has resulted in core technical advancements that enabled the company to unlock the breadth of the dairy portfolio, including alternatives to milks, ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams, spreads, and on-the-go drinks. Headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, the Oatly brand is available in more than 20 countries globally. Oatly’s factory in Ogden, Utah opened in spring 2021 and is the company’s second oat milk factory in North America.
Based out of Midvale, Overstock is a 21-year-old online retailer and technology company focused on sustainability and creating an environmentally friendly business. The company’s $100 million state-of-the-art LEED Gold certified campus was built on a cleaned-up EPA superfund site, formerly home to a polluted smelting factory, and has helped transform the area into one of the fastest-growing locations in Utah. Peace Coliseum utilizes many unique features that contribute to Overstock’s sustainability efforts, including using Variable Refrigerant Flow technology that transfers heat energy created from the onsite data center to heat the building, hosting an on-site greenhouse that allows the company cafe to source fresh produce and healthy options, as well as offering on-site daycare, a fitness center, and a health clinic to eliminate off-site driving trips and promote healthy habits.
Rob and Sara Sergent
Managing Director, Distiller | Alpine Distilling
Rob and Sara Sergent own and operate Alpine Distilling, which is located in Park City and began operations in 2017. In addition to operating their company with the values of being adventurous, innovative, and authentic, their strategic statement of purpose is, “To fulfill our responsibility to the community impacted by our efforts.” This commitment permeates Alpine’s operations across the board, including water usage, energy, waste, and turning spent grains into methane fuel. Alpine Distilling understands that being a steward of our state’s resources comes with a high level of responsibility, and this recognition reinforces that their efforts matter to the community they serve.
Skullcandy is the original lifestyle audio brand, born in 2003 on a chairlift in Park City. The brand supports important issues such as climate advocacy and mental health through its Music With A Mission program, where dedicated campaigns and a portion of proceeds from limited-edition product sales help make an impact. In July 2019, Skullcandy launched a circular commerce program that involves the process of upcycling and recycling all consumer and retail returns in the US and Canada. Shortly after, Skullcandy expanded this approach in the UK and Europe. Upcycled product is labeled with a sticker letting the new owner know that the product has been “Upcycled for POW” and that a portion of proceeds from the sale will benefit Protect Our Winters. Since the launch of Skullcandy’s circular commerce program, 439,216 units of product have been upcycled or recycled. This equates to 458,450 lbs (or nearly 10,000,000 AA batteries) of returned products having been withheld from landfills around the world.
Brent and Shauna Sloan Family
Franchise Founders | BaseCamp Franchising
Brent and Shauna Sloan founded Kid to Kid in 1992, a children’s resale franchise that has since developed into an international franchise company. BaseCamp Franchising was founded when the oldest Sloan children created Uptown Cheapskate, a fashion exchange for young adults. Today, over 200 franchise stores in four countries pay cash to the public and resell nearly 20 million items each year. A similar amount of donated product is recycled through local charities, giving almost all of the product a second life. Community members earn and save when they sell the nice clothes, toys, and baby gear they are no longer using. It’s a win-win-win proposition for the franchisees, their shoppers, and the community, and it’s one of the few ways that people can actually get paid to recycle. Because the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, each time Kid to Kid and Uptown shoppers choose to buy used instead of new, they reduce their carbon footprint 60–70 percent.
Smart Rain’s main goal is to save money, save water, and add convenience. In only nine short years of being in business, Smart Rain has already saved customers more than 2 billion gallons of freshwater. That’s enough to provide 80,000 Utahns with fresh water for an entire year! Customers have seen an average of 35 percent reduction in total water usage, and with all the customers getting on board with conservation, Smart Rain is able to provide new jobs for aspiring managers and skilled jobs in information technology.
CEO | Dustless Technologies, Merit3D
Dustless Technologies has been a huge proponent of raising the bar for green initiatives in business for years. The company strives to be highly competitive while also being highly efficient in its energy usage, environmental footprint, and sustainable quality of life for its employees and community. Dustless Technologies has incorporated a long list of sustainable initiatives over the years, including creating a cardboard recycling hub in Carbon County and supporting telecommuting for key employees. The company’s latest initiative, Merit 3D, uses 3D printing technology to manufacture high-quality parts in rural Utah. By bringing manufacturing back to Utah and the US, Dustless Technologies and Merit 3D are helping to create jobs, reduce shipping, and avoid so many of the issues that have created our current environmental crisis.
Dr. Roslynn McCann and Edwin Stafford
Professors | Utah State University
Dr. Roslynn Brain McCann uses conservation theory, communication techniques, and social marketing tools to foster environmental behaviors in the areas of land, air, climate change, food, water, and energy. Edwin R. Stafford is a marketing professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University and earned his Ph.D. in marketing from Arizona State University. The two co-lead the Utah High School Clean Air Marketing Contest, which teaches hundreds of teens about driving and transportation strategies for preserving air quality through a creative public service announcement competition.
Vacation Races hosts running events in and near the nation’s top national parks. Since its inception, the company has worked to develop sustainable event systems to help support and promote the preservation of our public lands. Many of the company’s efforts were inspired by its late co-founder, Matthew Gunn who’s visionary work can be felt today at all company events. One of the most notable of his contributions is the company’s compost toilet system. After working in Haiti in 2011, Gunn saw a need to develop a portable composting toilet system in the US. His tireless efforts helped Vacation Races become the first non-government entity in the state of Utah to gain a DEQ permit to process human waste, lovingly called “humanure.” Vacation Races composts half a ton of human waste each year, where the resulting compost is used in alfalfa farming in Iron County. Gunn also pioneered the company’s landfill diversion efforts, proving that even at an event with more than 3,000 participants, it’s possible to avoid sending waste to the landfill.
To learn more about our 2021 Green Business Award winners, check out the videos below: