From Sustainability to Recycling, Utah Business Honors Eco-Friendly Businesses

Salt Lake City—Utah Business recognized companies going the extra mile to make the world just a little brighter at its annual Green Business Awards Thursday.

“We think it’s important to highlight those leading the way in environmental sustainability, because sometimes the environmental challenges we face as a community seem insurmountable, especially considering complicated issues like air quality,” said Utah Business Publisher Donnie Welch. “For individuals, the changes we make in our lives can feel so small as to be meaningless, but when we have an employer that is spearheading company-wide efforts, we can see how those little steps can add up to a giant stride forward.”

The event, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Power and Stoel Rives, along with Digital Bytes Production & Design, the Summit Group Communications and Web Audio Visual, and emceed by KSL News Radio’s Ethan Millard, recognized 16 companies that have made efforts to be more sustainable, recycle more, reduce waste, or all of the above.

For many of the companies being honored, the award was an encouraging nod for their efforts.

“Protecting the environment and sustainability is becoming part of our DNA, and we’re very glad to have this award as far as recognition is concerned,” said Scarlett Foster-Moss, vice president of public relations and government affairs for Swire Coca-Cola, which works with conservation groups to reclaim or save a liter of water for every liter used in manufacturing. The company has also reduced their water usage and reuses the barrels that hold beverage syrups as recycling bins.

The University of Utah College of Architecture and Planning has made significant efforts in its work and teaching to have as light an impact as possible on the environment with eco-friendly buildings and other projects, said Keith Diaz Moore, the college’s dean.

“This award signifies that maybe, just maybe, we’re on the right path, and that means so much to us,” he said.

Other companies noted the award was a message to others in their industries that exercising environmental responsibility is compatible with running a successful business.

Take Mark Miller Subaru, which has drastically reduced its waste and aims to be the first zero-landfill car dealership in the state and nation within the next five years.

“We do this not because it’s good for business, but because it’s the right thing to do,” said Joshua Goldsmith, culture director for the dealership.

For The Boeing Company, which has also changed its processes to create as little waste as possible, the award was proof that building a business that is both sustainable and profitable is feasible even within the manufacturing sector, said Larry Coughlin, Salt Lake General Manager for Boeing.

“As a manufacturing company, it can be difficult to think about sustainability and the environment,” he said. “It’s not just one thing; it’s consuming less, it’s recycling more, it’s [sending] zero waste to the landfill, it’s sustaining energy. … This shows you can be successful and environmentally friendly.”

To read more about all of this year’s honorees, check out the October issue of Utah Business magazine, or click here.