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“KEEP THE SIERRA GREEN” HONORS SIX LOCAL BUSINESSES

Apr 18, 2011

News Release: For Immediate Release

Madonna Dunbar, IVGID Waste Not 
mod@ivgid.org / (775)832-1284 

“KEEP THE SIERRA GREEN” HONORS SIX LOCAL BUSINESSES

(Incline Village, NV) – Keep the Sierra Green honored six local businesses for their exemplary green practices at the Annual Green Business Recognition Awards Luncheon, held Tuesday, April 12th, 2110  at BITE Restaurant in Incline Village, Nevada.

Keep the Sierra Green (KSG) provides a platform for recognizing businesses in the north-central Sierra and foothills, which focus on strong sustainability practices in their daily operations. To qualify as a Keep the Sierra Green business, applicants are required to recycle, develop energy, pollution and water conservation programs, define how company purchasing practices are eco-minded, create employee awareness procedures, and complete energy and waste audits, and also get points for voluntary practices.  The businesses receiving awards represent the most innovative and exemplary participants in the overall rigorous program; from each of the regional jurisdictions.

The award recipients demonstrating the best in green performance were:

TahoeBlu
Stoel-Rives
BITE Restaurant
Green Smart
Sugar Bowl Corporation
Resort at Squaw Creek

GreenSmart turns bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills into bags. All their GreenSmart fabrics are made of 100% post-consumer PET bottles.  So far over 750,000 plastic bottles have turned into bags. GreenSmart has an impressive sustainable program! As Debbie Larson says, “they are green to the core, including all the way back to the factory where their products are produced”.  GreenSmart approaches success with 3 criteria in mind: people, product, and planet. They have also created an eco-substitute to neoprene - called neogreene. Neogreene is considered toxic-free because there are no phthalates, VOCs, chlorine, nor metals.  Neogreene consumes 25% less energy to manufacture and 25% less petroleum to produce. They continually lead the charge to better educate everyone about the environment through communication in their marketing, products and on the web. To be successful requires the continued healthy relationship shared with suppliers around the world, as they tirelessly pursue newer and better materials, practices and work conditions.  You can imagine the energy taken to get to this level, what the rest of their fantastic sustainable program includes.  To learn more about their philosophy and products, they can be found on the web at www.GreenSmart.biz.

Sugar Bowl Corporation has tackled sustainability head on!  Sugar Bowl places a high value on natural surroundings, and realizes they are our greatest current and future asset. They help set a superior standard for the industry and the community by consistently implementing environmentally sound policies and practices to improve and maintain the quality of our environs. Their comprehensive and aggressive conservation program is full of surprises. They set energy consumptions goals and exceeded their target – the savings is equivalent to removing 243 cars from the road for one year.  The fryer oil is recycled for bio-fuel and used to power the El Dorado Hotel and Casino. They offer guest the opportunity to offset the carbon emitted in travelling to Sugar Bowl and offer a “Season Pass Ski Green Tag”.  Water quality and erosion are important issues to consider - one action they took was to install oil separators and sediment ponds for parking lot storm water runoff.  All the products they procure reduce greenhouse gas emissions – 4 stroke replace 2 stroke snowmobiles; purchase more efficient fan guns for snowmaking.  The list goes on and on....green cleaning products, recycled content products, bio-fuel, solar panels and more.  If you are a skier, you can be assured the resort (www.sugarbowl.com) is fully supporting the environment while you swish down the slopes.

BITE Restaurant was founded by owners Tom and Brooke McCarthy – with sustainability built into their business model from the day they opened in 2007. Energy and water use efficiency upgrades have been implemented as an integral part of their operations. BITE’s purchasing practices emphasize reducing food waste while sourcing organic, locally produced food as much as possible.  BITE recycles 75% of their waste on an ongoing basis.  In the summer of 2010, they self- initiated and ran a 10 week composting pilot project which reduced their landfill bound waste to one 32 gallon can, a huge success for a fine dining restaurant that is open 6 days a week. BITE’s owners are working with other Incline restaurants to try to bring a weekend “Grease, Not Gas” veggie-taxi service to fruition, for patrons to use as a safe ride option.  BITE’s commitment to do all they can to develop own green business practices, their willingness to inspire other restaurateurs to reduce their environmental impacts by implementing source reduction, recycling and other efficiency methods– while consistently offering great food and service, sets them apart.  (www.bitetahoe.com)

Resort at Squaw Creek™ is a recognized green business by Keep the Sierra Green. The Resort also participates in Destination Earth, which is Destination Hotels and Resorts company-wide green program.  Via Destination Earth the resort has implemented over 100 environmental initiatives since the inception of the program in January, 2008. The eco-friendly program elements include decreasing energy and water usage, reducing waste, increasing recycling, and purchasing local and organic food and beverages when possible.  Additionally, Resort at Squaw Creek™ offers a green meetings program, which maximizes waste diversion from meetings and conferences and increases overall environmental awareness among hotel guests. Furthermore, Resort at Squaw Creek’s Robert Trent Jones, Jr. golf course is also designated as an Audubon Certified Cooperative Sanctuary, a designation given for excellence in environmental stewardship.  No artificial pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are utilized in the caretaking of the course.  (http://www.squawcreek.com)
Stoel Rives LLP is a U.S. law firm that provides litigation solutions in corporate, energy, environmental, intellectual property, labor and employment, land use and construction, litigation, natural resources, real estate, renewable energy and technology law.  

Several of the firm's green achievements include:
• Membership in the EPA's Green Power Partnership, an association of businesses and government entities that get part of their energy from renewable sources. Stoel Rives is the largest purchaser of renewable energy among all U.S. law firms in the association.
• Purchasing Renewable Energy Credits known as RECs or "Green tags" to offset 60% of our firmwide electricity usage in seven states.  Their commitment to the purchase of green power qualifies them for the EPA Green Power Partnership and the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge.  Stoel Rives is one of only six law firms nationwide that qualifies for the "Leader" designation for these two programs.
• Purchasing enough green tags to offset carbon emissions from both car and air travel for all of the firm's recruiting trips. They also helped the University of Michigan Law School develop and launch a carbon-offset program for its on-campus recruiting program and were the first firm to sign up.
• Offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions associated with both electricity usage for the firm's "Investing in Clean Energy" conference and for participants' travel to and from the forum.

The firm's Sustainability Committee is responsible for leading efforts firm-wide that improve their practices and educate staff and attorneys on how to minimize our environmental impact. Through the Go Green campaign and P2 Sustainability Certification Program, personnel are educated, encouraged and recognized for conserving energy, supporting clean energy production, reducing waste, utilizing mass transit, selecting environmentally friendly vendors and products, and incorporating other responsible environmentally sustainable behaviors into their lifestyles in the office and at home.
(http://www.stoel.com/index.aspx)

TahoeBlu provides quality earth friendly products for daily living. Their products range from sustainable home furnishings, to organic apparel, to toys that are both safe for your children and the planet.   TahoeBlu is excited to bring phenomenal products to people who care about the earth as much as they do.  TahoeBlu is currently opening a retail store in Historic downtown Truckee.  In addition, TahoeBlu may be shopped online at www.tahoeblu.com.   Besides providing earth friendly products, TahoeBlu strives to make a difference itself. 

Here are a few highlights of what TahoeBlu as a company implements to be a green business:
• They encourage their employees to give back by giving them 2 extra weeks of vacation to be used to volunteer for humanitarian projects.
• They use only recycled paper for anything that they must print.
• They recycle all of their received cardboard boxes as well as use recycled cardboard boxes and environmentally friendly tape to ship products.
• They try to drop ship as many products as they can straight to purchasers from the manufacturer to cut down on wasteful shipping.
• They currently offset all of our electrical usage by purchasing wind credits from the electric company.
• They are making plans to move into a new facility within the next 2 years that will be run entirely "off the grid" and on wind and solar power.
• They find a way to recycle or reuse just about everything that they touch.
These six businesses are the leaders among our area’s many green businesses.   All the participating businesses in Keep the Sierra Green have proven their community leadership by deciding that investments in environmental sustainability are good for a business’ bottom line as well as for the environment.   

Keep the Sierra Green and the Annual Green Business Recognition Awards Luncheon is sponsored by: North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, Tahoe Donner Chamber of Commerce, Placer County, Nevada County Recycles, the Town of Truckee, Incline Village GID Waste Not, and the Sierra Green Building Association.

For more information about “Keep the Sierra Green”, the regional green business recognition program, please visit www.keepthesierragreen.org.

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