Sustainability Leadership Award Nominees 2015
Over 54 were nominated by the community, our judges have chosen the Top 3 finalists in each category – marked with an asterisk * below.
Hear a KEXP interview of Executive Director Terri Butler by Diane Horn in Mind Over Matters
Setting an Example
Del and Nancy Moore
Banks may have given up lending to small businesses, but creative organizations like Seattle’s Community Sourced Capital are filling the gaps. Launched early 2013, CSC is an online platform that works like crowd funding to allow businesses to raise up to $50,000 in microloans from people who live and work in their neighborhood. CSC is one of the early adopters of Washington’s new “social purpose corporation” structure, which places an emphasis on social goals as well as financial ones. The borrowing businesses gradually repay the loans based on a percentage of their revenue. So far, CSC has facilitated the lending of $135,000 from 950 individuals to nine Washington businesses, with many more to come. People can browse through CSC website and view the current small business campaigns. They then can become ‘stakeholders’ and lend to businesses of their choice by purchasing a “square”, which is a $50 loan from a bigger loan pool. The loans are interest-free, which reduces the burden for the borrowers, and these loans are repaid back to the stakeholders within a given time frame.
Winner of a Department of Ecology “Safer Chemistry Champions” award in October, 2014, Floral Soil Solutions new product made from coconut husks and algae is changing the game in the floral industry. Floral Soil Solutions uses only 100% biobased, non-toxic alternative to phenol formaldehyde foam for the floral industry. They are currently partnering with Whole Foods and other businesses around the world to use this alternative, safe option. Floral designers are delighted to have a non-toxic option. Floral foam has been the mainstay since 1954. Inventor and company owner Mickey Blake worked with end users in a collaborative way to develop this much needed product. Now floral designers will have a natural option to the conventional foam, and the disposal of it at the end of a boutique’s useful life will not mean delivering toxics to the landfill.
One of the primary goals of Spring back recycling is to create employment for disenfranchised men while using material recycling as a method to achieve the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. Spring Back recycles close to 100% of every mattress they receive and break down. Starting up a new business is always tough. These folks have developed the NW Furniture Bank into a reliable service provider – picking and either repurposing old mattresses for the needy or tearing them apart for trashing. It’s really been a significant effort and has changed the way retailers can easily provide recycling services to their customers through the Puget Sound Region.
Tiny Trees is an educational firecracker that is bringing an innovative and sustainable approach to early learning in Seattle and beyond. Most recently it won SVP’s Fast Pitch competition for best non-profit start up. Using outdoor classrooms in city parks like Seward, Kabota Gardens (Rainier Beach), Discovery, and Carkeek Tiny Trees Preschool makes a quality education in reading, math and science affordable for families. By using a play based curriculum (and award winning rain suits) this entirely outdoor preschool eliminates the need for a bricks and mortar facility thus making a great education not only affordable but carbon free as well. By eliminating the start up costs of a building Tiny Trees is very scalable with 6 preschools planned for the Seattle area and 20 to be launched over the next 5 years in parks across Puget Sound and beyond. This network of schools makes Tiny Trees financially sustainable as well as accessible for families with revenue from high income neighborhoods supporting students in lower income ones.
Blue Sky Bridal is serving a new niche market of “planet conscious” brides. It’s more than a consignment shop it’s an interesting community. From the former Bride — who may now need some cash, selling a dress that is normally boxed and stored forever, to the new Bride who can re-use that dress in a eco-friendly way. Blue Sky has a very innovative retail concept, which has now extended to the human side of selling a wedding dress (memories, sorrows, life challenges, etc.) and buying a re-use wedding dress for the eco-conscious or financially conscious bride-to-be. In many cases, Blue Sky personnel also advise on other practices that help a couple have a “green” wedding. What about the dresses that don’t sell? Well, they have a partnership with St. Vincent de Paul to help those in need have a fabulous wedding too.
In partnership, the City of Tukwila and Forterra have implemented a number of programs taking a direct and collaborative approach to addressing the sustainability challenges facing the City of Tukwila. Over the past year, they have addressed a broad range of issues that are tied to building a sustainable and resilient city, including: increasing access to healthy food, engaging a variety of ethnic and income groups in a wide range of city initiatives, restoring 1.5 miles of shoreline along the Duwamish River, and maintaining a 10 acre community park. The City of Tukwila and Forterra are effectively working to position Tukwila for success in meeting their community sustainability goals and ensuring an equitable, vibrant and prosperous future for its residents. Less than 20,000 people reside in the City of Tukwila, though the daytime population exceeds 150,000 because it is a destination for shopping, employment and entertainment. Tukwila is one of the most diverse cities in the region and over 50% of the households have a primary language other than English. Tukwila Community Connectors: As a minority-majority city, many of Tukwila’s diverse communities are excluded from traditional outreach and engagement methods because of language, cultural and other barriers. Addressing this disparity, Forterra, City of Tukwila and Global to Local co-created and piloted a community liaison program for the City of Tukwila to increase engagement of all its residents. Namaste Community Gardens: Now in its fourth season, the Namaste Community Garden has become a remarkable community asset in Tukwila, serving primarily refugees and immigrants from Bhutan and Burma, with other gardeners from Latin America, Africa and long-time American neighbors as well. Additional components of the overall project include Restore the Duwamish Shoreline Challenge, Duwamish Hill Preserve, The WRIA 9 Salmon Habitat Plan.
CSRHub’s mission is to foster access to sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) information. They aim to be an engine of transparency that encourages more consistent and actionable disclosure from all types of organizations. CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information database, covering 9,300 companies from 135 industries in 106 countries. Managers, consultants, academics, and activists use CSRHub to benchmark and improve company performance and CSR brand, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to change the world. CSRHub rates 12 indicators of employee, environment, community and governance performance and offers subscribers immediate access to millions of detailed data points from 350 data sources. By aggregating and normalizing the information from these sources with its patent-pending system, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database. Flashback to a little more than five years ago, user-friendly dashboards and rating schemas for assessing the sustainability performance of products were beginning to emerge, but there was nothing comparable for assessing companies. Consumers, supply chain managers, procurement managers, employees, prospective employees and investors had no easy, affordable way to compare performance of different companies. They could comb individual databases of publicly available information, and for considerable funds purchase databases derived from analysts’ ratings of self-reported information from companies, but nowhere was there a place that pulled it all together in one user-friendly portal. Imagine, as the founders of CSRHub did, that you could create a system that was not yet another rating system, but instead one that allowed users to easily see an aggregated score derived from hundreds of sources. That is what CSRHub has accomplished, with increasing depth of data, global scale, and ease of customization and analysis.
At EcoBalanza we believe you should not have to sacrifice the environment or your health to have a beautiful home. With EcoBalanza’s eco-friendly sofas, you can have it all. EcoBalanza creates premium quality, natural, hand-crafted, stylish, and comfortable upholstered furniture manufactured in an environmentally conscious manner with materials sourced from local suppliers whenever possible. Ecobalanza independently manages all aspects: from design to material sourcing to manufacture, to ensure the quality and integrity of every piece our artisans create.
Disposal of used mattresses is a huge landfill problem. The county estimates that one ton of mattresses takes up the equivelent of 19 tons of landfill space (because mattresses don’t compact and they don’t stay buried very well). 3 years ago the County hosted the first regional mattress recycling summit to gather ideas and encourage new businesses to enter the field of tearing apart and recycling mattress components using models from Vancouver BC and California. 3 years later it’s great to see the progress being made and the opportunity for dramatic consumer impact.
Dave Bennink has been finding sustainable alternatives to demolition since 1993. He has helped out on over 3000 projects throughout Western Washington, working with everyone from the Nature Conservancy to the Federal Government. In 2004, he started Re-Use Consulting and has now helped clients in 42 States and 4 Provinces, promoting sustainability, creating living wage jobs, and measuring the positive impacts of his community engagement, landfill diversion, resource conservation, historic preservation, and reductions in energy use/greenhouse gas emissions. Locally, he runs De-Construction Services (building deconstruction/material sales), Second Hand Shrubs (salvaged plant sales), and ReBuild (reclaimed doors/buildings/more). When consulting out of State, Dave Bennink still helps architects and building owners meet their sustainability goals, but he has chosen the hard road, focusing on helping disadvantaged workers like inner-city youth, homeless veterans, and previous incarcerated individuals. In general, Re-Use is trying to create local jobs that bring money back into blighted areas that desperately need help while helping them become more sustainable. These efforts find Bennink on the road much of the year, sleeping in airports and putting in 24 hours days at times. He chooses to further challenge himself by buying bicycles when consulting in other cities instead of renting a car. The bicycles are donated to individuals or families in need at the end of each project. Bennink’s long-term goal is to share what he has learned by creating as many sustainable businesses as possible while reaching people groups that are far from the influence of other sustainability efforts.
Think Green Recycling Challenge (TGRC) challenged the ten neighborhoods that Waste Management services in Seattle to reduce waste, and get involved in their communities. During its three years, TGRC grew tremendously and encouraged lasting behavior change through Community-Based Social Marketing techniques. WM and the City artfully adapted the program to improve simplicity, encourage engaging, fun peer-to-peer community outreach in Seattle neighborhoods, and support organizations that are doing wonderful work in their community. By the end of 2014, the program will have given $150,000 throughout eight Seattle neighborhoods to non-profits and community-improvement projects, including 826 Seattle, Aurora Commons, City Fruit, Filipino Community Center, Freeway Estates, Greenwood Senior Center, Neighborcare Health, North Seattle Boys and Girls Club, Rainier Beach Community Club, Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Tilth, South Park Neighborhood Association, Sustainable Ballard, Undriving, Urban Hands, VOAWW Greenwood Food Bank.
Setting An Example
Convoy Coffee launched their successful pop-up coffee shop/catering business in May 2014, visiting farmer’s markets and hand-brewing locally roasted coffee off of energy independent bicycle trailer coffee carts. Founders Alex Johnstone and David Rothstein funded their start-up without grants or outside investors: between Alex’s job as an arborist and David’s at Seattle Coffee Works, they raised money to start the business themselves, building the carts on hands and knees in Alex’s basement. Avid lifelong cyclists, they built their carts onto bike trailers to set an example of a feasible business model with a minimal ecological footprint. Their energy consumption amounts only to small amounts of propane and electricity to heat water and recharge grinder batteries, as well as a steady diet of PCC deli sandwiches. Convoy has reached a wide audience in their six months of existence, with coverage spanning The Stranger, Eater, Roast Magazine’s Daily Coffee News, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Courier, and a mention in Travel + Leisure’s “Best Coffee Cities” list. Coffee grown with care yields the most complex green beans; by demanding the coffee that tastes best, consumers support independent coffee producers who grow coffee on the smallest, most sustainable plots of land. Serving exclusively single-origin coffees from local artisan roasters, Convoy endeavors to educate the coffee-drinking public about the coffee supply chain by serving it with scientific consistency and sharing in delight over fantastic coffee origin flavor profiles. Convoy deserves recognition for their stellar performance as localists, humanists, and environmentalists. Honor a local business with passion and devotion to sustainability, from farm to bicycle-delivered cup!
At ERM, we aim to support business and governments as they respond to these challenges through the work that we do on specific client programs and projects around the world and through the contribution we make to important client and industry forums. Accomplishments to date include Sustainability in Action Course, North America, Aspire Program, Women in Mining, PNAC, ERM Global Safety Management System, Americas First-Annual Safety Day, 1,000 Safe Days for Shell, Raising Subcontractor Standards, Assessing Social Responsibility in Coal Industry, Human Rights in Papua New Guinea, Supporting First Carbon-Neutral Engine Oil, Shale Gas GHG Emissions Study, Doing Good through DoNation, Energy-Efficient Offices in the US, Reducing GHG Emissions for Clients, Environmental Education in Local Communities, The PAMs Foundation, Providing Clean Water to Rural Honduras, The DOEN Foundation, Solar Lamps for Cambodian Villagers, Leveraging LCEF Expertise, Reef Rehabilitation in Dominican Republic, Sustainability at the High School Level, ERM Membership in WBCSD, Supporting Adoption of GRI’s G4 Guidelines, Proactive Management of EHS Risks, Driving Improvements in Air Quality, Best Practice Energy Insights, Improved Site Management in Emerging Economies, ERM Mining Expertise in Mexico, Roundtable on Resource Scarcity, Senior Client Reviews, Work in Arctic and Extreme Environments, Value of Sustainability Risks, Responsible Gas Development in Peru, Enhancing Safety Culture at Goldcorp, Community Engagement in South Africa, Climate Change Adaptation Study, Standardizing Energy Projects in Uganda, Film Screening on Unconventional Energy, Mining Safety Acceleration Program, Supporting Shell in the Gulf Coast, and Samal Wind Park in Kazakhstan.
Fledge is a “conscious company” accelerator, helping environmentally and socially conscious startups from Seattle and around the world get started. Launched in 2012, Fledge is led by Michael “Luni” Libes, who has more than two decades of high tech startup experience.The Fledge program offers $20,000 in cash, a 10-week intensive course to help its “fledglings” turn an idea into an operational business with access to dozens of mentors from the local business community. Half of the Fledglings are deeply triple bottom line. Fledge operates from Impact HUB Seattle and is closely aligned with — and supportive of — the HUB members, the graduates of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and the participants in Social Venture Partner’s annual Fast Pitch competition, working together on cutting edge innovations that are measurably moving the sustainability needle.
Grounds for Change located in Poulsbo, Wa, is a specialty coffee roasting business that is built on the principles of transparency, accountability, and leading by example. Roasting exclusively fair trade and organic certified coffees, purchasing 100% renewable energy, and becoming the first certified CarbonFree coffee roaster in the US are just a few of the ways that Grounds for Change has evolved as a sustainability leader in the coffee industry. As a certified B Corporation and longtime 1% For the Planet member, Grounds for Change is one of only 45 businesses in the world that have formalized their commitment to both of these organizations. Known as B1 companies http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/b1, Grounds for Change joins with companies such as Patagonia, Klean Kanteen and New Belgium Brewing in meeting rigorous standards for business performance driven by a social mission, while activating a movement for positive environmental impact. As a small, family owned business, Grounds for Change models for other small and mid-sized businesses, across all industries, that commitment to social and environmental sustainability practices are an attainable goal for all. By choosing to participate in these assessment based and third party certified organizations, Grounds for Change serves as a clear example to other businesses that using business as a force for good is possible and profitable.
Molly Moon’s ‘sustainable ice cream’ is produced by coupling milk and cream from hormone-free dairy cows at family-owned Edaleen Dairy Farm with local, seasonal, and, as much as possible, organic fruits and spices. Molly Moon’s gets more than 90% of the ingredients from local farmers, including lavender from Sequim, honey from the foothills of the Olympics. For things that don’t grow well in the Pacific Northwest, like chocolate, vanilla, coffee and tea, Molly Moon’s works with local companies like Theo Chocolate and Stumptown Coffee to buy organic, fair-trade ingredients. Molly Moon’s is a sustainable shop and uses compost bin for all used cups, napkins, wrappers, and spoons. Molly Moon’s gives to community organizations that they feel make Seattle a better place to live – namely public schools and organizations fighting hunger and promoting healthy food for kids. Molly Moon’s is a model neighborhood business with a strong community outreach program and high quality ice cream. Molly Moon’s uses only fair trade, its ingredients are all organic and acquired from farms in Washington and Idaho, and the company proudly supports local schools and food banks. They were one of the first organizations to move to completely compostable materials like the spoons, cups, and other serving apparatus. They’ve also been a leading proponent of the Seattle Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and recently they were one of the leading businesses pushing for a $15 minimum wage in the city. Every aspect of Molly Moon’s business is carefully considered, and making green and healthy choices its greatest priority.
PCC Natural Markets has a more than 60-year history as a natural foods retailer and a waste-conscious business. From recycling cardboard and glass since its early years as a buying club, to composting food waste at all their stores since 1994, PCC has made waste-reduction and diversion a priority. In recent years, PCC has supported innovation in food waste diversion through its partnership with the WISErg Corporation and that company’s new technology for repurposing food waste into nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer. PCC also has 10 food bank partners that receive bulk food PCC buys at wholesale prices using shopper donations. In 2013, PCC purchased 36 tons of bulk food, which was then repackaged by PCC volunteers into household-size packages. They also welcome regular visits from two dozen local organizations that pick up products that are past their sell-by date, but still safe to consume by their clients. PCC is an active participant in the U.S. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. As a Challenge participant, PCC strives to divert as much edible food to hungry families in our community as possible. Any surplus food that cannot be donated, they seek to compost or otherwise divert from landfills, preventing its decomposition and the creation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. PCC leads by example in its operation as a sustainable business, as is demonstrated in the energy efficiency, waste management and air quality of their stores (several of them are certified LEED Gold or Platinum), their community outreach programs, and their reusable shopping totes. PCC actively partners with local organic farmers and is a major donor to the PCC Farmland Trust, a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving local farmland and moving it into organic production.
Through policies and actions Seattle City Light has established itself as one of the nation’s greenest utilities by substantially reducing its overall carbon emissions and attaining carbon neutrality, protecting critical habitat in watersheds impacted by its hydroelectric projects, meeting all new load growth with conservation and renewables and committing to implement a Climate Adaptation Strategy. See also 2014 Environmental Report on City Light’s website. Seattle City Light (SCL) has become a model for sustainable practices throughout the utility industry through its actions and policies. SCL has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005. It achieved this by first reducing or eliminating emissions and then by purchasing offsets for the remaining emissions. In 2000, SCL sold its only fossil fuel resource. Ninety % of SCL’s power now comes from clean hydroelectric facilities. SCL also has contracts to purchase renewables such as wind and biomass. The offset program financed Northwest dairies and landfills to prevent the emissions of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases, as well as supporting the shore power program that allows cruise ships to plug in when in port. City Light’s Conservation program has worked with local businesses and homeowners to save electricity for almost 40 years. City Light has also committed to meeting any growth in electric load with conservation and renewables. One of SCL’s hydro facilities, the Skagit Project, has been certified as Low Impact by the Low Impact Hydro Institute. It is the largest project ever certified and had to meet stringent criteria for protecting the environment. SCL is recognized as a leader in climate change adaptation regionally and nationally. SCL’s green purchasing policy ensures environmentally preferable products will be purchased. City Light has one of the greenest fleets in the nation. City Light recycles two million pounds of metal and tens of thousands of gallons of oil annually. Most of these programs provide local employment through product or service purchases.
The grass isn’t the only thing that’s green at Safeco Field. With a sincere and sustained commitment, the Seattle Mariners are working to significantly reduce our environmental impact. Since 2006, the Mariners have been leaders in sustainable ballpark operations. Further, we use the power of our position as a community leader to educate and encourage fans, partners, employees and the community at large to make changes both large and small that advance the cause of sustainability. The Seattle Mariners have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability as active participants in the U.S. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise program; the team credits these programs with helping them identify opportunities and receive recognition, helping them to continue their sustainability initiatives. As a Food Recovery Challenge participant, the Mariners strive to divert as much edible food to needy families in our community as possible. Any surplus food that cannot be donated, they seek to compost or otherwise divert from landfills, preventing its decomposition and the creation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Over the last three years, the Mariners have provided 31 tons of food to hungry people through local food shelters. Over the last six years, the Mariners’ operations team has diverted 2,088 tons of food waste from the landfill by implementing a number of creative waste handling solutions, including food waste composting, as part of their “zero waste” initiative. The Mariners recycle or compost over 90% of all waste generated at Safeco Field. Since 2006, the Mariners have reduced their use of natural gas by 40%, electricity by 25%, and water by 25% through an array of strategies, including: energy efficient and motion sensor fixtures in the parking garage; an LED scoreboard, installed in 2010, that uses 90% less power than the old incandescent light technology; low-flow urinals and faucets that save one million gallons of water each year; four electric vehicle charging stations located next to the Safeco Field parking garage (available for use 24 hours a day); an array of solar panels on the skybridge connecting Safeco Field to the parking garage, which generate 40,000 kilowatt hours of power annually.
Second Use provides professional salvage and deconstruction services and an unparalleled shopping experience for its customers. The employees are knowledgeable and committed to environmentalism, and they work together with contractors, homeowners, customers and community in the Puget Sound region – to inspire and educate others to see the benefit of using reclaimed materials. In 1994 Roy Hunter, a contractor and environmentalist, started Second Use after becoming frustrated with the amount of materials he saw getting thrown away on construction sites. At that time, there were only a handful of similar businesses around the United States. Today, there are several hundred, and as environmental and economic forces continue to impress upon our society the benefits of reducing waste, Second Use envisions salvage and reuse of building materials as a user-friendly process and a standard component of any construction job. Second Use is proud to have been serving the Puget Sound region for over 20. Today, under the leadership of Patrick Burningham, Dirk Wassink and Michael Armstrong, the company has grown to employ over 30 individuals and is seen as a local and national leader in the field of reclaimed and reusable material retail and is looked to for its visionary innovation in sustainability practices. In 1997, Second Use began a partnership with Seattle’s Habitat for Humanity by consigning materials donated to Habitat. The partnership quickly expanded to include Habitat for Humanity of East King County and other affiliates in the region. Since that time, Second Use has provided salvage and sales services to recover donated materials from buildings for the benefit of Habitat. In October 2014, Second Use passed the $2 million mark in funds raised for Habitat from material donations made through Second Use and is proud to work with Habitat for Humanity and donors of building materials to support affordable housing in the Puget Sound region. Second Use is an exemplary model for their sustainability practices. Second Use has been reclaiming building materials for reuse in the Puget Sound region for over 20 years and each year successfully diverts over 1,900 tons of reusable building materials from the landfill. Second Use is a community business – their materials come from and are used in the local region. The company itself is locally grown. The owners are employees, and the employees together shape the future of the business and uphold its mission.
Soaring Heart Natural Bed, Bedrooms and More, Seattle Mattress are three retailers have been involved in promoting mattress recycling for their customers even before the county started it’s initiative 3 years ago. They have tried to build and sell recyclable products and worked with their customers to justify a trash hauling/recycling fee for every new purchase. Recycling efforts require a broad commitment to consumer education as well as consistent pricing and support. By working to support the county’s efforts and trying to grow their own mattress recycling efforts – at least offering their customers a recycling option for every mattress they pick up, they are helping grow/support organizations like SpringBack/NW Furniture Bank. None of these organizations can make this work alone, so they have worked with local government, trash haulers and recyclers committed to making new services available and retailers all promoting the new services (and there’s a lot more retailers out there who need to come on board!!).
In their work with more than 85 companies in 21 industries, Sustainable Business Consulting had recognized the importance of integrating measures of sustainability performance – social and environmental – with traditional financial metrics. Companies often state their employees are their greatest asset or that they are committed to carbon reduction, but when making business decisions, these don’t make it to the table in a quantitative way. This not only keeps sustainability from being a meaningful part of the conversation, but traditional accounting does not allow organizations to measure their true value and see the financial benefit that sustainability delivers. Integrated accounting is a substantial need, but one that has remained difficult to tackle. SBC decided to take a shot. Focusing on three main areas – environment, community and our employees – they developed a methodology to account for sustainability in our internal financial statements. Environmental impacts are measured through a carbon value, community impacts involve a time value and our employees are measured by their contributions to their organization.
The GoGreen Conference in Seattle, Washington, is a one-day, interactive learning experience featuring tactical how-tos, a solutions-centered deep dive into new ways of thinking, and a showcase of regional business leaders and their success stories. With a distinct platform of bringing together leaders from across industries, GoGreen builds viable networks and cross-pollinates sustainability best practices throughout the regional business community. The regional focus is what sets GoGreen Seattle apart from national or globally-oriented events. We present topics and solutions of critical importance to sustainability efforts happening here and now. Our case studies and speakers are exclusively from Washington State and the Puget Sound region, with very rare exceptions made for leaders of exceptional caliber and relevance to regional interests. Each topic and presentation takes into account Seattle/Puget Sound’s particular business culture and political climate. We curate insights and experiences gained from our work across the nation and apply transferable lessons to GoGreen Seattle as best practice moving forward. Through this learning cycle, we are able to continually evolve and improve the GoGreen Series, while maintaining and addressing the unique identity of each region. Our Advisory Team provides “skin-in-the-game” expertise from a core group of influential leaders from the region. The Advisory Team is deeply involved in thematic development, programming decisions/leads and building strategic partnerships.
The World Affairs Council links Greater Seattle to the world. World Affairs Council programs provide opportunities for everyone in Greater Seattle to be a global citizen by advancing a deep understanding of international events and culture. As a hub for all things international, the World Affairs Council creates programs and opportunities for local people to interact directly with leaders, educators, and professionals from around the world. The World Affairs Council values global citizenship and cultural exchange for everyone and strives to enrich Greater Seattle’s civic and cultural conversation with world perspectives through programs that allow for one-on-one conversations with government, business, and civic leaders from other nations, provide professional and social connections with others who share a passion for world affairs, and educate and empower the next generation of global leaders. The World Affairs Council of Seattle uses several environmentally sound work practices but one in particular is extremely important and, I believe, deserves special attention. In fact, we would like to challenge other Seattle businesses to be able to claim what we can, as of this year; No One Drives. 10 full time staff, 10 interns…No One Drives. All year round. We, partially due to our participation in last years Sustainability Awards, have built a culture of environmental awareness in the workplace. This year we invested in and utilized telecommuting, we have virtual meeting software and we usually walk to meetings around Seattle. We participate as a team in the Cascade Bike to Work challenge. This year, we moved our website to a new hosting company called Fatcow where our website is powered with 100% wind power. Every office has a recycle bin in it and the breakroom has a compost bin. We made it a priority and we invested. We are a small non-profit and as a benefit to employees we give out 20 ORCA cards 100% covered by the company. It’s a massive amount of money for us- but this has a bigger impact on our environment than recycling and composting ever can. Embracing sustainability means cutting back your use of resources to what can be used for all future generations- we prioritize that and invest in it. When we saw Fatcow was offering wind-powered websites, we jumped on it. We’re proud of it, and we put it on the bottom of all of our webpages. Allowing staff to telecommute more often embraces technology as it was intended- to solve problems, to make things easier, and it help us to be more sustainable.
Willows Run Golf Course (Willows) is a leader in responsible land management practices. In 2013, the Willows began irrigating their course with recycled water from King County’s Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant. Recycled water is highly treated and disinfected water created from the wastewater treatment process that is used for non-potable water uses like irrigation. Willows committed to using recycled water before the Brightwater facility was even constructed, partnering with King County in the development of the Brightwater Recycled Water program.
Willows was certified in 2014 as Salmon-Safe based on meeting a number of conditions that include stormwater management, integrated pest management planning, instream habitat protection and restoration; water conservation, as well erosion control. Using recycled water was an important factor in Willows achieving certification. They are the first example of any certified site in Puget Sound that has exhibited this level of leadership. By switching to recycled water for irrigation, Willows kept nearly 40 million gallons of water in the river system. Because recycled water contains a lot of nutrients that are typically supplied by petroleum-based fertilizers, Willows was able to cut fertilizer use by 50% in 2014 and is planning on eliminating fertilizer use in 2015. Additionally, Willows undertook an extensive restoration area along the 4th hole that was permitted for play a number of years ago. Most courses would have opened that area back up for play, but instead Willows has kept the area reserved for habitat. Willows is pioneering sustainable golf course management for the Puget Sound region and serves as an example to other businesses that responsible land management is good for the pocketbook and the planet.
This organization rallied community volunteers and transformed this community hub from a drab dilapidated parking lot to a mostly pervious parking lot and courtyard area that functions as a great art-and-nature-filled community gathering place. By installing rain gardens, a cistern, planting beds and pervious pavers. the building now collects and keeps their stormwater runoff from their roof and parking lot from running into the sewer system and Duwamish River. They continually work to become more sustainable and are recruiting Highland Park residents to “Go Solar” and get solar panels put up at the Improvement Club. They started by putting in two beautifully designed rain gardens and a big cistern to collect the rain water runoff from the parking lot. They followed that up with an amazing effort to “depave” the parking lot and replace it with permeable pavers. As part of “DePaving” about 40 volunteers removed 3,000 square feet of asphalt—over 40 tons was hauled away by ReNew Recycling. Depaving is one of the simplest ways to stop stormwater runoff if pavement is removed and replaced with plants or a permeable surface. This project is the beginning of this movement in the Seattle area. Permeable pavers were then set in place and planting beds were created around the periphery of the parking lot and sidewalks…to further stop run off from those surfaces. Another group of volunteers is creating a mosaic bench using art to tell the story of stormwater runoff and clean water. The project was part of the NorthWest Green Homes tour in April of 2014 to spread the word about what can be done by showcasing this model project.
Opened in October 2012, Impact Hub Seattle is a community of over 500 individuals coworking in Pioneer Square. The community shares a vision of building the world they want to live in. With their monthly dues, members gain access to an exposed brick shared workspace designed in partnership with Herman Miller, unlimited Equal Exchange coffee, fresh fruit from a local CSA, bookable meeting rooms, inspirational workshops, and a curated network. The primary focus is supporting entrepreneurs working toward the common good of society and the environment, where members include sustainable businesses, impact investors, and social entrepreneurs. Impact Hub attracts some of the city’s most influential voices, helping Seattle gain a national reputation for impact entrepreneurship and hosting events on a regular basis. It has also built strong partnerships with the like-minded organizations that share its building — Social Venture Partners and Bainbridge Graduate Institute. It also support Fledge.co in incubating early stage companies. Impact Hub is part of the world’s largest cooperative network of co-working spaces on sustainability and social impact, working 60 sister sites around the globe. The Hub has grown to over 700 members, expanding to the East Side as well as expanding the main space in Seattle.
Nature Consortium creates opportunities for people to connect to themselves, to each other, their community and the natural world. They foster a journey of discovery for people to find their individual passion, empowerment and action. NatureC believes that by creating awareness, individuals will change their behavior in interacting with the world. The organization has been conducting ecological restoration activities in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, Pigeon Point and College Street Ravine for the past eleven years and has helped enroll 50 acres in restoration. During the past eleven years, the organization has planted over 20,000 northwest native conifers and over 23,000 native understory plants. NatureC makes it fun for people of all ages above all else. The organization plans to steward this forest for the lifetime of our organization with and ultimate goal to set in motion the return of an old growth forest 200 to 300 years from now.
The result is a model of thoughtful and innovative partnership between developer, tenant and community to grow smarter neighborhoods and, ultimately, smarter cities through deep green, sustainable design. Completed in June 2014, Stone34 is designed to reduce water and energy use by 75 percent of other comparable buildings, and capture and use at least 50 percent of stormwater on site. The systems in the building are cutting-edge and designed for long-term efficiency. High-tech chilled beams cool the building and an efficient heat-recovery system heats it. Ventilation comes from filtered outdoor air, and every bit of heat in the air is reused. Stone34 is a 129,000 square foot a mixed use building, located at the intersection of the Fremont and Wallingford neighborhoods in Seattle, WA. It is the first project built to the standards of the city of Seattle’s Deep Green Pilot Program which requires the fulfillment of six imperatives of the International Living Building Challenge.The commercial space is the new headquarters for running shoe company, Brooks Sports, ideally located to serve as an urban trailhead for Seattle’s major foot and bike powered path – the Burke Gilman Trail. The large ground floor plaza (8500 sqft) and retail space is designed to engage the community and create opportunities for interaction. Additionally, the building features wide sidewalks, public seating, 33 public bike racks, 12 electric car charging stations and edible landscaping. While those criteria were a challenge for the Stone34 project team, they are only achieved with a commitment from Brooks. For their part, Brooks will engage employees in water and energy use reduction tactics, as well as actively monitor their energy and water use with devices located on each floor. Each floor features a near-real-time performance monitoring device that collects energy and water use information and share it via a publicly viewable dashboard in the lobby. Brooks will even use employee showers equipped with timers to ensure minimal water use. With the vision of Brooks, the city of Seattle and the community, Stone34 is a positive symptom of change in the Seattle-area development market—paving the way for greener and more community oriented commercial buildings.
Vulcan Real Estate for Stack House Apartments / Supply Laundry Building, more Project InformationIn order to create the most sustainable, community-focused projects possible in today’s market, developers need to look beyond typical energy efficiency methods and building design and take a new approach to green features and urban development. In addition to outcome-based strategies, community impact and place-making are key to create a thriving mixed-use environment. . An example of this is the full-block development of the Stack House Apartments and Supply Laundry Building. Vulcan Real Estate led the revitalization of this historical site in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, which has come to be one of the most sustainable and recognized development projects in the community. Located between Yale and Pontius Avenues to the east and west, and Republican and Harrison streets to the north and south, this project combines the restoration and adaptive reuse of the 107-year-old Supply Laundry Building into an ultra-sustainable office and retail project, as well as the construction of a new apartment community, the two-building Stack House Apartments (named after the iconic 140-foot smoke stack that once served the Supply Laundry Building). Of particular note is the revitalization of the public spaces that are part of the development site including the north-south alley that bisects the block and the sidewalks that surround it. Today these spaces are a highlight of the project and have served to reinvent the way the public uses them. The project has helped to transform a vacant portion of South Lake Union into a thriving, urban community that incorporates amenities like public art, pedestrian-friendly design, gathering spaces, a rooftop garden, eco-landscaping and dining options. From the outset, the project team made a commitment to complement the character of the neighborhood through ambitious sustainable building practices and sensitivity to historic preservation. Both water savings and energy savings efforts were critical, and new public-private partnerships were formed to establish goals well beyond minimum energy code requirements. As part of its goal to revive and transform the site, Vulcan developed the block to become a true live, play, work hub. Responding to the large size of the site, as well as its urban location, the scale of the property was modulated to break the full block development into a series of smaller, quarter-block developments characteristic of the South Lake Union neighborhood. What was once an under-utilized site with a vacant alleyway, now has become a vibrant micro-community with pedestrian-oriented walkways that draw in visitors and residents. By transforming the original public right-of-way alley into an inviting plaza and courtyard space, this through-block connection links the passive and active open spaces, while serving as transitional space between residential and commercial entries. The close proximity of office, residential, amenities and transit have attracted local employees who walk, bike or use public transit to get to and from work while having a variety of dining and entertainment options close by. A public art installation entitled “The Laundry Strike” by Seattle artist Whiting Tennis is a focal point of the development. The sculpture pays homage to South Lake Union’s industrial past as a tribute and memorial to historic Seattle’s female laundry workers. This addition of artwork to the mixed-use project has contributed to the sense of community and place-making power of the entire development, adding interest for the public and residents and supporting the local arts community. The placement of the artwork in the alley along with seating and landscaping has contributed to the alleyway becoming a true community gathering place.
The UW Green Futures Lab (GFL) develops innovative approaches to the ecological planning and design of public space through interdisciplinary research, design and education. Faculty and students advance solutions related to urban green infrastructure — streets, trails, parks, open spaces, drainages and shorelines – systems that together comprise interconnected networks of the public realm. Such multi-functional networks support successful dense urban settlement, providing facilities that may help to protect climate, preserve biodiversity, foster equitable health and improve quality of life. Last year, the University of Washington’s Green Futures Lab (GFL) has developed a holistic, collaborative research and designed subsurface wetlands called the Waterfront Stormwater Solutions (WSS) aimed at reclaiming outfall locations at waterfronts to collect, clean, and potentially recycle stormwater at the end of the pipe prior to conveyance into the regional water bodies. This project will test the effectiveness and capacity for the WSS designed “green stormwater infrastructure” or “low impact development” techniques such as subsurface wetlands, phytoremediation, mycoremediation and bioretention to remove from the Sound.
Central Co-op has a history of being socially minded, working with local organizations and promoting good trade practices. In addition, they underwent a retrofit project that saw their natural gas costs decrease by nearly 75% while increasing the reliability of their refrigeration system. Central Co-op’s installed a heat exchanger system that allowed them to capture the excess heat from their new condenser unit. This excess heat was used to heat the building, displacing some of their need for natural gas. Their monthly natural gas bill has dropped by nearly 75% as compared to last year. They are an active participant in their community. They have a congregation space that uses zero VOC paints, LED lights, infrared heaters, and other best practices to lower its energy footprint. The Co-op is also active in larger food-related issues. In September, Seattle City Council passed a resolution banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on city property. It was Central Co-op that brought that idea to the council and cooperated with the Sierra Club to draft the resolution that was passed. Two employees also testified at the city council hearing on the use of antibiotics in livestock.
Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) Farm to Go Program and Seattle Tilth Produce Good Food Bag Program piloted innovative food access programs, which reached hundreds of Seattle’s most vulnerable families at over a dozen sites in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, both organizations plan to expand their programs. The FTG and GFB Programs reached some of Seattle’s most underserved families where they naturally gather – at community centers, child care and youth programs and meal sites – making local produce, affordable and convenient. Tilth’s Good Food Bag Program was piloted in 2013 at Tiny Tots Child Development Center in Rainier Beach with fifteen families. Growing demand saw the program expand at Tiny Tots to include five additional sites in Southeast Seattle as well as several other agencies in South Seattle and King County. At Tiny Tots, Tilth was able to integrate the cost of the Good Food Bag into tuition billing so that families could make one payment per month for tuition and the take-home bags. Each Thursday when they picked up their children, families could take home a bag of seasonal, fresh produce for $6. This past year, Tilth was able to take EBT cards for families with SNAP benefits. Staff at Tiny Tots report the addition of the Good Food Bags has led they and their families to make healthier food choices. While health and empowerment were the goals, Tiny Tots staff collectively lost 290 pounds since implementing the Good Food Bag program. Through the Good Food Bag Program Tiny Tots has committed to serving mostly organic foods to their children by 2016. Pike Place Market Foundation’s Farm to Go Bags was launched this summer at Pike Place Market Child Care Program, Garfield and Yesler Community Centers as well as the YMCA at the 2100 Building in Rainier Valley. They, too, were able to take EBT cards. Rachel Kirby, Family Support Worker at Pike Place Market Child Care Program, reports extremely positive feedback from families participating in the Farm to Go Bag Program. Families purchased bags for $7.50 – $15.00 using a sliding scale. She said that program implementers “customized the program to meet our family needs,” and that “they would come back several times to make sure families payment information was accurate and safeguarded.” Rachel notes that they would definitely participate in the program again next year. Through a commitment to the vision of healthy food for all, the Good Food Bag and Farm to Go programs also provide alternate markets for our local farmers. By reaching preschool-aged children, this program provides opportunities for our next generation of eaters to form positive habits at a critical time of brain development while contributing to the strengthening of the local food system.
Seattle ReCreative promotes creativity, community and environmental stewardship through creative reuse and arts education. That’s a fancy way of saying that they save excess googly eyes from a tragic destiny in a dumpster and help kids turn them into amazingly artistic creations. The same goes for tennis balls, fabric, old costumes, stationary, ribbons, frames, and hundreds of other materials. Through all this creative salvage work they aim to foster a more active, engaged, sustainable and enriched Seattle that’s better prepared for the environmental & social challenges ahead. Salvaged materials find a new home at the Seattle ReCreative, available for both retail purchases for anyone who happens to walk by and for the hundreds of kids who have embraced the ReCreative’s play space to develop some excellent collaborative creations.After just 6 months in operation, The Seattle ReCreative has diverted over 32 tons of usable material from the waste stream in collaboration with Ballard ReUse, inspired 75 budding artists and environmentalists during nearly 200 hours in our classroom, mobilized 24 volunteers, who donated over 750 hours of their time, hosted 12 community outreach events attended by thousands of Seattleites, and employed 5 teaching artists through classes and workshops.Fully realized, The Seattle ReCreative will help to create a generation of more active, engaged, sustainable and self-sufficient citizens here in Seattle—better prepared for the environmental, social and scientific challenges ahead. As if that weren’t enough, they’ll also be heroically saving an untold number of unloved googly eyes from our region’s landfills.The Seattle Green Business Program
The Seattle Green Business Program (formerly known as Resource Venture) provides Seattle’s businesses with free education and resources for energy and water conservation and pollution prevention, and achieving outcomes that save the utility, ratepayers, and individual businesses money. Since the program began in 2006, it has connected with more than 8,000 businesses and provided on- the-ground assistance to more than 4,400 businesses, including major hotels, restaurants, hospitals, architecture and law firms, and large event venues. Seattle’s businesses must navigate a growing number of City ordinances around resource conservation, including recycling and composting ordinances, packaging bans, stormwater regulations, and water conservation measures. Small businesses typically lack the internal capacity to learn the nuances of complex City ordinances, and as a result, are often unaware of regulations or the resources available to lower their environmental impact. The Green Business Program offers businesses on-site technical assistance to help them understand regulations and identify opportunities to save both resources and money. Cascadia Consulting’s bilingual outreach staff visit businesses around the city, providing resources for businesses to reduce waste by improving their recycling and composting programs, save water and energy with by installing efficient products that are eligible for rebates, and prevent costly stormwater and sewer pollution and backups by properly disposing of waste. The program has connected with more than 8,000 businesses and provided on-the-ground implementation assistance to more than 4,400 businesses. In 2012 and 2013, thanks to the Green Business Program, these businesses saved tens of thousands of gallons of water and diverted multiple tons of solid waste from the landfill. In 2012, the program also launched the Get on the Map campaign to recognize businesses that have taken action to reduce their environmental impact. The campaign features a map of “Green,” “Greener,” or “Greenest” Seattle businesses that have reduced their waste, participated in energy and water conservation activities, and reduced pollution. Seattle-area customers are encouraged to “shop green” and “shop local” by patronizing these businesses. Currently, nearly 400 hundred businesses have been recognized and supported for taking green actions. Building on the success of the program, in 2014 Seattle Public Utilities began an expansion of the plan to jurisdictions throughout the Puget Sound region. In the coming years, the Green Business Program will cover tens of thousands of new businesses, providing an avenue for them to save money, conserve resources, and help the environment.
Founded by the Executive Directors of two sustainable travel organizations, Crooked Trails and Wildland Adventures, the Travelers Against Plastic (TAP) Campaign is an outreach initiative which aims to educate global travelers about the harmful impacts of plastic water bottle usage and encourage travelers to be prepared to clean their own drinking water. Their vision is to catalyze a self-sustaining global movement resulting in the near-elimination of travelers’ dependence on plastic water bottles. In its first year, Travelers Against Plastic has created a dynamic, easy to navigate website for travelers looking to avoid disposable bottles, received over 800 Facebook likes and over 600 pledges from travelers, has had 50 operators pledge on the site and has provided them with information they need for their clients about cleaning water and avoiding water bottles, and co-founder Chris Mackay presented at The International Eco-Tourism Society Conference in Kenya on TAP with an overwhelmingly positive response. In addition to SteriPen as an affiliated sponsor, TAP has gained sponsorship from GRAYL ( a cup which offers travelers a nifty new way to get clean water on the go) and is currently partnering with Liberty Bottles to produce the TAP bottle for operators and individuals. Co-founder Chris Mackay presented a webinar to the Adventure Travel Trade Association in Mid Feb 2013 with incredibly positive responses including; operators asking for the powerpoint and script to translate into other languages, including Albanian. The director of the Nepal Association of Trekking Agencies asked TAP to speak in Nepal to its 700 strong constituency. The webinar was one of the most popular ATTA has ever done which attests to the desire of many tour operators to become more sustainable. Up until now, many in the field of sustainable tourism have turned a blind eye to the disposable plastic water bottle problem. TAP is taking the issue head on, and changing the way people travel. Receiving this award would acknowledge that hard work.
At car2go, we are committed to provide innovative, eco-friendly mobility solutions to local communities across the world. Our vision was to create an in-dash screen with a “game layer,” that encourages environmentally-considerate driving in a fun and interesting way for our members. It’s part of the car2go experience – empowering members to be more environmentally conscious of their drive, while providing them with the point-to-point convenience to get to wherever they need to go, whenever they need to go. EcoScore is comprised of three categories: acceleration, cruising and deceleration. Each category is represented by a tree. The more efficiently a member drives, the higher their score gets, and as their score increases, the member will notice that the trees will grow, the sky will get brighter, birds and squirrels appear. With over 52,000 car2go members in Seattle, we constantly receive positive feedback from members, who have shared that the game aspect of EcoScore, as well as its fun, animated design, has made them more aware of how eco-friendly they are driving, and have adjusted their driving habits accordingly based on their results on the app. From Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y, we are seeing great impact across the board. We are pleased to take gamification a step further in a way that shows our Seattle members that driving slowly and responsibly can actually be fun.
Can a sustainable cargo company make Seattle a better place to live? That’s one of the fundamental questions that drives us at FREEWHEEL. Of course, day-to-day, we expect to be obsessed with delivery routes and logistical questions. But our broader passion is about solving problems and making a difference. Segue to this well-researched piece out of Tufts University, where Alexandra Reisman explores the complexities of urban last-mile delivery. Drawing on previous studies and real world examples, she points out that urban freight is both good and bad for cities.
The good: “Nearly all economic activity in urban areas depends on the movement and delivery of goods through the freight system.”
The bad: “However, the great majority of urban freight is carried by trucks, which, for a variety of reasons, actually threaten the same urban space that they support. Trucks contribute to air pollution, are noisy and unsightly, and take up a large share of road space—both while moving and while parked for loading and unloading.”
Mobile Bicycle Rescue was founded by Jesse Angelo as a local Seattle bicycle repair business offering assistance to large variety of bicyclists to include daily bike commuters, race enthusiasts and weekend warriors. With the understanding that time is valuable to the customer and having urban commuter bikes serviced with in hours can help keep them commuting. The mobile bike repair business has expanded to include a downtown service center, with daily service at 13 local sites. The 2014 expansion has included on-site service and partnership with CBRE, Unico and Kilroy Realty. Negotiating with companies like CBRE to provide on site bike maintenance in buildings that have higher ridership, depending on need, offering service 1 to 4 times per month. Local nonprofit relationships include Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital. For companies like Premera Blue Cross, and Amazon.com they work closely, offering discounted services for riders while working with their bike maintenance subsidy programs hosting convenient locations in and around downtown Seattle, South Lake Union and Belltown. Partner Andy deGraef has also grown the business and developed partnerships with local non profits, and with this last years growth MBR has build a highly sustainable business model that is actively working to helping local business to improve commute trip reduction numbers while working with companies and their health and bike subsidy programs. Contributing to the local economy by hiring two full-time staff, and often increasing the efficiencies by traveling to customer sites to do repairs where they can service any number of bikes.
Pronto Cycle Share is a non-profit organization comprised of public and private organizations and local citizens working to bring bike sharing to King County. Their vision is to provide residents and visitors access to a low-cost, fast, flexible, and convenient transportation alternative with economic, social, and environmental benefits to the region. Board members include representatives from SDOT, King County Metro, UW, WSDOT, Sound Transit, Seattle Children’s Hospital, REI, Microsoft, Cascade Bicycle Club, Puget Sound Regional Council, City of Redmond and City of Kirkland. Pronto is Puget Sound’s cycle sharing system with 500 bikes and 50 stations across Seattle. Providing Seattle residents and visitors with an additional transportation option for getting around the city, Pronto is fast, convenient, and fun. A cycle sharing system consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy, very durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations located throughout a city. Pronto bikes can be rented from and then returned to any station in the system, creating an efficient network with many possible points and combinations of departure and arrival. With hundreds of bikes at 50 stations located across Seattle, Pronto is available for use 24 hours a day, all year round. The station network will provide twice as many docking points as bicycles, assuring that an available dock to return your bike is always nearby.
Seattle was one of its first launch cities and since then Uber has become a popular way to get around. Independent drivers sign up to be Uber drivers and via the network riders connect with these drivers and pay for a lift. Uber has been expanding exponentially across the country, but this year has been dealt a blow in Seattle when the City Council put a cap on the number of drivers they and other alternative transportation providers would allow on the Seattle streets at once. The company is working through the concerns of the City Council. Uber is providing a way for people to earn a wage as drivers, putting their cars to use for multiple riders, as well as providing a flexible way for riders to get around without having to be car owners. This has changed the game in transportation. We would like to see Uber recognized for this innovation in business model.