2015 Award Winners to be honored at a benefit dinner on Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sustainable San Mateo County’s 16th Annual Sustainability Awards celebrate two local businesses and a nonprofit community resource center for outstanding commitment to sustainable practices and exemplary conduct with regards to the three “e” principles: Economy, Equity, Environment.

Sustainability Award winners are: Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company in San Carlos for their pioneering sustainable beer-making and inventive material reutilization program; GreenCitizen, a Burlingame e-waste recycler, and Puente de la Costa Sur, an indispensable resource center for the people of the South Coast. The brand new high school at Bay Meadows, Nueva School, is the Green Building Award winner, with Green Building Honorable Mentions going to the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Replacement Hospital and Johnston’s Saltworks in San Carlos.

The 16th Annual Awards event will be held at the College of San Mateo’s Bayview Dining Room on March 26th. California State Senator Jerry Hill will lead the proceedings as emcee and auctioneer, and award recipients will be honored with their own documentary spotlights. These promotional clips are filmed by BACIPIX, a production company owned by Rick Bacigalupi, an Emmy Award-winning independent producer and videographer. In addition, there will be dinner and drinks, a live and a silent auction, and a raffle. Proceeds benefit Sustainable San Mateo County.

Sustainable San Mateo County would like to acknowledge our generous sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Community Sponsors: Bohannon Development Company, Brisbane Baylands, David Crabbe Architect, Recology San Mateo County, San Mateo County Community College District, South San Francisco Scavenger; Neighborhood Sponsors: Comcast California, DES Architects + Engineers, Lyngso Garden Materials, RethinkWaste/SBWMA, and SamTrans.

For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, visit our Awards page, or contact Executive Director Adrienne Etherton at (650) 638-2323 or advocate [at] sustainablesanmateo [dot] org

2015 Award Recipient Summaries

Ruth Peterson Award – Tom Rounds
The 2015 Ruth Peterson Award recipient, Tom Rounds, has been crucial to Sustainable San Mateo County’s work for nearly a decade. From first coming across an Indicators Report in an office lobby in 2005, to serving as Treasurer on the board, his advice, practical help and hands-on approach have helped make SSMC what it is today. He first volunteered on the Indicators Committee, researched individual indicators and then was editor of the City Reports sections for many years. Founder Ruth Peterson saw that his knowledge of budgets and accounting would be very helpful, and she persuaded him to become Treasurer. SSMC’s mission resonated with him and enabled him to know that he was part of a solution for our county’s future.

Sustainability Awards
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
In addition to making award-winning handcrafted beer, Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company practices a philosophy of re-utilization. The business refurbishes materials and equipment to use internally or for other businesses and groups that can benefit by re-utilizing items otherwise headed for the scrap pile. The brewery is also pioneering inventive bio-chemical research and has a prototype methane reactor designed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts promote a new green business standard not only for the brewing industry but as a sustainable waste diversion strategy for any company looking to balance environmental conservatism with economic prosperity. Opening the brewery to the public on Fridays gives residents from every part of the social spectrum a chance to meet, talk and share ideas. For the past 14 years, sustainable practices have allowed Devil’s Canyon to give back more”by taking and using less.

GreenCitizen, Inc
GreenCitizen’s mission is to develop a sustainable metropolitan model that provides individuals and businesses with a convenient and accountable way to reuse and recycle electronics. Though electronic waste makes up only 2% of America’s trash, it accounts for over 70% of our hazardous waste. Everything dropped off at eco-centers and transported to headquarters in Burlingame is either refurbished and resold, or dismantled. GreenCitizen promotes environmental health through reuse and recycling, ensuring that e-waste does not get sent to a landfill. Additionally, GreenCitizen hosts a local student volunteer program called Techbridge where students earn laptops for foster youth by volunteering their time to sort electronics at the main processing hub.

Puente de la Costa Sur
Puente de la Costa Sur is the only Community Resource Center in the region, serving the communities of Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar, and San Gregorio. They are an indispensable resource especially for the underserved Latino & farmworker communities. Puente initiated and manages Pescadero Grown! – a vibrant farmer’s market in Pescadero & La Honda featuring the region’s local, organic farmers. The organization provides education and leadership development programs designed to transform lives and support residents to advocate for themselves. Additionally, Puente advocates for fair, equitable practices in the areas of education, youth employment, housing, medical care, transportation, and food security. Puente offers English & Spanish classes, tutoring, youth employment opportunities, health insurance enrollment, mental health support and various classes and workshops that help residents prosper.

2015 Green Building Award Summaries

Nueva School, San Mateo
The Nueva School is an powerful example of a LEED Gold building which creates an ecology of learning for current and future students. The school is a creative laboratory for learning about sustainability in a bright, innovative design. The integration of exterior and interior spaces is inspirational and refreshing. Nueva selected an excellent site for a high school which draws students from the region via Caltrain. The result is a reduction in automobile traffic which will in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Utilizing natural ventilation, day-lighting and photovoltaic panels, this Green Building exceeds the 2030 Challenge of carbon neutrality by using 65% less energy than a typical high school.

Honorable Mention: Johnston’s Saltbox, San Carlos
The Jury was impressed by this sensitive adaptive reuse of an existing hardware store into an attractive neighborhood restaurant. The Saltbox has good proximity to transit for patrons and workers and a fluid indoor/outdoor connection. Unusual in an urban setting, the new rooftop garden provides sustainably produced herbs and vegetables for the restaurant below, a draw for San Carlos Locavores.

Honorable Mention: Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Replacement Hospital
The new hospital for Kaiser Redwood City is an ambitious large-scale institution headed for LEED Silver certification. An impressive sustainability contribution is that greater than 45% of the construction workforce lived locally, with 50% being from minorities. Kaiser received a significant rebate from PG&E based on the designed energy efficiency of the new structure. The new building is an attractive addition to Redwood City and San Mateo County, improving health services in the region.