Congratulations to Our 2024 Award Winners!

Since 1999, SSMC with our partners, has been recognizing pioneers in sustainability. Awards have been given to 174 individuals and organizations who applied their passions and skills to making our communities, county and world more sustainable. This year marks our 25th anniversary and we are thrilled to announce the 2024 awardees!

Our awardees were recognized at our 25th Annual Awards Celebration and Auction on April 10 at the Embassy Suites in Burlingame. Sustainability leaders from across the county gathered to honor our awardees. See the highlights of the event here.

Thank you to our Green Building Award sponsors, American Institute of Architects’ San Mateo County Chapter and Peninsula Clean Energy.

Sustainability Awards: Byrd’s Filling Station, Samuel Herzberg, Youth Climate Ambassadors Leadership Program

Youth Sustainability Award: Kayla Ling

Ruth Peterson Award: Bernard Bruand

Green Building Award: The Nueva School’s Science and Environmental Center

Green Building Honorable Mention: The Bay Meadows Urban Village

Read our press release

Watch profile videos of Awardees

Sustainability Awards

Sustainability Awards will be presented to:

Byrd’s Filling Station is San Mateo County’s first and only grocer focused on the sustainability of each product and the supply chain. Owner Laura Porter has reimagined a grocery store without single-use plastics and, since opening in May 2022, has already eliminated over 100,000 pieces of single-use plastics. The store focuses on organic and/or non-GMO products and reusable or recyclable packaging. It prioritizes local vendors to ensure a resilient, community-focused supply chain that minimizes greenhouse gas emissions. It also hosts important community discussions around sustainability. In addition, it is a woman-owned business (WBE) and a minority-owned business (MBE) and it’s certified by the Green Business Network. Watch video and Read more

Samuel Herzberg has spent over three decades working in the Parks, Public Works and Planning Departments of San Mateo County, specializing in regional, natural resource, sustainability and park planning. He protected our shoreline from proposed offshore drilling. He initiated four watershed planning efforts and managed the first Habitat Conservation Plan on San Bruno Mountain for 25 years. He developed regional trail plans that have guided federal, state and local agencies for the past 25 years to complete the regional trail network. He created Master Plans for 10 county parks, developed over 30 capital improvement projects, facilitated numerous forestry, grassland, tidepool, creek and wetland restoration projects, and opened sections of regional trails in county parks across San Mateo County. Watch video and Read more

Youth Climate Ambassadors Leadership Program (YCA), is a first-of-its-kind development program in California, training 9-12th grade students in the county to become the climate leaders of the future. Over the past five years, 273 students have participated in the rigorous seven-month program, completing 113 Community Impact Projects. It’s a unique model that is run by the San Mateo County Sustainability Department and the county Office of Education, and is supported by Peninsula Clean Energy, Acterra and the Citizens Environmental Council. YCA alums are out in the community starting environmental clubs, making public comments at school board meetings and winning awards from SSMC! Watch video and read more.

Youth Sustainability Award

Kayla Ling, is the first recipient of SSMC’s Youth Sustainability Award! At just 15 years old, this remarkable sophomore at The Nueva School is making waves in the areas of environmental advocacy and social justice through her passion for video storytelling. Kayla has led and co-leads several environmental and climate clubs, organizes climate rallies and an annual youth environmental film festival, has set up social justice and eco-workshops at her school, volunteers as a photographer for local nonprofits and is an award-winning filmmaker. Check out her No Waste Nation social media project and her award-winning National Geographic Slingshot Challenge short film. Watch Kayla’s awardee profile video and read more

The Ruth Peterson Award

The Ruth Peterson Award, established in memory of a dedicated SSMC leader and given to an invaluable SSMC volunteer, will be presented to Bernard Bruand. After working for 40 years with Hewlett Packard in countries across the world, Bernard retired in 2012 and decided to focus on contributing to society with a special interest in sustainability. He was introduced to SSMC that year, joined the Indicators Report team and has contributed to the team every year since. He has also organized the Awards Celebration registration for the past six years. His assistance has been instrumental to the growth of these core programs. His interest in sustainability is reinforced by his two grandchildren. Bernard explains, “As the Native Americans say, the Earth is on loan to us from our grandchildren.” Read more

Green Building Award

The 2024 Green Building Award, cosponsored by Sustainable San Mateo County, the American Institute of Architects’ San Mateo County Chapter and Peninsula Clean Energy, will be presented to The Nueva School’s Science and Environmental Center in Hillsborough. The center, which opened in 2021, supports the school’s evolving mission of sustainability and environmental stewardship as a foundational pillar of student education. This zero net energy/zero net carbon, all-electric building is designed to be cost-efficient and sustainable while connecting people with the natural world. The building shape echoes the landform to minimize excavation and maximize outdoor education space. The Canopy Walk connects the campus while creating a journey through the forest. And the previously disturbed landscape in this area was restored to an oak woodland habitat with native and adapted plantings to promote biodiversity.

Owner: The Nueva School. Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, San Francisco. Builder: W.L. Butler, Stockton.

Watch this video and Read more about this spectacular green building.

A Green Building Honorable Mention will be awarded to The Bay Meadows Urban Village. Set alongside the Caltrain Station and Highway 101 and only a stone’s throw from the bay in San Mateo, this development serves as the economic engine of the single largest redevelopment sites in the Bay Area. As a transit-oriented development (TOD), it delivers the best of modern living in the form of a vibrant commercial heart serving 1,000 residential homes, townhomes and apartments. It features a superior-quality mixed-use neighborhood; green-designed, state-of-the-art, LEED Gold-certified office buildings; an outdoor plazas surrounded by retail and restaurants; and a flourishing community garden, ribbons of bike trails and acres of parkland.

Owner: Stockbridge Capital Group. Developer: Wilson Meany. Architect: HOK, San Francisco. Builder: Webcor, San Francisco.

Read more and see more pictures of this innovative development.

Join us in celebrating all of our 2024 Sustainability and Green Building winners at our 25th Annual Awards Celebration. Learn more here.

Thanks to our 2024 Awards Sponsors



Community Sponsor

Bohannon Foundation | Community Bank of the Bay | Joe Cotchett | Caltrain |
David & Nancy Crabbe | Mark Olbert & Barbara McHugh |
Port of Redwood City |
SamTrans/San Mateo County Transportation Authority |
San Mateo County Sustainability Department | South San Francisco Scavenger| Wilson Meany

Neighborhood Sponsor

David Amann | Donna & Eric Colson | DES Architects + Engineers | Environmental Risk & Financial Solutions |
Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning, Inc. | Jerry Hill | Kaiser Permanente |
George & Rhonda Kreitem |
Terry & Jim Nagel | Recology | Republic Services |
RethinkWaste | Silicon Valley Community Foundation | Sims Metal


Joanna Cui | Warren Dale & Georgi LaBerge | Good City Company | Grassroots Ecology | Kirsten Keith | Patricia McBrayer |
MidPen Housing Corp. | Lisa Diaz & Michael Nash | Petra Silton | San Mateo County Office of Education

Special Contributors

Bernard Bruand
Guy Cummins
Ricki McGlashan
Dan Peterson
Bill Schulte
The Daily Journal

To add your business or organization to this list