Gov. Brown Announces 2011 Top Environmental Leadership Awards

For Immediate Release
December 14, 2011

Media Contacts:
Lindsay VanLaningham (916) 324-9670

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today honored 16 companies and organizations for their contributions to California’s environment and economy by awarding them with a 2011 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA).

“To thrive in the twenty-first century, we need to preserve the environment on which the economy itself depends,” said Governor Brown. “Tonight’s award recipients have done just that. This year’s winners exemplify the imagination that will drive California’s recovery.”

Established in 1993, the GEELA program is the state’s highest honor in recognizing individuals, companies and organizations that make significant contributions to the state by developing environmentally-friendly practices while contributing to the local economy. The 16 winners were evaluated based on their strength in eight specific areas: results, transferability, environmental impact, resource conservation, economic progress, innovation and uniqueness, pollution prevention and environmental justice.

“These companies and organizations are true leaders,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matt Rodriquez. “They prove that you can support and promote environmental values without sacrificing your business objectives. They understand that going green can be a successful economic strategy that can also lead to sustainable growth and development.”

The 2011 GEELA recipients are:

Albertsons Stores announced that two of its Santa Barbara stores are the first supermarkets in the United States to have achieved a “zero-waste” classification through a combination of innovative recycling programs. (Santa Barbara County)

America Modular Systems produces the Gen7 classroom, a modular classroom that offers cost-effective, green solutions for schools across California. These facilities maximize energy efficiency and are constructed using sustainable materials. (San Joaquin County)

Anheuser-Busch, Fairfield Brewery reduced its water, waste and electricity usage through employee ideas. AB recycled 99.8 percent of its solid waste and employed the use of solar and wind power. (Solano County) ATDynamics commercialized the TrailerTail® which reduces drag at the back of tractor-trailers. The technology, made of aerodynamic fairings, decreases fuel consumption by 6 percent and will save the long-haul trucking industry $20 billion in fuel costs through the next decade. (San Francisco County)

ATDynamics commercialized the TrailerTail® which reduces drag at the back of tractor-trailers. The technology, made of aerodynamic fairings, decreases fuel consumption by 6 percent and will save the long-haul trucking industry $20 billion in fuel costs through the next decade. (San Francisco County)

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, LLC made a series of process improvements and investments in state-of-the-art equipment at its Berkeley site in an effort to achieve an 85 percent recycling rate. Bayer reduced its solid waste by 20 percent, its water consumption by 14 percent and its electricity by 9 percent all while increasing production. (Alameda County)

California Land Stewardship Institute incentivizes landowners to develop a Farm Conservation Plan that inventories and evaluates natural resources and practices on the entire property. The program provides resources for landowners to meet regulatory requirements and addresses numerous environmental regulations through one plan. (Napa County)

City of Gonzales developed an Environmental Leadership Academy to serve the untapped potential of students in grades 6th through 8th. The ELA program takes children through a week-long environmental leadership course, teaching conservation values to those living in rural agricultural environments. (Monterey County)

EarthTeam’s Something’s in the Air program is a collaborative network of Bay Area high school students, teachers and community leaders designed to teach students about the correlation between air quality and asthma, and empower them to take action in their communities. (Alameda County)

EOS Climate, Inc. is a leader in the comprehensive management of end-of-life refrigerants — potent greenhouse gases. EOS is using carbon finance to accelerate adoption of new advanced technologies, generating economic opportunities and transforming business. (San Francisco County)

Hero Arts, Inc. operates a small family business that specializes in hand-made stamping products. Its operations rely primarily on solar that reduces greenhouse gases by 253 tons. They recycle 70 percent of waste products, have reduced packaging materials and eliminated toxins, solvents and water. (Contra Costa County)

Houweling Nurseries Oxnard, Inc. is a family owned company operating more than 70 hectares of high tech hydroponic greenhouses, specializing in tomatoes and cucumbers. They recently expanded its facilities by 40 acres and built a 32,500 square foot packing/cooler shed employing the best available technology including a solar array; solar thermal roof; state of the art waste and rainwater capture and treatment; and a 25-foot high greenhouse that maximizes climate control. (Ventura County)

Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network launched the Silicon Valley Collaborative Energy Procurement Project to enable nine participating agencies to install renewable energy systems. The project resulted in 70 solar power installations which are collectively expected to generate more than $60 million in economic activity and more than 300 jobs. (Santa Clara County)

McCamant and Durrett Architects’s Wolf Creek Lodge is a 30-unit development composed of clustered private residences combined with shared common facilities. Future residents contributed to the design which includes sustainable building features. The project is the largest of its kind in California and was designed near amenities and transit to reduce vehicle traffic and emissions. (Nevada County)
Mesa Lane Partners, LLC designed a sustainable, 48-unit, mixed-use apartment building that employs a mix of both energy and water efficient building techniques. The 50,000 square foot building is being built on a revitalized Brownfield site and will achieve LEED Platinum certification upon completion. It is the first net zero energy building in Santa Barbara County. (Santa Barbara County)

Orange County Department of Education’s Inside the Outdoors program connects students in Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties to their natural environment. Each year, more than 159,000 students experience hands-on environmental education. It recently expanded the program to include service learning environmental stewardship projects. (Orange County)

Portola Hotel and Spa renovated its 33-year-old hotel with more than $8 million in upgrades that have reduced CO2 emissions, electricity usage, water consumption and waste. It sources materials locally and used low impact building materials. The hotel also participates in a renewable energy credit project that offsets 100 percent of its emissions. (Monterey County)

GEELA program recipients are selected by a large panel of evaluators including secretaries from the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Natural Resources Agency, Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, the Department of Food and Agriculture, the State and Consumer Services Agency, the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Health and Human Services Agency and the Governor’s Office. For more information about GEELA, visit

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