2014 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award Winners Honored

For Immediate Release

January 21, 2015 Contact: Amy Norris, (916) 445-3123

SACRAMENTO – Twelve California organizations will be recognized with the 2014 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), the state’s highest environmental honor, in a ceremony taking place this evening in the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento.

“Each of the 2014 GEELA recipients demonstrated initiative and creativity in advancing sustainable practices,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “The winners, representing diverse enterprises from Northern, Central and Southern California, prove that policies benefitting the environment go hand in hand with economic and organizational success.”

Established in 1993, GEELA is awarded to individuals, companies and organizations that use sustainable business practices to conserve energy, reduce waste or prevent pollution while contributing to their local economy. Good Day Sacramento’s Marianne McClary will emcee tonight’s ceremony.

The 2014 GEELA winners are:

Parducci Wine Cellars (Mendocino County) for water recycling practices that transformed a polluted pond into a bird sanctuary, and created other uses for its wastewater including crop irrigation and recreational opportunities.

City of Watsonville (Santa Cruz County) for its Public Works Conservation Program that promotes environmental education and “green” career awareness.

University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles County) for its sustainable transportation program that has reduced single car commuter traffic by 51 percent among employees and 25 percent among students.

Elkhorn Slough Foundation (Monterey County) for its ecosystem-based watershed stewardship focused on land acquisition, education, science and land restoration in order to successfully maintain one of California’s important wetland areas.

Lodi Winegrape Commission (San Joaquin County) for expansion and improvement of their sustainable winegrowing certification program that now includes more than 30,000 acres enrolled statewide.

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (San Francisco County) for continued development of their sustainable winegrowing program that includes online performance metrics for water, energy, nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions, and a winery water guide for small wineries.

Domus Development (Placer County) for Kings Beach Housing Now, a new model for sustainable rural infill development, contributing to improved air quality, water quality and environmental health.

City of Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz County) for its GreenWharf partnership and incorporation of innovative technology into the structure and operations at the Wharf.

Nicole Gatto, MPH, PHD (Los Angeles County) for addressing the obesity epidemic by creating three community gardens in underserved communities of the greater Los Angeles region. The gardens now provide fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods where only 18 percent of grocery stores offer produce.

Raytheon (Los Angeles County) for incorporating environmental mitigation and energy conservation policies into its daily operations, long-term decision-making, and overall business management. In 2013, Raytheon’s El Segundo campus became a “Zero Office Waste” site and helped Raytheon achieve a 75 percent overall recycling rate.

Ford Store Morgan Hill (Santa Clara County) for its commitment to zero emission and sustainable energy business practices, products and services. In 2012, the Ford Store Morgan Hill sold more Energi (plug-in vehicles) than any other dealership in the world.

Disneyland Resort (Orange County) for its continuing commitment to waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The resort’s waste diversion rate has gone from 19 percent in 2006 to nearly 40 percent today with programs such as biodiesel generated from fryer grease and donation of used hotel soaps to Clean World Foundation.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges that included the Governor’s Office and the secretaries of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; the California Department of Food and Agriculture; the California Environmental Protection Agency; the California Health and Human Services Agency; the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency; the California Natural Resources Agency; and the California State Transportation Agency.

The panel evaluated and selected winners in the following categories: Agricultural Ecosystem Services; Automobile Dealer Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Promotion; Children’s Environmental Education; Climate Change; Comprehensive Land Use Planning; Ecosystem and Watershed Stewardship; Enhanced Environmental and Economic Leadership; Environmental Justice; Green Chemistry; Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Readiness; Sustainable Practices or Facilities; Sustainable Practices by State Agencies; Technological and Market Innovation; Waste Reduction.

For more information on the GEELA program and this year’s award recipients, please visitwww.calepa.ca.gov/Awards/GEELA/.