2015 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award Winners Honored

For Immediate Release
January 19, 2016

Amy Norris, (916) 324-9670

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

“This year’s GEELA recipients made extraordinary gains in sustainability, waste reduction and conservation,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “The winners also demonstrated their environmental achievements resulted in greater efficiency and economic benefits that spread beyond their organizations.”

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 host tonight’s ceremony.

The 2015 GEELA winners are:

Stanford University (Santa Clara County) for a new energy system that is 70 percent more efficient than the previous system leading to GHG reductions of 68 percent compared to 2013 levels.

Prather Ranch (Shasta County) for minimizing waste from animal food products and creating conservation easements to protect endangered species.

Sacramento Water Forum (Sacramento County) for its unprecedented effort to manage water temperature in real-time to protect incubating steelhead. As a result of the partnership with US Bureau of Reclamation, 95 percent of the brood survived.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Los Angeles County) for water conservation education programs for pre-K through college level, used by more than 300 schools.

Orange County Department of Education and Orange County Waste & Recycling (Orange County) for a K-12 education program “Project Zero Waste” at 200 schools, resulting in annual waste reduction estimated at 400,000 pounds.

REV (San Francisco County) for peer-based community learning to help organizations adopt a mindset of sustainability and improve efficiency. Average projected annual savings for participating organizations is $300,000.

City of Anaheim (Orange County) for the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, the world’s first LEED Platinum designed transit station that reduced energy consumption by 50 percent and created 5,000 new jobs.

South San Francisco Scavenger Company and Blue Line Transfer, Inc. (San Mateo County) for the dry fermentation anaerobic digestion facility that is first in the nation to create a closed loop renewable fueling station from the processing of organics.

Sonoma County Winegrape Commission (Sonoma County) for advancing the goal to make Sonoma County the first fully sustainable wine region in the country by 2019.

Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund (Alameda County) for its “ReThink Disposable” source reduction program that has helped 100 businesses and institutions reduce single-use disposable food and beverage packaging products by an average of 70 percent.

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (San Diego County) for annual enhancements of its waste reduction programs, including expanding food composting to all concessions, and recycling of air conditioner condensation.

Solana Center for Environmental Innovation (San Diego County) for its “Organics Marketplace” that connects producers and consumers of organic waste.

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

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