The 4th CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards Program recognized 13 winners (3 Business of the Year winners and 10 Climate Leader winners) representing a wide variety of businesses across the state. Winners were recognized at an awards ceremony held in Sacramento on February 12, 2014. Presented below are photos from the ceremony and information on each of the winning businesses.
As the first business to be certified “green” by the City of Thousand Oaks and a 2010 CoolCalifornia Climate Leader award winner, Canejo Awards is considered one of the leaders in green innovation. This business produces and provides trophies, wood and acrylic plaques, crystal awards, and thousands of other promotional items to their customers. Conejo Awards has long focused on environmentally sustainable business practices by continuing to purchase refillable, bulk ink cartridges and only 100% post-consumer and recycled-content office supplies. They reuse all packaging. The firm does all of its purchasing and billing online. Since 2012, Conejo Awards has transitioned all vendor payments from hard copy to electronic payments and 90% of their marketing to e-marketing. They have also installed electronic data and telecommunications systems so that all paperwork and correspondences are done electronically. Bi-weekly meetings with clients are now conducted virtually using GoToMeeting® and Skype™ resulting in a savings of over 800 vehicle miles traveled each month.Conejo Awards aggressively recycles 100% of all brass, aluminum and plastics that are used in the production facility. In 2013, Conejo Awards replaced their older 24 mile per gallon (mpg) company vehicle with a newer, more fuel efficient model that gets 48 mpg, reduces CO2 emissions by 10 tons/year, and saves over $2,900/year in fuel costs. Conejo Awards also recently retrofitted their lights and ballasts to an energy-efficient ‘white light’ system, and installed programmable thermostats and smart power strips that automatically turn off all phantom outlets when not in use. They’ve installed energy efficient high velocity fans to increase airflow in each office and all production areas, allowing the average air conditioning temperature to be set higher with a lower temperature feel due to the increased airflow. As a result of its many sustainable actions, Conejo Awards has been able to decrease electrical use by 25%, saving them thousands of dollars. As part of their educational outreach program, they use theCoolCalifornia calculator regularly to identify actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprint, reward employees for their waste reduction efforts by refunding the revenue earned from recycling to the staff, and pay the fuel bill for employees who participate in the company’s ride sharing program. They also implemented a formal environmental policy that is shared with other companies and actively participate in community events, green business committees, and local organizations.