This year’s 19 award winners were selected from applicants across the state and represent a wide variety of business sectors. These businesses took a number of different actions to save money and improve their internal operations while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the steps they took included installing light emitting diode (LED) lights, solar panels, wind turbines, and energy efficient equipment; using recycled/reused/repurposed products; composting food waste and plant material; purchasing or using hybrid, electric, or biofuel vehicles; starting or enhancing recycling and water conservation programs. Our winners promote sustainability and environmental stewardship through their participation in community events, distribution of green tips or articles in their newsletters, speaking at conferences, teaching a course, using social media, and engaging their employees.
Luxury Auto Body offers full service collision repair throughout San Diego County. The business has taken a proactive approach in the areas of compliance and conservation. At Luxury Auto Body, several methods have been implemented to conserve water and reduce monthly energy demand through consulting with SDG&E's Commercial Customer Energy Specialist. The company installed a vehicle wash mat wastewater collection and recycling system to conserve water. Proactively addressing drought conditions, turf irrigation was shut off and rainwater collection barrels were put in place for use on drought-tolerant plants and vehicle paint preparation. The total investment cost of water conservation equipment was approximately $4,000 which has resulted in a 30% decrease in water usage, saving the shop $1,050 per year. Beyond its water conservation efforts, Luxury Auto Body installed skylight windows in the shop repair area to reduce the use of overhead lighting during daylight operations, allowing the business to save over $900 a year. A new energy-efficient spray booth was installed to further reduce energy costs. The use of cleaners and solvents with low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was approved by the local Air Pollution Control District (APCD). Luxury Auto Body also recycles paint waste containers through Pacific Resource Recovery Services, making for a more cost-efficient paint process. Luxury Auto Body has reduced the need to travel between locations by incorporating web video conferencing into its business operations. The web conferencing equipment has saved the company just under $1,000 in annual fuel costs. Luxury Auto Body continues to look for areas to improve its processes and protect the environment. The company has recently partnered with the local APCD to assist with the production of training videos for use on the county website as well as for classroom training. The APCD has utilized the facility and staff to demonstrate proper methods and compliance requirements in order to educate other small businesses in the San Diego area.