Business Success Stories
Our collection of success stories are designed to give you ideas on how to implement your own climate success story. Use the filters on the left to narrow down your search by location, industry type, or action type. Many of our success stories are also Small Business Award winners, your business could be next!
Anni Tilt and David Arkin began their northern California based architecture firm with a commitment to both designing and operating sustainably. Their expertise lies in designing beautiful buildings using alternative construction systems including building with straw-bale and rammed earth, renewable energy systems, greywater, and non-toxic and recycled materials.
Meet the husband and wife green team — Marco Pietschmann and Bettina Limaco. Together the two started their small business, Green11, as part of their vision for the future of shopping. Green11 isn’t your average retailer. The duo has implemented a new retail model that minimizes consumer packaging, thereby significantly reducing waste from the traditional supply chain. This is all done through a revolutionary concept called the “closed-loop distribution model.”
For Advanced Transit Dynamics (ATDynamics), helping trucking companies cut fuel costs is how it gives back to Mother Nature. A small business dedicated to developing the best-in-class technology for the freight transportation industry, ATDynamics works with carriers throughout North America to reduce their carbon footprint. One way it has accomplished this is through its flagship product, the TrailerTail®. In 2010, more than 480 of these devices were installed on the back of tractor-trailers, saving more than 36,000 gallons of diesel.
Zan Media, San Francisco Bay Area film and video production specialists, caught the green buzz when producing their recent documentary on the California wine business, “A State of Vine”. Says partner/producer Christine Scioli, “We devoted a segment of the documentary to sustainability and saw time and time again the efforts made in the wine industry to become environmentally sensitive. It dawned on us that we took similar steps in the film and video business by becoming a 100 percent digital production company.”
Petaluma-based label printing enterprise and sticker manufacturer, Paragon Label and Mrs. Grossmans, are committed to producing the highest quality products for their customers in the most sustainable manner possible. Paragon Label and Mrs. Grossmans have been involved in conserving and recycling for more than a decade. Their green business philosophy is to continually improve and seek out innovative new options to reduce their carbon footprint.
Concerned by the potential health hazards associated with the use of perchloroethylene (PERC), a traditional dry cleaning chemical, Hesperian Cleaners decided to go green. “I didn’t want to change it to another solvent or another type of chemical,” says owner Sung Han Lee. Therefore, five years ahead of the new mandated schedule to phase out PERC, Mr. Lee chose a new process called wet cleaning.
For this contractor, construction and demolition are environmentally-friendly activities. Diamond D General Engineering’s owner, Spencer Defty, set out to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at his company by changing the way he ran his business. Defty implemented environmentally-friendly product and material uses as well as solid waste reduction strategies, energy effciency measures, recycling policies, and vehicle pollution prevention policies.
Blue Oak Energy is in the business of being green. Dedicated to providing high quality service to customers nationwide, Blue Oak Energy excels in managing solar projects every step of the way.
Through their hard work and perseverance, Blue Oak Energy has made enormous contributions to the growth of the solar industry in California. In 2008 Blue Oak contributed in the contruction of 7% of the entire US solar market and 23% of the entire California solar market which translates into the reduction 500 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
UPDATE: RSG IS NO LONGER IN BUSINESS, BUT THEIR CLIMATE ACTIONS ARE STILL VERY RELEVANT. (AUGUST 2016)
Rent-A-Green Box is a multifaceted fast growing company with green on the brain. Spencer Brown, who embraced the green philosophy, knew that over 20% of the population moves every year and noticed the excessive waste that went into every move from cardboard boxes that were used only once then thrown away to tape and Styrofoam peanuts. So he set out to change the way Southern California and America relocate their property without trashing the planet.. “His concern for sustainability at every aspect of the business was incredible and was matched only by his innovative solutions,” said E.B.
Sassan Rahimzadeh set out to create one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable dry cleaning services around. He succeeded when he opened the doors of Arya Cleaners. Understanding that people have many options when selecting their dry cleaning services, Arya Cleaners offers an environmentally friendly experience, along with state-of-the-art service.
Blue Star Refreshments is an office refreshment service provider located in Silicon Valley that has made the commitment to go green. They offer complete office refreshment services including coffee, snack, dairy products, fresh fruit, baked goods, and catering services, with an emphasis on a low carbon footprint, energy savings, less waste, and healthier snacking through their Healthy Snack Program.
Head tree-hugger and Christmas Caroler, Scott “Scotty Claus” Martin, was once ashamed by the discarded Christmas Trees that would line the streets after the holidays. Now, thanks to the Living Christmas Company, families can invite the same tree over for the holidays year after year.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has delivered credible environmental research since 1994. They have embraced climate friendly practices with a comprehensive approach to green their business and a commitment to promoting their achievements as widely as possible.
Premier Auto Tops and Interiors is one of the largest and most experienced upholstery companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1965 by Dan O'Neill and Bob Mestressat, Premier has been at the same location for 45 years and now implements sustainable business practices.
Lafitte Cork & Capsule is committed to improving the sustainability of their products as well as their operations. Lafitte’s Green Business Initiative grows out of their long term family commitment to create a sustainable business model.
The Irwindale Chamber of Commerce is committed to making eco-friendly decisions in the office and in the community. Through their Environmental Committee, they inform and advocate environmental concerns, emergency preparation and response planning for local businesses. They hold two annual environmental forums, conduct E-waste events, and publish information on both their website and in the “Green Pages” of the Chamber’s monthly publication.
Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV), a non-profit organization, has calculated its carbon footprint to be approximately 40 tons of CO2e per year. One of the core philosophies at SSV is that you can’t manage what you can’t measure, so both of SSV’s home-based offices set out to monitor and measure their environmental impacts, just as they require all SSV partners to do.
Spirit Graphics and Printing Inc. has four generations of printing and publishing experience and has been family owned and operated since 1983. Even with the standards of tradition to live up to, Spirit Graphics has pledged to turn their small business green in order to save money and protect the environment for future generations.
“Our hope was to provide a much cleaner and more responsible product... it has been an overall transformation to a clean sustainable business.”