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!
After concerned parent Carleen Cullen saw the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” she was inspired to make a difference in her community, starting with K-8 students. In 2006, Cullen and her husband Jeff developed a conservation program, Cool the Earth, that educates K-8 students about climate change, brings them hands-on learning and provides them with knowledge and tools to practice sustainable energy use. In 2008/09 the program ran in 67 California schools as well as 20 schools across the country.
In this caterer’s kitchen, creating a feast doesn’t have to be environmentally messy. Savory & Sweet’s President, Leanne Pomellitto, has been working to make her company ‘green’ while also helping clients become more environmentally- friendly. Since the business opened in 1993, Savory & Sweet Catering has implemented a few key strategies to help reduce their carbon footprint.
One of 26 businesses in a building complex, Meridian Pacific, Inc. stands out as a leader in environmentally-friendly business practices. As a Sacramento Sustainable Business (SSB), Meridian Pacific set out to reduce their energy use, conserve water, reduce waste, support alternative transportation, and reduce work-related travel. One of Meridian Pacific’s main accomplishments includes spearheading a recycling program. When the business discovered their recyclables were being thrown in the trash, they contacted their property manager to build a proper recycling receptacle.
When brother and sister team Ahmed and Reem Rahim began Numi tea in 1999, they made a conscious choice to create a business based on sustainability. Over ten years later, their vision is a strong reality and Numi Organic Tea prides themselves in “closing the loop.” All of Numi's raw tea and herb materials are 100% biodegradable, and all of Numi's raw materials are fully utilized in the production process and are transported in reusable cardboard cartons.
For this small business, clean transportation is the key to success. Over the last 20 years,Old Town Trolley Tours has provided sightseeing tours using 27 trolleys and 5 “boats on wheels” vehicles. They give tours to approximately 500 to 1,000 people each day. Old Town Trolley’s CEO, Chris Belland, instituted companywide “green” policies, including changing trolleys to run on propane and “boats on wheels” to run on biodiesel. Both changes helped create cleaner transportation methods.
In just two years, Bowman Design Group not only met but shattered California’s AB32 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals for 2020 – and business remains strong. In results verified by the California Climate Action Registry, Bowman slashed its GHG emissions by 65%. This result far exceeds the state of California’s goal, which mandates statewide GHG emission reductions of 15% by 2020 and 95% by 2050 versus 2008 levels. Bowman’s president, Tom Bowman, set out to see whether a small business could meet the California emission goals and remain financially viable.
East of the town of Winters is Dixon Ridge Farms, where Russell and Kathleen Lester produce organic walnuts on 500 acres of their 1,250 acre farm site. Their innovative use of alternative energy significantly reduces their overall carbon footprint.
Established in 1947, Pacific Motor Service has been an environmentally friendly shop since its inception. Having gone through the “Green Shop” inspection/qualification process, several areas did require attention, and in some cases, wholesale change. The shop decided to take the necessary steps to become more environmentally friendly.
Brentwood Royal Cleaners first opened its doors in 1948 and since 2003 has offered environmentally-friendly dry cleaning. Traditional dry cleaners use a chemical called Perchloroethylene, which is a known carcinogen and ground contaminant. Brentwood Royal Cleaners uses a CO2 cleaning process that does not harm the environment. Brentwood Royal Cleaners has approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air-Resource Board (CARB) as well as South Coast Air Quality District Management (SCAQMD) to use liquid CO2 to dry clean clothes.
iBank is a small, private company that has been paperless since 1999. One of iBank’s primary business goals is to help reduce the usage of paper products. iBank helps other businesses obtain funding, equipment leases and other business services online with an application process that goes to hundreds of lenders, insurers, coaches and consultants online.
The Seven4One Hotel was built with the purpose of creating an environmentally sustainable hotel and reducing the carbon footprint of each guest. The management and staff at Seven4One are dedicated to improving their environmental performance by establishing precise "green" hotel and general business operational policies and procedures. Seven4one is a proud member of the EPA Waste-Wise Partnership and the Green Hotel Association of America. To create a “green” hotel, every aspect from building and infrastructure to hotel operations had to be carefully evaluated.
MAK Design+Build, Inc. is an environmentally conscious business that emphasizes sustainable building practices. The steps MAK has taken to become green significantly reduce their bills and conserve valuable resources.
Dos Coyotes Border Café took steps to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at two locations in Davis, making Dos Coyotes an even more popular place to eat. Owner Bobby Coyote decided to help the environment by changing the way he runs his businesses.
To save money and achieve greenhouse gas reductions, Dos Coyotes implemented the use of formaldehyde free building products, installed high efficiency HVAC systems, installed AC economizers and recycled paint instead of throwing it away. They use compostable dinnerware in the restaraunt to reduce waste.
Harmony Farm Supply and Nursery is literally growing money on trees with energy-efficiency improvements. Like many small businesses, Harmony Farm Supply and Nursery relied on high bay metal halide lighting fixtures and outdated T-12 fluorescent lights that consumed large amounts of energy. Business owner David Henry wondered what he could do to reduce energy costs. He contacted the Small Business Energy Alliance (SBEA), an organization that used energy efficiency funds from the California Public Utilities Commission to help small business owners save energy and money.
"The Lobster" Restaurant in Santa Monica has long been an unofficial historical landmark, almost as recognizable as the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier.
Seton Medical Center Coastside lost tons of waste, earning the Center a State Waste Reduction Award in 2006. Reducing waste translated into cost-savings and environmental benefits.
In this small but cozy corner café, drinking coffee is good for both you and the environment. Nomad’s owner, Christopher Waters, set out to create “a community center where people can come together, practice whatever it is that they do” with sustainability as a core value. Since the business opened in May 2003, Nomad implemented environmentally-friendly product and material uses as well as solid waste reduction strategies, energy efficiency measures, operation conservation measures, and vehicle pollution prevention policies.
"Clif Bar & Company has been researching alternative fuels for a few years now," said Bryan Cole, Clif Bar & Company’s director of field experience. "We hope we can inspire consumers and other companies to help protect the planet by sharing our experience and exploration of alternative fuels."
UPDATE: FACILITY IS NOW CLOSED. BUT READ BELOW TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR GREEN BUSINESS ACTIONS. (AUGUST 2016)
In this Davis yoga studio, exercising is good for both you and the environment. The Bo Tree was created in 2002 by Teri Bowen as a green yoga studio and has expanded into green consulting. The Bo Tree actively promotes eco-living practices in the business community and is committed to actions that minimize environmental harm and maximize environmental benefit.
San Francisco's first truly eco-friendly hotel is "green" from the ground floor to the rooftop. The Orchard Garden Hotel was the first California hotel awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Orchard Garden is the third hotel in the U.S. and fourth in the world with this certification. The Orchard Garden achieved LEED certification in part with its effective building envelope and core system.