It’s Smooth Sailing for this Sustainable Business

Sun Harbor Marina, located at the America's Cup Harbor in San Diego, provides a safe and friendly docking facility to a variety of tenants.

In 2003, the original marina was demolished to make way for environmentally friendly renovations. In 2005, Sun Harbor Marina became the world’s only LEED certified marina. During demolition, half of the existing materials were sent to be recycled or reused, rather than thrown away.

The refurbished marina now contains new boat docks, with efficient LED lighting and recycling available for each tenant. Sun Harbor Marina continues to be a leader in sustainability through ongoing efforts to reduce waste, save resources and conserve energy.

Sun Harbor has been recognized by multiple organizations for their countless efforts in achieving a clean, green business. Sun Harbor Marina has received a Green Business Challenge Plaque through the Port of San Diego and the San Diego Community E.A.R.T.H. award. In 2012, they received a CoolCalifornia Small Business Climate Leader award.

What is Sun Harbor Marina doing to save energy?

While the largest part of Sun Harbors’ energy savings come from using only renewable sources, like solar and wind energy, the staff also takes every possible step to assure energy is used efficiently. The office building is designed to take advantage of natural lighting and is equipped with ENERGY STAR® rated equipment. Double pane, energy efficient windows are incorporated into all buildings and light shelves help enhance natural light during the winter. Low VOC (volatile organic compound) products, such as adhesives, interior paint and insulation, improve indoor air quality. In the restroom, motion sensors operate the lights, soap dispensers and sink faucets so that no energy is wasted. LED lighting is used in the docks and inside the building, which saves money and electricity. Outside, trees provide up to 70 percent shade and reduce the need for air conditioning. Metering is also provided for individual tenants so they can observe their own energy use and be inspired to conserve.

What did Sun Harbor Marina do to build green?

Many of the materials used in the construction and furnishing of the Marina are recycled-content products. Restrooms feature water efficient toilets and fixtures, as well as reclaimed wood benches and partitions made with recycled plastic bottles. Cabinetry throughout the property is made of renewable sources, like bamboo and Kirei. The first floor office suites have door grates made from 100 percent recycled, nylon-reinforced truck and airplane tire strips. All office suites have recycled-content carpet or bamboo flooring and blinds from renewable, fast growing timber. On the docks, an earth-tone aggregate was used in construction over concrete to limit the use of timber.

What other sustainable measures does Sun Harbor Marina take?

Sun Harbor encourages all employees to use other modes of transportation to get to work, such as walking or biking, and bike racks are provided on site. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used in the workplace to maintain employee and customer health. Sun Harbor Marina sends out a monthly e-newsletter to keep the public updated on events and showcase green practices. The marina also sponsors National Maritime Day, where green products can be promoted to the public and tenants.


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Sun Harbor Marina
5000 N Harbor Drive, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92106

Sun Harbor Marina is housed in an energy efficient building at the America’s cup Harbor in San Diego. By purchasing 55,846 kWh of renewable energy credits, Sun Harbor Marina offsets over 74,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide annually. 

Green Actions Summary:

  • Purchases renewable energy credits
  • Buys recycled-content-products
  • Installed ENERGY STAR® labeled equipment
  • Uses eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Provides recycling bins to tenants
  • Installed low energy use LED lighting with motion sensors
  • Uses double pane, energy efficient glass for all windows
  • Provides energy metering for individual tenants
  • Designed offices to utilize natural light
  • Installed energy efficient water fixtures
  • Provides bike racks to encourage alternative commutes
  • Belongs to the San Diego Green Business Program

Total Cost Savings:

  • $6,000 annually

Total Greenhouse Gas Savings:

  • Over 74,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide annually