Santa Cruz, CA (June 29, 2004) - Ecology Action of Santa Cruz received the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in Sacramento on December 1, 2003. Governor Schwarzenegger presented the award to Ecology Action in the Environmental-Economic Partnerships category slated for businesses “that foster unique, cooperative approaches between the private, public, and/or non-profit sectors to achieve both environmental and economic ends.” This award acknowledges Ecology Action’s success over the last 33 years as a valuable collaborator with communities and businesses throughout California.
In announcing the award, The California Environmental Protection Agency press release states: “Ecology Action is an environmental non-profit that has instilled environmental awareness and created opportunities for individuals, businesses, and communities to save money, create jobs, and contribute to a sustainable local economy. Ecology Action’s success is grounded in relationships with a network of affiliations, government agencies an d civic groups. Based in Santa Cruz, the 30-year-old non-profit developed exemplary public-private partnerships beyond county limits, working with governmental organizations dealing with energy, water, land and agriculture.”
Ecology Action received this award for their successful business assistance programs known as the Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI), which include RightLights, the Agricultural Used Oil Network, and the Small Business Solid Waste Reduction program. The RightLights program provides subsidized, energy efficient lighting retrofits for small to medium sized businesses and has thus far helped over 600 small businesses save enough energy to power 700 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 3 million pounds annually. The Agricultural Used Oil Collection Networks serve more than 9,000 farmers in California, diverting an estimated 20,000 gallons of used oil from potential soil and water contamination in 2002 alone. The Small Business Solid Waste Reduction Program serves over 700 small businesses and has resulted in an estimated annual savings of $108,800 or an average of $242 per business serve d. Each of these three programs help businesses reduce costs, reach new green markets, comply with regulation, and increase environmental performance in harmony with market forces and the laws of natural systems. The RightLights program has been so successful that Ecology Action recently received an additional $5 million in funding to expand the program into Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
Established in 1993, the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards are California's highest and most prestigious environmental honor recognizing individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in building public-private partnerships while making notable contributions in conserving California's environment. This year's awards recognized outstanding contributions by businesses, organizations an d government offices in seven award categories.
Please contact Mahlon Aldridge, Deputy Director, (831) 426.5925 ext 16 for more information. Pictures of the awards ceremony with Govern or Schwarzenegger are available upon request.
For more information about the Governors Environmental Excellence Award, visit the Cal/EPA website.