The awards ceremony, held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, marks the end of the first year of the Port of San Diego's Green Business Challenge, a joint project between the Port District and San Diego Gas & Electric.
The voluntary program - the first of its kind on the West Coast - is designed to promote business practices that reduce energy consumption, water use and waste, as well as prevent pollution.
"This is the kind of program that makes the future better for everybody who lives in San Diego," said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners Lou Smith. "We are proud of our tenants for taking on the Green Business Challenge. Their efforts mean that San Diego Bay's waterfront retailers, restaurants, hotels and attractions are making more sustainable choices in their business practices."
Said Claudia Valenzuela, public affairs officer for SDG&E: "The Port's Green Business Challenge is regarded as a regional best practice model that other local governments are now implementing in their jurisdictions."
For those businesses that uploaded their energy data, results showed they reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 843 metric tons, which is equivalent to removing 160 cars from the road. Collectively, there were 377 new strategies implemented during the Challenge, in addition to the sustainable business practices the tenants had already implemented.
Businesses were recognized in four categories: Achievement in Sustainability, Commitment to Sustainability, Excellence in Sustainability and the 2011 Chairman's Award in Sustainability.
The recipients for the Achievement in Sustainability Award were recognized for adopting such practices as reducing unnecessary after-hours lighting, updating settings on office equipment to be more energy efficient and reducing waste. They implemented up to 15 of the 50 recommended environmental strategies on the Green Business Challenge scorecard. The businesses are:
- Joe's Crab Shack at The Rowing Club
- Pacific Tugboat Service
- California Original Sunglasses
- Frosted Robin Cupcakes
- USS Midway Museum
The businesses recognized for their Commitment to Sustainability participated in SDG&E's Direct Install Program, implemented strategies to reduce waste and participated in events such as local park and beach clean ups.
Many of them are small businesses that worked with their landlord on water conservation by updating water fixtures and irrigation systems for landscaping. The honorees implemented nearly 30 of the 50 strategies. The businesses are:
- Anthony's Fish Grotto
- Nielsen Beaumont Marine, Inc.
- Flagship Cruises & Events/ San Diego Harbor Excursion
- Greek Islands Café
- Asaggio Pizza Pasta Plus
- Crow's Nest Yachts
- Kona Kai Marina
- Silver Crossing
- Ben & Jerry's Seaport Village
- Alamo Flags
- Best Of San Diego
- Candy Shack and Yogurt
- Destination Travel
- Camera Plus
- Margarita's Kitchen and Cantina
- San Diego Burger Co.
- Sports Headquarters
- Coronado Island Marriott Resort
The honorees in the Excellence in Sustainability class implemented more than 30 of the 50 strategies outlined in the Green Business Challenge. Some participated in SDG&E's Direct Install Program, installed solar-powered dock signage, ordered organic food from caterers, worked with suppliers to reduce shipping packaging and used hybrid vehicles for deliveries.
Those businesses are:
- Old Town Trolley & SEAL Tours San Diego
- Half Moon Marina
- Marine Group Boat Works
- Sunroad Resort Marina
- Bay Club Marina
- Kite Flite
- Swings and Things
- Wind Song
- San Diego Port Tenants Association
- Coronado Ferry Landing
There were 17 businesses that achieved the Challenge's highest honor, the 2011 Chairman's Award. These businesses conducted energy, water, and waste audits, decreased greenhouse gas emissions and planted native and drought-tolerant landscaping. Some completed as many as 49 of the 50 sustainable strategies. The businesses are:
- General Dynamics NASSCO
- BAE Systems SDSR
- Continental Maritime
- San Diego Yacht Club
- Sun Harbor Marina
- San Diego Marriott Marquis Hotel
- Seaport Village
- Hornblower Cruises & Events
- Manchester Grand Hyatt
- Pasha Automotive Services
- Hilton San Diego Airport
- Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
- Hilton San Diego Bayfront
- Chula Vista Nature Center
- Solar Turbines
- Cabrillo Isle Marina
For 2012, the Green Business Challenge is being relaunched as the Port of San Diego's Green Business Network.
The Challenge will now shift into more of a resource and information-sharing opportunity for participants. Businesses can still join and track their sustainability efforts, as well as take advantage of SDG&E initiatives, professional development and trainings, which the Port will help facilitate.
The Port of San Diego was created by the state Legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested $1.7 billion in public improvements in its five member cities: Imperial Beach, San Diego, Coronado, Chula Vista and National City.
The Port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, a cruise ship terminal, 17 public parks, various wildlife reserves and environmental initiatives, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub-tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.