Environment/Energy News Initiative
In December 2010, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency's 12th Annual Environmental Award Ceremony as the Region 9 Green Business of the Year. The brewery implemented a zero-waste policy - diverting 99.6 percent of its solid waste from the landfill through source reduction, recycling, and composting. Sierra Nevada has made significant investments in renewable power, which now supplies the majority of the company's electricity needs. Sierra Nevada has one of the largest privately owned solar installations in the country with over 10,000 solar panels and was the first brewery to install hydrogen fuel cells. The company has reduced its water use year after year, and has also implemented an innovative water recycling program. Beyond its own operations, the brewery is working with its suppliers and partners to reduce the impact of their products. Sierra Nevada is the largest buyer of organic hops in the country, and established a "Farm with your Brewer" program to encourage small barley farmers to adopt sustainable practices. From field to bottle, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. strives to maintain a healthy balance between environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic stability.
Downey Brand, the largest law firm in California's capital, has vast experience with the entire spectrum of legal issues that arise around climate change and sustainability. The law firm works within the clean energy sector to support companies from their inception, on to financing and business formation, all the way through to the permitting and environmental compliance stages, and then with their business operation. Companies from a variety of sectors rely upon Downey Brand for help developing carbon mitigation strategies, finding tax and business opportunities in new energy markets, and complying with state and federal greenhouse gas rules. Because sustainable energy issues affect the community at-large, the law firm is called upon by regional organizations to address the broader implications of the business of climate change and sustainability. Their contributions include participation in the international "Copenhagan Accord" talks, and involvement at the center of California's efforts to increase electricity from rewnewable resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The law firm has also been at the forefront of precedent-setting decisions before California courts and agencies and has helped shaped climate change legislation.
Chevron is one of the world's largest integrated energy companies. Headquartered in San Ramon, California, they conduct business worldwide. They are engaged in every aspect of the crude oil and natural gas industry, including exploration and production, manufacturing, marketing and transportation, chemicals manufacturing and sales, geothermal energy, and power generation. They're also investing in renewables and advanced technologies. We also are investing in the development of emerging energy technologies, such as finding better ways to make nonfood-based biofuels, integrating advanced solar technology into our operations and expanding our renewable energy resources.
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District has national reputation for developing innovative strategies and partnerships to improve air quality in Sacramento County and the region. As the local agency responsible for attaining local, state and federal air quality standards, they have used a combination of direct regulation of pollution sources, incentive programs to clean up dirty equipment and collaborative programs with other agencies, governments, businesses and citizens to improve air quality. The results of these efforts are significant and the downward trend lines at the air monitoring stations are clear. The SMAQMD will continue to do its part as it moves into its sixth decade of service to the residents of the region.
The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation that was created in 1996 as a result of Blue Cross of California's creation of WellPoint Health Networks, a for-profit corporation. This conversion set the groundwork for their mission: to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. When schools are not built within a safe walking distance of where families live, children get less daily exercise. More driving to school and work means more air pollution and fewer opportunities for exercise. More air pollution means more asthmatic attacks. More asthma means even less physical activity, more days absent from school and work, and a higher cost of health care for everyone.
This is just one example of how the sometimes random planning of our surroundings can negatively affect the health and well-being of children and families, stifle the life of a community and drain the collective promise of our state. These challenges take many forms - obesity and diabetes, unemployment, neighborhood and family violence - threatening economically disadvantaged communities more than others. The California Endowment is embarking on a new 10-year statewide initiative, creating places where children and youth are healthy, safe and ready to learn.
Valley Vision is a nonprofit association of people and organizations working to secure the social, environmental and economic health of the Sacramento Region. Founded in 1994, they are an objective, nonpartisan "action tank" committed to regional problem-solving as well as impartial research for sound decision-making. They act as a bridge, uniting neighbors and organizations that together can make a real difference in our communities.
They ascribe to the idea that the long-term challenges facing our communities in the Sacramento region do not fit neatly within local political boundaries. To affect change, Valley Vision partners with a broad cross-section of the region's leadership from business, government, agriculture, the environmental community, organized labor, education, utilities and the nonprofit sector. They work together to develop coalitions, strategies and specific actions that improve the quality of life in our region. Their approach is long-term and inclusive - nothing else will ensure our region's lasting prosperity.
Over the last several years, Valley Vision has demonstrated its unique ability in working with others to develop strategies to solve problems. The result has been the creation of innovative outcomes and actions in the areas of transportation and land use, business education partnerships, regional data reports, open-space and agricultural conservation and services for low-income residents.
Wells Fargo & Co. is a leader in environmental finance. Since 2005 Wells Fargo has provided more than $8 billion in support for companies and projects with a direct positive impact on our environment, including renewable energy projects in 25 states, more than $3.7 billion in financing for greener buildings, and loans to numerous clean technology manufacturers, greener community projects, and more. In its operations, the company has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 7% below 2008 levels and is working to achieve a 20% reduction by 2018. Wells Fargo is one of the first companies to become an e-Stewards Enterprise, showing support for highest standards in disposal of hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) and ensuring that none of its e-waste ends up in places where it does not belong. Wells Fargo is recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project as an industry leader in disclosing risks and opportunities related to climate change, and Wells Fargo ranked among the top 10% of the country's 500-largest companies in Newsweek magazine's 2010 "Green Rankings." Share feedback at blog.wellsfargo.com/environment.
Lundberg Family Farms, already a leader in organic and sustainable agriculture and the use of green energy, their stewardship for clean air, soil, water and vibrant wildlife through promoting organic farming practices is well known on a regional and national level. In January 2011, they announced the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. The family-owned producer of organic rice and rice products completed installation of 1,690 solar panels atop its 37,558 square-foot warehouse. The panels are expected to produce 500,000 kWh of green electricity, well above what's needed to power the building. Combined with 584,000 kWh of green power producing solar panels elsewhere on the farm, Lundberg Family Farms now generates 20% of the electricity it consumes from solar energy, and purchases renewable energy credits to offset the rest, enabling it to claim 100% green energy use.
Union Pacific Railroad won the 2010 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California's highest and most prestigious environmental honor. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California's resources, protecting and enhancing the environment and building public-private partnerships. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recognized Union Pacific and other GEELA recipients at a reception at the Governors' Global Climate Summit in Davis November 15. They continue to take an active leadership role in developing and implementing new technologies and practices that further their ability to keep America moving with greater environmental efficiency.
The Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG) represent 13,000 state-employed engineers and related professionals. These men and women work for the California taxpayer to provide safe highways, bridges, schools and hospitals and protect the air, water and beaches from polluters. PECG members serve at the California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission creating and implementing policies to reduce emissions and promote use of electric vehicles and renewable energy. In July 2010, PECG released its fourth educational documentary, The Next Frontier: Engineering the Golden Age of Green. The documentary focuses on the renewable, clean energy technologies that can improve the future and create significant economic opportunities.
REC Solar, Inc., located in San Luis Obispo, specializes in grid-tied solar electric design and installation, offering the latest technology, state of the art equipment, and financing opportunities for all commercial and residential customers. Their staff of engineers, designers, and installers are dedicated to making solar a turnkey solution for our customers. REC Solar's vision is to make solar electricity part of the mainstream energy supply. By commercializing energy sources that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, they feel they can contribute to a more secure and sustainable world.
One of the nation's largest photovoltaic installation companies with several million watts of solar installed, they currently serve Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Oregon residents and business owners. Since 2006, REC Solar has been ranked by the California Energy Commission (CEC) as one of the top solar system installation companies in the state. With the Million Solar Roofs legislation signed into action by Governor Schwarzenegger, California has emerged as the nation's leader in renewable energy and solar electric installations.
REC Solar was founded in 1997 by Judy Ledford and Fred Sisson. REC Solar is one of only a few solar electric companies in California with engineers certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
Sierra Health Foundation is a private philanthropy with a mission to invest in and serve as a catalyst for ideas, partnerships and programs that improve health and quality of life in Northern California. The foundation is committed to improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities in the region through convening, educating and strategic grant making. Since grant funding began in 1985, the foundation has awarded more than $83 million in cash grants to 855 nonprofit organizations. While the foundation's grant making is an important part of its history, another powerful accomplishment has been its success in joining an impressive number of partners who share its vision, values and commitment. The foundation has a broad definition of health, believing there is much more to health than health care. It is influenced by many factors, including socioeconomic conditions, environment, education, income and individual behavior choices. Sierra Health Foundation also believes in the need for health equity. Reducing health disparities is a key factor in striving toward better health for all and reflects the foundation's dedication to ensuring that people throughout its funding region have the opportunity to lead healthy lives.
Created as a collaboration among scientists, educators, and media professionals, the California Environmental Legacy Project is a multi-institutional and multi-platform science education project that promotes public understanding about environmental change and our place in a changing world. By creating high quality educational programs and media resources that connect learning about environmental change to local places, the Legacy Project will explore the fundamental nature of our relationship to a changing environment - where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) is a foods supermarket chain based in Austin, Texas which emphasizes "natural and organic products." The company has been ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and placed third on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of Top 25 Green Power Partners.
Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company. Siemens is an integrated technology company with activities in the fields of industry, energy and healthcare. It is organized into six main divisions: Industry, Energy, Healthcare, Equity Investments, Siemens IT Solutions and Services and Siemens Financial Services (SFS). Siemens and its subsidiaries employ approximately 360,000 people across nearly 190 countries. Siemens is a global leader in environmental sustainability and all their actions are governed by the fundamental resolve to act responsibly on behalf of future generations to ensure economic, environmental and social progress.
UTC Power, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is an experienced and proven leader in developing and producing fuel cells that generate clean and reliable power for buildings, transit buses, automobiles, space and marine applications. They are the only company in the world with experience in all five major fuel cell technologies.
UTC Power traces its genesis to 1958, when the Advanced Power Systems Group at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft began to explore new power generation concepts, including hydrogen fuel cell technology. Since then, their fuel cells have provided electric power and drinking water for astronauts on every manned space flight since the Apollo program, including the Space Shuttle missions.
Today, UTC Power fuel cells can be found here on Earth, providing clean, efficient and reliable power to transit buses in the United States and buildings around the world. UTC Power is extremely proud that our fuel cells are furthering our customers' business and sustainability goals on 19 different countries on 6 continents and that we are helping to create a more efficient and clean planet in the process.
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law is the only ABA accredited law school campus located in California's Capital City of Sacramento. The law school's faculty expertise in water resources law began in the 1970s, and has expanded over the years to address the ways that local, national and international laws govern myriad aspects of environmental law and vary from an extremely specific to a very broad focus. The law school's environmental law concentration provides Pacific McGeorge JD students with an opportunity to deeply explore the body of knowledge necessary to pursue a career working in environmental issues or in natural resources law. Pacific McGeorge also offers advanced degrees in water resources law, with either a domestic or international focus.
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