Tahoe Adventure Company Recognized
It's Not Easy Being Green
New regional awards program raises the bar for business
Published: December 14, 2009
by Beth Ingalls
Keep Sierra Green Businesses of 2009
Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge
Tahoe Mountain Sports
Tahoe Adventure Company
Integrated Environmental Restoration Services
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino
Law Office of Lara Pearson
Soli Real Estate
The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences
GreenSmart Truckee's Cedar House Sport Hotel was the setting for the first annual Keep the Sierra Green (KSG) Exemplary Business Awards for 2009. Born out of a shared vision and collaborative partnership between Truckee's Recycling Coordinator Nichole Dorr and Incline Village General Improvement District's (IVGID) Resource Conservationist Madonna Dunbar, KSG recognizes businesses focused on ecological and economic practices in the north central Sierra and foothills. The program has grown into a partnership between the Town of Truckee, IVGID, Nevada County Recycles, Placer County, the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Green Building Association.
Any business located within the town of Truckee, eastern Placer County, Nevada County, Incline Village or Crystal Bay may participate in the regional program, but the annual award goes only to businesses that score highest on an eight-page application. The form is no walk in the park. To qualify as a Keep Sierra Green business, applicants are required to recycle, develop energy, pollution and water conservation programs, define how company purchasing practices are eco-minded, create employee awareness procedures, and complete energy and waste audits. The form also awards points for voluntary programs as well.
Lynne Cody, Nevada County recycling technician, opened up the ceremony by declaring, "We want to set the bar really high and all of you are the first to be recognized...you are the true green leaders in your communities."
As attendees noshed and tension built among the applicants awaiting the announcements, Eli Meyer, president of the Sierra Green Building Association, reminded the crowd that the Keep the Sierra Green program is "not about greenwashing it's about setting a benchmark for people in the community." 'Greenwashing' occurs when companies pose as friends of the environment, but their actual practices and products don't match up to their claims. Kym Fabel, manager of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce added, "All kinds of people and businesses are looking to be green. Green is big."