Six local companies were honored May 2 at the 17th annual Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) held here at Santa Monica’s Sheraton Delfina, as the Environmental Media Association (EMA) and the Chamber of Commerce (COC) joined forces to present a luncheon about “Green Messaging and Media.”
Several local business and civic leaders joined entertainers such as actor Don Cheadle in promoting ways to “educate the public on environmental issues, as well as to motivate others to embrace a sustainable lifestyle.”
Claiming both SQA Grand Prize awards were Healthy Spot and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows. Meanwhile, Bridgid Coulter Design claimed the Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment award, the Miramar’s FIG Restaurant was honored with the Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment and Social Responsibility award, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel earned the Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment honor, and the Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment was given to Media Policy Center.
As part of the awards luncheon several other businesses were on hand to “share their experiences in using sustainable messaging to market their business to the public, and further their mission.”
“This is an exciting time for the Entertainment industry as many leading companies have incorporated sustainability into their everyday operations,” COC President Laurel Rosen stated. “At this year’s event we have the opportunity to showcase how media and messaging makes a difference in our communities.”
The SQAs grand prize recipients are judged for “combined excellence in three areas,” including economic development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the natural environment.
The Miramar was honored for its “strong employee retention record” as well as creating in 1990 Green Partnership program that, according to the COC, promotes “sustainable tourism including minimizing the hotel’s operational impacts on the planet.”
Other sustainable contributions include annual reporting of all carbon-causing activities to calculate the company’s carbon footprint, the phasing in of LED lights, and “energy management systems to control devices and having staff members turn off lights in unoccupied rooms at night.” The hotel also installed no-flush water free urinals in men’s bathrooms and hybrid-driving guests are offered discounted valet rates.
Among the community events the Miramar participates in are WWF Earth Hour, California Coastal Clean-Up, and Bowl-a-thon.
The other grand prize recipient, Health Spot, is a pet supply establishment that uses “organic, natural, raw or eco-friendly (products) … made with responsible manufacturing practices.”
For example, Healthy Spot is the only pet supply company to sell biodegradable doggie bags (bio-bags) and bio-training pads. Its facility features solar tubes in restrooms to provide natural sunlight as well as a tank-less water heater.
“People may not recognize a pet store as a green business,” Andrew Kim of Health Spot told The Mirror. “We offer organic, natural, and holistic alternatives to your traditional pet shops.”
The Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment recipient, Bridgid Coulter Design, is a “residential and commercial interior design firm specializing in full service residential, boutique hospitality and interior design consultation.”
Founded by Bridgid Coulter in 2005, the design company specializes in reuse and repurpose of salvaged or unused materials in executing new or redevelopment projects.
“(This award) encourages you to continue the green practices that you already do,” Coulter told The Mirror of what the SQA honor means to her. “Being honored for something like helps you feel like you not just in your little laboratory working away.”
The Miramar’s FIG Restaurant earned the Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment and Social Responsibility honor for its working with “local farmers, growers, and purveyors to source products for their seasonal menus.”