Outstanding Green Citizenship Award

2017 nomination deadline: Monday, May 22


Each year the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council and SoRo Community Foundation present an award to honor a business or organization in the South Robertson community that has shown outstanding leadership in greening their business practices and workplace.

Who Can Apply?

Only businesses or organizations (including schools) with a physical location within SORO NC boundaries can apply for Award Certification. Applicants must have a staff of three or more employees and workspace of 500 square feet or more. At-home businesses are not eligible to apply. 

How to Apply

You can apply using the online form below, or by downloading the form and sending it to greenaward@soronc.org.

Judging Criteria

The judges will be a committee of representatives from the SoRo Community Foundation, the SORO NC Green Team and former award recipients. The criteria that follow are the “gold standard.” In making a judgment as to which applicant should receive the award, the committee does not expect that the applicant complies with all of the criteria below. The committee will look for the applicant that has attempted to implement as many of these aspects as possible.



Desirable Green Practices

Again, it's not necessary to comply with all of these practices. The committee will look for the applicant that has attempted to implement as many of these aspects as possible.

General Education

  1. Track water and energy usage through utility bills. Show copies to judging committee. Set water and electricity goals and track progress.  Repair problems.
  2. Inform your customers about your business environmental efforts by posting the Green Business Certification decal in a visible location.
  3. Adopt a written Environmental Policy statement declaring your commitment to operate and give preference to purchasing sustainable and/or products containing post-consumer, recycled content. Post these standards in a visible location.

Waste Reduction

  1. Perform a self-assessment of your trash.  Identify the types and percentages of waste that are currently being generated and recycled and use the assessment to create or improve a reuse and recycling program.
  2. Recycle or reuse: paper, cardboard, mixed paper, junk mail, newspaper, glass, plastic, Styrofoam and aluminum.  Keep used paper near printers or re-use as note paper.
  3. Stock only compostable, recyclable and/or reusable kitchenware for staff use.  Avoid # 6 plastic.  Provide refillable containers for sugar, salt and pepper, etc. to avoid individual condiment packets.
  4. Compost food and organic waste via outdoor composting bins, indoor/outdoor vermi-culture systems (worm bins) or mechanical indoor composting units.
  5. Reduce garbage bin liners: do not use them or use biodegradable liners.
  6. Eliminate individual bottles of water for staff and guests and install an onsite water filtration system on faucet.
  7. Retailers eliminate single use plastic and paper bags and replace with reusable bags that are machine washable, or paper bags made with 100% recycled content and a minimum 40% post consumer recycled content. Do not use bioplastic bags made from corn or labeled “PLA” because they do not easily decompose.  Non retail businesses should provide these bags for use in the workplace.
  8. Practice efficient copying by making two-sided copies standard practice, using smaller fonts and margins, posting a diagram showing how to load paper to minimize misprints. 
  9. Reduce unwanted mail by getting removed from mailing list. (stopjunkmail.org) Purge your own mailing lists regularly.
  10. Use electronic forms and contracts.
  11. Post staff announcements, journals, etc. in single location (bulletin board) to reduce printed copies.
  12. Marketing materials should require no envelopes.  Substitute post cards or fold-and-mail.
  13. Use vendors that recycle or take back products when life cycle is over.
  14. Donate, sell, or exchange unwanted, but usable items.
  15. When appropriate, offer incentives to customers who bring in their own “to-go” dishes, or reusable bags.
  16. Use laundry service that provides reusable bags for dirty and clean linen.

Energy Efficiency

  1. Replace incandescent lamps with high efficiency alternatives, compact fluorescent, LED, dimmable cold cathode, MR 16, optical reflectors or diffusers.
  2. Show proof of regular maintenance on HVAC.
  3. In low traffic areas, use lighting controls such as motion sensors, photocells, or time clocks.
  4. Program computer monitors to sleep mode after 15 minutes or less of inactivity.
  5. Set the Energy Saver feature on photocopier as the default.
  6. Purchase Energy Star equipment/appliances.
  7. Insulate water heaters, storage tanks, hot water pipes.
  8. Use a solar water heater.
  9. Install a solar electric system.
  10. Use ventilation, or ceiling fans instead of air conditioning.
  11. Install a programmable thermostat: set at 72 degrees with nighttime setting of 55 degrees. 
  12. Replace leaky, broken windows with double pane, low-E, energy efficient windows.
  13. Apply window film to reduce solar heat gain on clear, single pane non-northern facing windows.
  14. Shade sun exposed windows and walls during the warm season: use awnings, sunscreens, shade trees or shrubbery.
  15. Weather strip windows and doors.
  16. Implement an organization-wide policy encouraging staff to turn off equipment and lights when not in use.
  17. Place “turn off light” labels on switches.
  18. Use standby mode on equipment, energy saver buttons on copiers.
  19. Clean skylights, light fixtures, and diffusers regularly for optimal light output.

Water Efficiency & Urban Run-Off

  1. Provide water bills for pre and post changes.
  2. Regularly check for and repair leaks.
  3. Replace pre-1992 toilets (3 gal.) and urinals with more efficient alternatives that use 1.6 gal. gpf or less.
  4. Clean outdoor areas with broom and damp mop instead of hose.
  5. Do not wash cars, equipment, floor mats where runoff water flows into the storm drain.
  6. Keep receiving areas and dumpsters clear of litter.  Ensure tight fitting lids.
  7. Adjust sprinkler times according to laws and seasons.  Sprinkler runoff is prohibited.  No spray irrigation between 10 am and 4 pm.
  8. Install faucet aerators or flow restrictors facility wide.
  9. Post signs in restrooms and kitchens to encourage water conservation and to report leaks.  Run dishwasher only when full.
  10. Clean litter and debris in front of your organization on regular basis to minimize litter entering storm drains.
  11. Install water efficient shrubs or ground cover, mulch exposed soil to retain water, whenever possible use drip irrigation.
  12. Install a cistern or rain barrel to catch rainwater.
  13. Install gray water system (City permit required)
  14. Redirect downspouts to landscaped areas
  15. Use pool covers to reduce evaporation and heat loss.

Pollution Prevention & Chemical Use

  1. Stock refillable, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners, with trigger spray bottles not aerosol cans. (greenseal.org or ecologo.org)
  2. Educate cleaning staff of your eco-friendly preference and provide them with safety data sheets in both English and Spanish.
  3. Drop off hazardous waste at city facilities.  This includes: rechargeable and alkaline batteries, paint, used toner and ink-jet cartridges, cleaning chemicals, CFL’s and fluorescent tubes, electronics, aerosol cans that are not empty, pesticides, medicines.
  4. Request that your pest control or landscape contractor reduce their use of pesticides.  Get their commitment in writing.  Apply pesticides on an “as-needed” basis.  Use traps, contained baits, gels and barriers whenever possible.
  5. Use natural reed diffuser or trigger spray deodorizers and disinfectants.
  6. Use low or zero VOC non-toxic paint products and office supplies (white out, dry erase markers), substitute with water based pens and markers.
  7. Use unbleached/chlorine free paper products.
  8. Obtain battery recharger for office use.  Use rechargeable instead of disposable batteries for flashlights, radios, remote controls, etc.

Sustainable Procurement & Eco-Purchasing

  1. Use post-consumer recycled content office paper, letterhead, business cards, file folders, envelopes, paper towels, napkins, shipping boxes.
  2. Use remanufactured toner cartridges
  3. Contact CalMAX (California Materials Exchange) or other materials exchange programs before purchasing equipment.  ciwmb.ca.gov/CalMAX, lashares.org
  4. Request that deliveries come in returnable, reusable containers.

Transportation Management

  1. Encourage the use of rapid transit and ridesharing among staff and post maps and information on bulletin board.  Give incentives to staff who use public transit and ride share.
  2. Make organization bike-friendly for staff and customers. Give incentives to staff and customers, perform business errands on bike, provide bike racks.