Acterra Announces 14 Finalists for its 2020 Business Environmental Awards

PALO ALTO, February 3, 2020— Environmental nonprofit Acterra has selected 14 organizations from six Bay Area counties as finalists for Acterra’s 2020 Business Environmental Awards. The Business Environmental Awards program recognizes exceptional achievements in sustainability among San Francisco Bay Area companies, nonprofits, and public agencies from a variety of sectors. Presented annually since 1990, these prestigious awards bring greater visibility to successful innovations and encourage their wider adoption and replication. “The Business Environmental Awards reflect a growing ethos among Bay Area companies and organizations: social benefits, including environmental sustainability and climate change action, now rank among their essential responsibilities and services. Acterra is proud to highlight specific projects and initiatives that fulfill this ethic,” said Lauren Weston, Acterra’s Executive Director.

The Business Environmental Awards finalists will undergo individual site visits and further vetting by a panel of expert judges. The applicant organizations range in size from start-ups to multi-national firms. The Awards will be conferred on Thursday, May 28, 2020, in a ceremony that will honor the program’s thirtieth anniversary. The ceremony will take place at the Bay Area Metro Center in San Francisco. Tickets will go on sale in March.
The complete list of finalists is as follows:

Alameda County
City of Berkeley’s Center Street Parking Garage / Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects – dynamic structure offering efficient vehicle parking, bicycle parking, café retail space, offices, and art gallery within an artistic context in the Downtown Arts District of Berkeley.

FreeWire Technologies – manufacturer of battery-backed products such as EV charging and mobile power solutions, to electrify industries formerly dependent on fossil fuels.

Contra Costa County
The Natural Grocery Company / Arkin Tilt Architects – renovation and revitalization of an employee-owned grocery store that serves as a community resource in the Richmond Annex neighborhood.

Planted Table – meal delivery service that provides plant-based meals in reusable containers to more than 500 residents per week and composts food scraps produced in its operations.

Marin County
Marin Clean Energy – the first Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) created in California, it has created benefits such as green jobs training and the support of over 300 solar jobs in the local community.

NewGen Surgical – company dedicated to reducing single-use disposable plastic in the supply chain and waste stream in the healthcare setting, via upstream changes such as plant-based product lines.

San Francisco County
WRNS Studio – architecture and planning firm of roughly 200 employees that strives to create healthy, inspiring spaces that minimize environmental impact and positively impact the community.

San Mateo County
Merck & Co. / SBM Management – pharmaceutical leader that has made strides in waste management and minimization and energy and water conservation.

Santa Clara County
Central Concrete Supply – designer of low-carbon-footprint concrete products achieved through the use of cement replacement materials.

488 Almaden Boulevard / Embarcadero Realty Services – office building in downtown San Jose that is among the top 2% in energy efficiency compared to similar buildings nationally.

1212 Bordeaux / Google – a LEED Platinum building that exceeded Google’s Healthy Materials pilot program minimum compliance target by 146% while achieving Biophilic Design goals.

Joint Venture Silicon Valley / Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen – food recovery program that collects and redistributes food from institutions for use in low-income communities, alleviating both food waste and hunger.

NovoNutrients – a biotech company that uses fermentation to transform industrial waste carbon dioxide into a single-cell protein product for use as aquaculture or animal feed.

San Jose Clean Energy – the Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) for the 10th largest city in the US, it has achieved a >98 % participation rate among residents and is committed to procuring clean energy for its customers and helping achieve California’s renewable energy targets.

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About Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet
Acterra is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Palo Alto that brings people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet. Acterra’s educational programs help people reduce their carbon footprint at home, at work, on the road, and in the community. Acterra’s Business Partnerships for Sustainability Program recognizes San Francisco Bay Area organizations that are sustainability champions and creates mechanisms for organizations to engage in peer learning. For more information, visit


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