Over 200 Tampa Bay business and community leaders celebrated this year’s thirteen outstanding companies that were recognized for sustainable business practices at the Fifth Annual Earth Charter US (ECUS) Sustainable Business Awards luncheon held at the University of Tampa on April 12th.
University of Tampa MBA students—Matt Easley, Ghadeer Musa, John Lemke and Dominic Gr0sso– under the guidance of Jan Roberts, Founder of Earth Charter US and adjunct professor in the College of Business, developed the criteria for the awards—people (employee and community wellbeing); planet (environmental health); and profit ( economic viability). They screened the company nominations, followed up with interviews with the finalists, evaluated and selected the winners, who were approved by the ECUS Board of Directors.
Highlights of the 2013 Winning Companies
Thirteen companies were selected as winners at the awards luncheon held at the University of Tampa on April 12th in the following categories
SMALL SIZE COMPANIES—Less than 50 employees
LumaStream is an LED lighting system manufacturer headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida. There are more complicated ways to explain LumaStream’ ground-breaking LED designs systems but in short, they replace high voltage electric wire encased in copper in buildings with speaker wire and LED lighting. LumaStream uses 1/10th amount of copper.The bulbs themselves last longer and are easier to recycle, since they do not contain the mercury found in fluorescent lamps. They had 300% growth in profit in 2012.
Solar Energy Mangement is installer of solar energy and their goal is to make the company employee owned. The owners of the company practice what they preach living in zero energy homes, driving electric cars, that even use solar energy for charging. One of the owner’s wives gets 800mpg. Income has soared over the past four years.
Suncoast CO-OP is composed of farmers and growers offering a shared ownership model of a for-profit business. A small percentage of the profits is used for overhead and an online cooperative marketplace. Perma-blitzing is when 10 to20 farmers volunteer to work on another farmers land. When a farmer or grower attends three perma-blitzes then one perma-blitz is done of their garden.
TLC Engineering for Architecture has been involved in 200 LEED certified building. They engineered Florida’s first LEED-certified building, healthcare facility, preschool, elementary school, resort public school as well as America’s first LEED-Certified Platinum athletic facility.
Their Central Office was named USGBC Green Business of the Year in 2012.
e-Bridge transitions companies to paperless culture by providing online document management system to over1,600 businesses. On-site there is a fitness center and showers, a pool table and recreation room with a flat screen television and a fully stocked kitchen with designated cups for each employee. ROI grew to 700% in 2012.
PRD Certified Accountants offers part time workers same benefits as full time. Healthcare is fully paid with partial for family and benefits for same sex couples plus an employee stock ownership plan. They pay well above market for CPA plus good bonuses. Gross sales increased 4% in 2012.
The Green Can offers free recycling to Tampa Bay and has recycled 630,000 aluminum cans plus plastic, steel and glass. They donate all of their profits from recycling to local charities and achieve profits by selling advertisements on their cans to local businesses for as little as $50 a month.
MEDIUM SIZE COMPANIES 50 TO 250 EMPLOYEES
Tampa Bay Trane is the exclusive authorized agent for commercial air conditioning products and services for West Coast of Florida. They were voted one of Top Work Places by Tampa Bay Times in 2011 and 2012. They provide full benefits including 100% 401 K match to their employees’ base.
Trammell Crow builds sustainable, energy efficient buildings and use “brownfield” sites where possible to reclaim land. Example is the redevelopment of Port Ybor in Port Tampa, a former tank farm holding liquid gas tanks that became 246,000 sq fit of warehouses for the Postal Services and Carrier Headquarters buildings.
LARGE SIZE COMPANIES MORE THAN 250 EMPLOYEES
Norwood & BIC Graphic North America’s plant in Clearwater manufactures advertising and promotional BIC products and employs 635 people. For all those employees, they only use one dumpster and fill it every 5 weeks instead of the usual 3x a week pick up. They are so rigorous about using hazardous products that they are ISO 14001 certified. If material is flammable or toxic, they substitute or engineer a change to its process to allow its use.
Carlton Fields PA is a national law firm of 800 employees and values diversity. The Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms in 2012 recognized CF as one of the best law firms in which to work. They ranked nationally in the following Diversity categories:1st in Overall Diversity;1st in Diversity Issues with respect to Minorities;1st in Diversity Issues with respect to Women; and 2nd in Diversity Issues with respect to LGBT. They offset 100% of their energy consumption by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) generated through wind power.
Syniverse is a telecommunications company with over 800 full time employees. They are involved in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which discloses company impacts on the environment with 100 being the perfect score of a sustainability leader. In 2012, they scored higher than larger companies like Verizon and ATT and in 2014 intend to be leader. Their parent company executives celebrated by treating the sustainability staff like “rock stars” and offered extra funds to help them with sustainability efforts.
Delta M, Inc. builds recyclable air condition filters, which sell at only slightly more cost than traditional filters, and when they expire at the end of 3 months, the company picks them up and delivers a new one. This removes tons of solid waste per year from landfills where filters take 200 years to break down.
Additional Information on the 2013 SBA Winners can be found HERE.