What is

Sustainable Business Coalition

Our Mission Statement

To serve as the foremost organization in the Tampa Bay Region for the facilitation of communication among business leaders that embrace the Triple Bottom Line—People (Employee & Community Wellbeing), Planet (Environmental Health) and Profit (Economic Viability).





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.  .Enormous amount of fossil fuel is used for copper to mine refine, ship it and store it.  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.

Businesses utilizing LumaStream’s systems see an average of 80 percent savings on energy costs alone.

They have also partnered with their suppliers to be more sustainable, finding sources for more environmentally-friendly cutting lubricant and fair trade coffee for the break room.

LumaStream is in hyper growth stage with strategic partnership in silicon valley. The company is growing quickly and offers employees very good stock options.

In the words of CEO Eric Higgs, “They say it takes a village to raise a child, well I think it takes a city to raise a company.” In that vein, LumaStream gifted a portion of stock to the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. As the company grows and succeeds, the Partnership can use that capital to invest in infrastructure as well as other companies. In addition, they have donated lighting and services to the Tampa Police Memorial and the Heroes of the St. Petersburg Police.

PROFIT  300% growth from last year.

AWARD RECIPIENT Eric Higgs President & CEO


LumaStream cropped

Solar Energy Management

Solar energy is exploding growth industry. Utilities in other states have a Renewable Portfolio Standards where they benchmark 20% in renewable energy by 2025.  Unfortunately, Florida utilities influence the scene here so there are no benchmarks in this state.

Solar Energy Management is Integrator or Installer of solar energy. They offer state of the art solar power along with a variety of other energy saving techniques.

Their goal is to make company employee owned and one of the reasons is that is the best exit plan for owners. Living wage is paid for semi skill $15 hour.   They offer free gym memberships and a fitness program for employees.  Plus they offer a flexible schedule to foster a family first atmosphere.  They pay for schooling related to business including graduate degrees in MBA; internships are available and they have many interns only requirement genuine interest and passion for solar energy.

Employees spend a large amount of time in the community educating people on the importance of alternative energy. Recently they partnered with Big Cat Rescue to install a solar power system at their facility. And soon will be installing solar car port at their facility as well.

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.


They have seen their income soar over the last four years and they continue to follow their mantra of “under promise and over deliver”.

AWARD RECIPIENTS President Brett Emes and Chairman Scott Mcintyre

UT MBA STUDENT Dominic Grasso

solar energy cropped


The employment practices of the Suncoast Coop are unique to this small business since the coop is comprised of only farmers and growers. Anyone with a plot of land and willing to sell their locally grown produce or foods can be a part of the coop, which is based on shared ownership model. A small percentage of the profits each farmer makes is taken to cover the overhead costs like running the website. Local growers can develop their business by placing products on their online cooperative marketplace.

All of their work involves local community engagement. They have partnered with the West Pasco Habitat for Humanity to develop an organic garden on two acres to provide produce to see to the local community with a goal of employing people year round. Perma-blitzing is a community engagement platform where 10-20 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.

The company creates economic models for people to contribute to a worker owned community business that helps the growth of the local fresh, chemical free food movement. Recycling is second nature, where growers use compost as fertilizer, reuse bags and cartons, collect rainwater, and view trash as a resource.

The company uses an online marketplace to allow  growers to sell their products directly to customers and also help them with customer relations and customer needs. They also provide produce to commercial restaurants. They have experienced growth and plan to open a retail store



suncoast cropped

TLC Engineering for Architecture

Provide Engineering for Architecture:

They were Green before yellow and Blue became Green They have been involved in over 200 LEED certified buildings.

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.

They sponsor Green Week annually to which they invite clients and partners as well as employees and really focus on what is cutting edge.  They hear from well known leaders in sustainability, create fun and interesting sustainability initiatives and recognize their workmates who take living sustainability in their offices to a new level.

They are one of the first MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing)  Engineering firms to commit to the 2030 Challenge, which is an American Institute of Architects’ initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.

The company was named one of the Best Places to Work by Orlando Sentinel. They provide full benefits to their employees and when health care costs went up, there was no increase cost to staff.

Employees are engaged in community events such as community cleanups and are active in the US Green Building Council as well as other organizations.  They speak to many engineering societies on various sustainable design topics


They have been experiencing growth over the past four years and maintained their workforce through the recession.

AWARD RECIPIENT  Jason Heffelmire, Regional Operations Director


TLC cropped


Since 2001, they have helped companies transition to paperless culture by providing online document management system. Not only do the `companies eliminate waste but add the benefit of better security, information privacy, any time remote access and a rock-solid plan for business continuity and disaster recovery. They are the provider of choice for more than 1,600 businesses.

They foster a  Family atmosphere where employees are there longterm and hang out after work and on weekends.  They pay a living wage and offers full dental and health benefits paid 100% by the company.They also offer a match on 401-k .On-site there is a fitness center and showers, a pool table and rec room with a flat screen television and a fully stocked kitchen with designated cups for each employee. As part of their benefits eBridge offers free fitness consulting and training for all employees as well.

They partner with numerous local charities throughout the Tampa Bay area. They are a silver level sponsor for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and organize a group of walkers every year. They also “adopt” children from The Children’s Home every Christmas and make sure they receive everything on their wish list along with any needed financial support as well.


Their Return on Assets grew over 700% in 2012.


UT MBA STUDENT Dominic Grasso

eBridge cropped

PDR Accounting

To begin with, Part time workers get same benefits as full time—which is highly unusual.  They pay $17 for internships.  Employee healthcare is fully paid with partial for family.  They offer a fexible workplan and a good number work from home even if they move out of area.

They provide benefits for same sex couples and offer an employee stock ownership plan so that each employee owns a piece of the business.

They provide ongoing CEU education up to 40 hours a year; offer opportunities at lunch to learn; and mentor new employees.

The job is stressful especially around this time of year and they make sure that employees know that work life balance is IMPORTANT and EVEN understand it is necessary for career growth.

They pay well above market for the typical CPA and also provide good bonuses.

Employees may join one organization and participate during work hours..

As a company they choose different nonprofits every few months, currently providing funding to Big brothers and Big sisters.

They went paperless 5 years ago investing over $100,000  to upgrade.

Profits  Their Gross sales increased 4% last year.



PDR cropped

The Green Can

As a recycling company, The Green Can has offered free recycling to Tampa Bay since 2011.  To date, The Green Can has recycled 630,000 aluminum cans and in addition collect plastic, steel and glass.

The Green Can places recycling containers at local events, apartment communities and other public locations in an attempt to grow recycling efforts around the Tampa Bay community.

They donate all of their profits from recycling to local charities. Profit is achieved by selling advertisements from local businesses placed on their recycling containers for as little as $50 a month

They are now working on promoting retail channels such as pizza delivery for Hungry Howies as well as the Florida Lottery.

They pay a living wage and offer full dental and health benefits to all employees. They also offer a 401-k program. Due to the uniqueness of their business, The Green Can is able to offer very flexible schedules to their employees, which give them ample amounts of time to spend with their families and loved ones.

In addition to the funds donated from the recycling to nonprofits, employees donate their time as well.

The Green Can is less than 2 years old  and as word spreads throughout the business community about this advertising opportunity the future looks promising indeed.

AWARD RECIPIENTS Co-Founders Dennis Gallagher and Scott Jeeves

UT MBA STUDENT Dominic Grasso

Green Can cropped


Tampa Bay Trane

Tampa Bay Trane is the exclusive authorized agent for Trane’s commercial air conditioning products and services for the West Coast of Florida.  They provide equipment, controls, service, parts, and energy solutions that help building owners achieve high performance buildings.

Their workplace culture is Winning and Family.

They have been voted one of the Top Work Places by the Tampa Bay Times two years in a row (2011 & 2012), and their competition for best company has moved from local to national recognition.

The company provides full benefits, 100% 401K match to their employee base and most staff stays with the company for 10-25 years on average. They encourage healthy lifestyles by providing a LA Fitness gym membership. Trane is self insured and offers 2 health care options.  One is a Health Care Savings Account where they match funds.  The other is a Wellness program that allows employees to earn wellness credits through biometric screenings and questionnaires conducted by a third party.

At annual meetings they give the results of employee surveys, sales, and growth plans for the next year and then form small groups where employees give feedback on those plans. They host social events for all associates and family members and give out 20 awards including Energy service Team Awards Dinner.

Trane provides public education on sustainability and employees receive paid time off to participate in organizations such as Woman Engineers society.

Their Awards include Dow Jones Sustainable Index Award that takes into account waste-stream of plants and Clinton Climate Initiative Award, which recognizes the development of products with the highest efficiency.

They serve 13 counties in Florida and have been experiencing positive growth over the last three years.

AWARD RECIPIENT Stephen Koontz, Vice President of Business Development


Trane cropped

Trammell Crow

We are recognizing today the  Florida division of Trammell Crow located in Tampa, FL, which offers industrial, commercial, and residential planning and construction, but  they focus on industrial and commercial first and foremost. VP Bob Apperger chairs the national sustainability task force for TC.

They build sustainable, energy efficient buildings and strive for high-level LEED certification in all their projects. They use “brownfield” sites where possible to reclaim land. Two Examples ae the redevelopment of Port Ybor in Port of Tampa, which was a former tank farm holding liquid gas,tanks .  They formed a public private partnership and dredged up black soil and demolished 2 docks replacing them with 246,000 sq fit of warehouses for the Postal Services and Carrier Headquarters buildings.

In Orlando, they built the 450,000 sq ft. Darden restaurant, which is LEED Gold certified.  They are also building 19-story 400K SF office building downtown, the first in 20 years, which will be LEED Gold Certified

They downsized during the recession but are preparing to expand again and are looking to rehire those initially let go. They allow flexible schedules and offer the ability to work from home. Same-sex couples are covered by company healthcare plans and they pay for the first five sessions of an employee’s psychological counseling. They offer 401K packages as well.

They support members of the military through AnySoldier.com and fill their needs from clothing, shoes to financial

AWARD RECIPIENT Court Corbino, Vice President


trammell crow cropped


Norwood & BIC Graphic North America

Norwood Bic Graphic was founded 60 years ago and they are a world leader in stationery, lighters, shavers, and promotional products providing them to consumers worldwide.

Today we are recognizing their plant in Clearwater, which manufactures advertising and promotional BIC products and employees 635 people.  To demonstrate their dedication to reducing their environmental footprint I will tell you that for all those employees, they only have one dumpster and…..it is on “will call”….which means that rather than having 3x week dumpster pick up, they might actually fill one dumpster ever 5 weeks.

The Clearwater plant was ISO 14001 certified in 2010.  This certification is based on a group of highly demanding environmental management standards and is performed by 3rd party organizations. Each BIC plant around the world is mandated to become ISO 14001.

You can imagine the hazardous waste produced by a manufacturer of plastic products.  The use and monitoring of hazardous products in the Clearwater plant is so rigorous that the day I visited the plant there was one lonely little bucket not even filled waiting for disposal.  As ISO Engineer Jo Lee Potts says, “ if it is coming in here and is flammable or toxic, we must substitute with different chemical or engineer a change to its process to allow us to use it.”

In 2011, at the Clearwater facility, they recycled 180 tons of cardboard, 11 tons of paper, 14 tons of assorted metals, and 70 tons of plastic..

The company recently introduced “ECOlutions” a line of products that are at least 25 percent post consumer recycled components. Some of these products are in the recycled bag that you received.

At BIC, employees are paid above market and have high retention rates even among hourly workers.  Employees can choose among three different health plans, and benefits are provided to same sex partners. They offer tuition reimbursement for both hourly and exempt employees in trade school or college.

They also care about workers in other parts of the world: ALL BIC plants around the world abide by Fair Trade Standards.

BiC supports many local charities and match employee donations to organizations. 

BiC is enjoying healthy profits and reduced their energy costs by 15 percent, waste costs by 35 percent, and they estimate they are saving $7,000 per year on water. Net income for the company as a whole has been on the rise for the past three years.

AWARD RECIPIENT  Michael Butler, Clearwater Site Manager


BIC cropped

Carlton Fields PA

Carlton Fields is a national law firm of 800 employees in 8 offices including FL, GA and  a new one in NYC.

An appreciation of diversity is one of the core values of Carlton Fields demonstrated in part by the fact that 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
  • 2nd in Diversity Issues with respect to LGBT

They have 3 major diversity networks. .

Carlton Fields’ was first  major law firm in Tampa to hire a woman attorney in 1963, who was later elected to chair Carlton Fields.

They joined with Equality Florida Institute to publish an estate planning handbook for gay and lesbian families. They also helped the American Psychological Association in the appeal of Florida’s gay adoption ban.

They were also the first large Florida law firm to hire a black attorney in 1971, who later became a shareholder

Employees are encouraged to to conduct at least fifty hours of pro bono work a year and their pro bono clients include Tampbay Conservatory  and Green Building Council

Their approach is not just about being green but having employees understand and commit to it through changing behavior.

Robust green procurement policy of using post consumer recycled sources.

They offset 100% of their energy consumption by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) generated through wind power. The certificates are tradable, non-tangible commodities which offer proof that a specific amount of energy was created from a renewable energy source. They are used to incentivize renewable energy by providing an additional salable asset to renewable energy producers. By purchasing them, Carlton Fields achieves the equivalent of any one of the following every year:

  • preventing more than 5,237,322 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • removing 435 cars from the road.
  • converting 314 average U.S. households to renewable energy.

They are in Bar activities making available to other law firms their sample green plan and procurement policies.

Continue to grow by diversifying and have added new healthcare group and bankruptcy group.

AWARD RECIPIENT Nicole Kibert Carlton Fields’ Counsel and Greening Officer


carlton fields cropped


Syniverse is a telecommunications company with over 800 full time employees working in Tampa, Florida. In 2003 They received the prestigious ISO 9001 certification in quality management demonstrating their commitment to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. They are no slouch in meeting employees’ expectations either, enjoying very low turnover.

In fact, a rather frequent response to employee surveys is that some employees even turn down higher salaries with other companies because they enjoy working for Syniverse—there is no better feedback than that.

Also as a result of the employee surveys, Syniverse implemented a program called the “Year of Development,” during which time employees can pursue additional training, covered by the company.

The Suppliers follow the Syniverse Supplier Code of Conduct, which is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other standards.

They contribute to local organizations and employees have the option of volunteering while being paid their regular wages.

In 2010 they began Carbon Disclosure Project, which is the only global system that motivates companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and to take action to reduce them.  They began with a score of 41 out of 100 in 2010 and in 2012 rated 81 beating out larger companies with more resources like Verizon and ATT.  Currently they are going for a score of 90 or above  to become a Carbon Disclosure Project sustainability leader in 2014.

A  Fellow from the Climate Corp program of Environmental Defense Fund spent 10 weeks assessing energy savings opportunities.   At a routine 6 month follow up. They indicated that the progress made by the company was atypical and again even better than some larger companies.

There is Big deal recognition for these sus efforts….Executives from their Parent Company  Carlyle Investments Group came to Tampa, picked up Alice Oh slaaaager, Senior Compliance Director  and Kathy Rebel, Quality Assurance Manager,  in limos for lunch at Seasons 52 and treated them like “rock stars”.  BUT even more unusual than that , they were asked by these top execs…. how can we help your sustainability efforts with extra funds??? Ah, what music to my ears that is.

I was delighted to hear that Fair trade coffee is used in breakrooms as well as biodegradable cups and flatware.

They have seen profits grow and costs savings from its sustainability initiatives are estimated at around $130,000 per year.

AWARD RECIPIENT John McRae Senior Vice President Global Customer Operations


syniverse cropped

Innovative Company

Delta M

Delta M builds recyclable air condition filters.  This clean, healthy, and high performance product was invented by the father, Ted Magee, who is 82 years young and still involved daily in the company. In fact, he is currently working on another innovative, creative idea.  The filters 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.

To get an idea of the environmental impact of the Delta M filter, it helps to know that an Office tower downtown may use 5000 filters, which means disposing 5 tons of solid waste per year that goes into landfills where the filters take 200 years to break down,   there is also scarcity of land available for landfills creating another problem of transporting the filters using fossil fuels.

Delta M is a Cradle to Cradle operation—which is still a very rare phenomena—what it means is that the old filters go back to the factory, are completely regenerated to pristine condition with the end product from that process, which are pellets are used for raw material manufacture like playground equip and shopping bags.

AWARD RECIPIENT Creative Inventor Mr. Ted Magee

UT MBA STUDENT Dominic Grasso

Delta M cropped