Support Us


Save the Date and Nominate banner

Award Nominations are now open! 

The application deadline is December 1, 2015. Winners will be announced in January and celebrated on March 31, 2016 at the College of San Mateo.

Award nomination forms, criteria and guidelines: Sustainability Awards Green Building Awards

Help us make the 2016 Awards a success! Join us as a Sponsor, Auction Donor, Advertiser, or Volunteer with the planning team

View photos from the 2015 Event on our Facebook Page!

About the Awards

The Sustainable San Mateo County Awards Event is an inspiring evening that pays tribute to those working to make our region truly sustainable. Attendees are treated to a networking hour, sustainable dinner and wine, entertaining live and silent auctions, and video presentations of our winners. Proceeds from the evening support SSMC’s general operating funds and programs.

read more…

Since 1999, SSMC has presented the annual Sustainability Awards program, an event that heightens community awareness about sustainability. The awards recognize San Mateo County businesses, community groups, and individuals that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to bringing sustainable practices to their work. In addition, SSMC, San Mateo County RecycleWorks, and the San Mateo County Chapter of the American Institute of Architects present a Green Building Award. To date, over 100 Sustainability and Green Building Awards have been given among hundreds of worthy nominations. The goal is to inspire and support sustainable design in architecture and to recognize the designers, builders, and owners of green buildings in San Mateo County. More than 350 community leaders, volunteers, interested citizens, and local media representatives attend the awards event.

2015 Award Winners!

Ruth Peterson Award: Tom Rounds

Sustainability Award Winners: 
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
GreenCitizen, Inc.
Puente de la Costa Sur

Green Building Award Winner: Nueva School at Bay Meadows
Architects: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects • Builder: Devcon Construction, Inc. • Owner: The Nueva School

Green Building Honorable Mentions: 

Johnston’s Saltbox, San Carlos • Architect: Glass Associates, Inc. • Builder: The Midglen Studio • Owners: Sean and Jennifer Johnston

Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Replacement Hospital • Architect: HOK Architects / Polytech Associates, Inc. • Builder: Rudolph & Sletten, Inc. • Owner: Kaiser Permanente

More about the Award Winners

Ruth Peterson Award – Tom Rounds
The 2015 Ruth Peterson Award recipient, Tom Rounds, has been crucial to Sustainable San Mateo County’s work for nearly a decade. From first coming across an Indicators Report in an office lobby in 2005, to serving as Treasurer on the board, his advice, practical help and hands-on approach have helped make SSMC what it is today. He first volunteered on the Indicators Committee, researched individual indicators and then was editor of the City Reports sections for many years. Founder Ruth Peterson saw that his knowledge of budgets and accounting would be very helpful, and she persuaded him to become Treasurer. SSMC’s mission resonated with him and enabled him to know that he was part of a solution for our county’s future.

2015 Sustainability Awards

Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company

In addition to making award-winning handcrafted beer, Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company practices a philosophy of re-utilization. The business refurbishes materials and equipment to use internally or for other businesses and groups that can benefit by re-utilizing items otherwise headed for the scrap pile. The brewery is also pioneering inventive bio-chemical research and has a prototype methane reactor designed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts promote a new green business standard not only for the brewing industry but as a sustainable waste diversion strategy for any company looking to balance environmental conservatism with economic prosperity. Opening the brewery to the public on Fridays gives residents from every part of the social spectrum a chance to meet, talk and share ideas. For the past 14 years, sustainable practices have allowed Devil’s Canyon to give back more—by taking and using less.

GreenCitizen, Inc 

GreenCitizen’s mission is to develop a sustainable metropolitan model that provides individuals and businesses with a convenient and accountable way to reuse and recycle electronics. Though electronic waste makes up only 2% of America’s trash, it accounts for over 70% of our hazardous waste. Everything dropped off at eco-centers and transported to headquarters in Burlingame is either refurbished and resold, or dismantled. GreenCitizen promotes environmental health through reuse and recycling, ensuring that e-waste does not get sent to a landfill. Additionally, GreenCitizen hosts a local student volunteer program called Techbridge where students earn laptops for foster youth by volunteering their time to sort electronics at the main processing hub.

Puente de la Costa Sur 

Puente de la Costa Sur is the only Community Resource Center in the region, serving the communities of Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar, and San Gregorio. They are an indispensable resource especially for the underserved Latino & farmworker communities. Puente initiated and manages Pescadero Grown! – a vibrant farmer’s market in Pescadero & La Honda featuring the region’s local, organic farmers. The organization provides education and leadership development programs designed to transform lives and support residents to advocate for themselves. Additionally, Puente advocates for fair, equitable practices in the areas of education, youth employment, housing, medical care, transportation, and food security. Puente offers English & Spanish classes, tutoring, youth employment opportunities, health insurance enrollment, mental health support and various classes and workshops that help residents prosper.

2015 Green Building Awards

Nueva School, San Mateo 

The Nueva School is an powerful example of a LEED Gold building which creates an ecology of learning for current and future students. The school is a creative laboratory for learning about sustainability in a bright, innovative design. The integration of exterior and interior spaces is inspirational and refreshing. Nueva selected an excellent site for a high school which draws students from the region via Caltrain. The result is a reduction in automobile traffic which will in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Utilizing natural ventilation, day-lighting and photovoltaic panels, this Green Building exceeds the 2030 Challenge of carbon neutrality by using 65% less energy than a typical high school.

Honorable Mention: Johnston’s Saltbox, San Carlos
The Jury was impressed by this sensitive adaptive reuse of an existing hardware store into an attractive neighborhood restaurant. The Saltbox has good proximity to transit for patrons and workers and a fluid indoor/outdoor connection. Unusual in an urban setting, the new rooftop garden provides sustainably produced herbs and vegetables for the restaurant below, a draw for San Carlos Locavores.

Honorable Mention: Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Replacement Hospital
The new hospital for Kaiser Redwood City is an ambitious large-scale institution headed for LEED Silver certification. An impressive sustainability contribution is that greater than 45% of the construction workforce lived locally, with 50% being from minorities. Kaiser received a significant rebate from PG&E based on the designed energy efficiency of the new structure. The new building is an attractive addition to Redwood City and San Mateo County, improving health services in the region.


Sustainable San Mateo County would like to acknowledge our generous sponsors, whose support is critical to the success of the Awards program and SSMC’s efforts throughout the year. Strengthen your investment in Sustainable San Mateo County by joining our list of Sponsors this year. Learn more here.

Presenting Sponsor: 


Special thanks to our wonderful hosts at San Mateo County Community College District!

Community Sponsors: Bohannon Development Company; Brisbane Baylands; Carol A. Tanzi, ASID, CID aka Goddess of Garbage; David Crabbe Architects; Genentech; Recology San Mateo County; San Mateo County Community College District; South San Francisco Scavenger; Sutter Health: Mills-Peninsula Health Services/Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Neighborhood Sponsors: Allied Waste; Bill Schulte; Comcast California; Cox Family; DES Architects + Engineers; Lyngso Garden Materials; Rethink Waste/SBWMA; San Mateo County Transit District

Friends: Beth and Raj Bhatnagar; Cargill; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 617 (IBEW Local 617); MidPen Housing Corporation; REV; Ricki and Doug McGlashan; San Mateo County Economic Development Agency; TDC Environmental, LLC

Thank You to our Awards Committee and Volunteers

Joanne Bruggemann, Kara Cox, Nancy Crabbe, Tammy Del Bene, Adrienne Etherton, Lynn Forbes, Chelsea Howe, Matt Jones, Ricki McGlashan, Dan Peterson, Afsoon Shahrdar, Nathanael Horton


Sustainability Awards Criteria and SelectionGreen Building Award Criteria and Nomination Forms • Previous Award Winners • View 2015 Event Photos on Facebook

Updated 9/16/2015    Sign up for our email list to receive the latest news

Share Button

From the 2014 Indicators Report

The county’s population is expected to grow by 185,000 before 2040.

Featured Video

Quotable Quote

‟A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.”—Proverb