The 2006 Sustainable San Mateo County Award Winners
Applied Biosystems ( Watch Video) has reduced hazardous waste generation by more than 50% at its local facilities in the past five years. It has retrofitted its Foster City campus with many energy saving devices and is a leader in recycling. Employees are offered incentives in support of carpooling and public transit. It is working to eliminate many suspected carcinogens from its instrument designs although it is currently exempt from the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances Directive. Applied Biosystems was recognized by Community Gatepath of Northern California for employing people with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities. For eleven years, it has supported biotechnology education at San Mateo High School through a program open to both students and adults through the San Mateo County Regional Occupation Program.
Sue Lempert ( Watch Video) has dedicated many years to public service as a member of the San Mateo City Council, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and other public agencies where she has supported policies consistent with the triple bottom-line of sustainability. Lempert initiated the Rail Corridor Plan to encourage mixed-use, transit-oriented development. She is an advocate for more bicycle and pedestrian paths and worked for the creation of Shoreline Park. Lempert has encouraged developers to include 15% affordable housing units in new developments. She has pushed for future City of San Mateo buildings to meet “green building” standards and is currently working to develop the San Mateo City Sustainable Development Policy.
The Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) ( Watch Video) has for 19 years helped people to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner and to work together effectively. Resolving conflict is an important aspect of sustainability in a civil society. PCRC has aided individuals, groups and organizations by identifying problems, clarifying perspectives, developing viable options and reaching durable and mutually satisfactory agreements through the use of non-adversarial processes. PCRC has 200 trained volunteers from many ethnic, social, educational and vocational backgrounds who help people solve problems in an effective and creative way.
Amy Wright ( Watch Video) created and implemented the New Beginnings Garden at Shelter Network’s Haven Family House in Menlo Park. She brought together many willing donors and volunteers to contribute materials and time to build the garden. Her persistence has netted more than $90,000 of in-kind donations and more than 900 volunteer hours. The garden supplies fresh fruits and vegetables for all of Shelter Network’s residents, who are temporarily without permanent housing, and offers garden maintenance training to interested residents.
Honorable Mention goes to Arthur and Elena Court and Arthur Court Designs, which designs and manufactures decorative accessories and serving pieces inspired by nature and wildlife. The Courts have assumed a leadership role for sustainable thinking in their business and in their philanthropies. The business facilities have been retrofitted to include a solar electric system and drought-resistant landscaping, and their business is a leader in waste reduction strategies. A portion of all sales help fund wildlife preservation and environmental research and education. They also contribute to local grass roots organizations as well as to national groups such as the Rain Forest Action Network.
Honorable Mention also goes to the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City which for 34 years has brought students of all ages in direct contact with the natural environment emphasizing the interdependence of all living things. It provides hands-on experience of the San Francisco Bay through its shore and vessel program. Scholarships are available for their many programs and summer camps which teach about the importance of the bay and how human activities impact the natural environment.
Green Building Award Winners
Sustainable San Mateo County partners with San Mateo County RecycleWorks’ Green Building Program and the American Institute of Architects’ local chapter to present the annual Green Building Award for sustainable building in San Mateo County.
SUGEN Laboratory ( Watch Video) in South San Francisco is the winner of the 2006 Green Building Award for its use of renewable and environmentally sensitive materials, energy and water efficiency, and waste reduction. The project uses sustainable materials, an energy conserving heating and ventilating system, and water conserving fixtures. They have included a kiosk describing these features which will educate others to follow their lead. The project architect was DES Architects + Engineers and the builder was XL Construction.
Honorable Mention goes to The Green Sanctuary, a straw-bale yoga studio in Pacifica, for its use of primarily organic materials. Much of the structure is biodegradable and very low in embodied energy. Award judges said the “deliberate decision to omit building systems in light of the mild local climate results in a significant reduction in the building’s ecological footprint.” Unique attention was given to engaging the community through workshops on straw-bale construction, thus exposing many more people to green building in action. The project architect was Martin Hammer. The structure was built by Vital Systems and Moroso Construction in collaboration with workshops on straw bale construction. The owners are Quynh Nguyen and Craig Brown.