Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.
Recipient: City of Peoria
Green initiatives have gone from paper and thoughts to parks and neighborhoods in the city of Peoria. City employees at every level, from the mayor to the custodial staff, have supported Peoria’s push for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly community.
City leaders added a sustainability policy to Peoria’s general plan, and a Sustainability Action Plan sets goals and measures progress in eight green areas. The Sustainability Action Plan includes goals in the areas of rethinking energy use, managing water resources, and promoting sustainable development and green-collar jobs. The city also created the “Sustain & Gain” motto as a central message to help promote these goals.
In addition, the city created a sustainability matrix to maintain goals and action plans for cost-effective green practices. As a living document, the matrix sets timelines for the completion of goals, keeps an inventory of accomplished goals and designates project leaders.
Along with setting goals and creating plans, Peoria also ceased distributing paper pay stubs to employees who are paid electronically, and the city only posts job openings online. City employees are encouraged to use green forms of transportation, be environmentally aware, present major progress made in areas of the Sustainability Action Plan at forums, and participate in green programs. For the public, Peoria’s Building Community Speakers Series hosts presentations by experts in fields related to sustainability at city council meetings.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction’s “Green Fists of Fury”
Adolfson & Peterson Construction rules not with iron, but green fists. The company’s green fists of fury, or Hulk hands, signify the company’s commitment to green practices. Adolfson & Peterson encourages and pays for employees to become Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified. Once LEED certified, employees receive their own green fist to display with pride in their office.
The company also integrated a hybrid fleet of cars, recycling and carpooling or telecommuting programs into its daily operations. Adolfson & Peterson established satellite offices in Buckeye and Tucson, Ariz., to cut down on employee commuting. The company’s hybrid fleet of cars even boasts a Smart Car for employee use. Through its recycling program, Adolfson & Peterson recycled more than 1,000 tons of construction waste in Arizona in 2009.
Adolfson & Peterson strives to reduce its own carbon footprint and the footprint of its clients. The company built the first LEED Silver Certified high school in Arizona, currently has more than 30 LEED-certified or pending projects and has helped Arizona State University and Carl Hayden High School start green programs.