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Bethesda Magazine Announces 2018 Green Award Winners

Six winners have demonstrated commitment to sustainable practices

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Recipients of the 2018 Bethesda Magazine Green Awards announced Thursday include a company that helps clients conserve energy, a farm-to-table restaurant chain and the founder of a nonprofit that provides bicycles to low-income people in developing nations.

The business, nonprofit and individual winners will be feted Oct. 18 at the 10th annual Bethesda Green Gala at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club.

The winners are:

  • Innovation Award: Business: Green Generation Solutions is a Bethesda-based company that helps property owners reduce their energy consumption by analyzing and improving the ways a facility uses electricity, water, steam and gas. Since the company was started in 2011, it has generated more than $10 million in annual energy-related savings for its clients. A team typically reviews every system on-site, looking for ways that improvements can be made, from lighting to smart control systems to heating and cooling equipment. The company tracks data to measure energy usage before and after the project to demonstrate the cost savings.
  • Innovation Award: Nonprofit: Audubon Naturalist Society, a Chevy Chase organization, was chosen for its Creek Critters Program that runs a program aimed at educating people about creek environments. The society has produced the Creek Critters smartphone app to help users identify insects and other organisms in samples drawn from their local waterways. The users upload information about the insects they’ve identified, allowing the app to produce a stream health report.
  • Leading By Example Award: Business: AstraZeneca MedImmune, based in Gaithersburg, is a biopharmaceutical company that has made environmental protection a key part of its sustainability strategy. The company uses solar panels and automated irrigation to help conserve water and cut its energy consumption by 17 percent between 2010 and 2017. The company also recycles 70 percent of its waste, which includes biohazardous waste that is processed along with laboratory plastics into reusable lumber.
  • Leading By Example Award: Business: MoCo Founding Farmers, a Potomac restaurant, has prioritized eco-friendly practices. In June, the restaurant and national chain its part of launched an initiative to eliminate the use of plastic straws. It uses recycled and refurbished materials in its restaurant construction and efficient lighting and smart heating and cooling systems.
  • Leading by Example Award: Nonprofit: Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland is a Silver Spring-based organization that builds affordable homes and renovates vacant, distressed or foreclosed homes. The nonprofit then sells the dwellings to people who need lower-cost housing. The organization tries to salvage materials and to reuse and recycle when possible. Each year, the local Habitat organization diverts nearly 1,200 tons of waste away from county landfills, donating appliances, construction material and furniture to its two public resale outlets, called ReStore, in Rockville and Silver Spring.
  • Individual Leadership Award: Keith Oberg is founder of Bikes for the World, a group that provides affordable bicycles to people in developing countries. Oberg founded the organization in 2005 as part of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and it became an independent nonprofit in 2011. Through its work, more than 140,000 bikes have been sent to 12 countries, including Costa Rica, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Madagascar and El Salvador.

Profiles of the 2018 Bethesda Magazine Green Award winners will run in the November/December issue of the magazine.

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