Keep the Sierra Green honors five local businesses in Tahoe
December 4, 2009
TAHOE CITY andamp;#8212; Keep the Sierra Green, with the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and area sponsors, honored five local businesses for their exemplary green practices at the Annual Green Business Recognition Awards Luncheon at the Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee.Those demonstrating the best in green performance were: Tahoe Truckee Airport District, Granlibakken Conference Center and Resort, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino, the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES) and Integrated Environmental Restoration Services, Inc.The Truckee Tahoe Airport is a community airport that provides high-quality aviation facilities and services to meet local needs, and strives for low impact on their neighbors while enhancing the benefit to the community-at-large. Their commitment to the environment and the reason they have been chosen for the Keep the Sierra Green Exemplary Business Award has been demonstrated by their efforts over the years, including an award in 2005 from PGandamp;E for andamp;#8220;Flex Your Power.andamp;#8221; This award was received because they implemented innovative lighting technology that serves as a model for landing fields worldwide. The taxiway solar-powered LED lights save more than $850,000 in capital costs and 122,000 kWh annually.Other achievements include the installation of solar-powered airfield obstruction lights and beacon, the purchase of 1,500 acres of land for preservation and recreational use, use of bikes for on-field transportation, use of citrus solvents instead of petroleum-based solvents where possible, a noise reduction plan that is innovative and cutting edge and recycling contaminated fuel on site for reuse. The airport is a member of the California Climate Action Registry and has voluntarily measured, verified and publicly reported their GHG emissions.Granlibakken Resort works with their neighbors and visitors to preserve Granlibakkenandamp;#8217;s and Lake Tahoeandamp;#8217;s natural environment while providing an excellent guest experience. Their goals are waste stream reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, restoration and management of the habitat and to promote healthy lifestyles for guests and employees. All of North Lake Tahoeandamp;#8217;s trash is sorted at the area receiving center, and Granlibakken is helping to streamline this recycling by pre-sorting where possible. They maintain separate bins for beverage bottles and cans, paper, cardboard, batteries and fluorescent light bulbs.With the help of the Utility Energy Forum and Sierra Pacific Power, Granlibakken Resort continues to replace outdated lighting, windows and appliances with more efficient systems. Granlibakken completed all the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and Lahontan Water District Best Management Practice requirements and is pursuing an upgrade with full TRPA BMP certification for the entire valley. It is also a designated Fire Safe Community. Their efforts proved successful during the Washoe Fire in 2007 when Granlibakkenandamp;#8217;s firebreaks stopped the fire from spreading over the ridge to Granlibakkenandamp;#8217;s property, saving land and animals from being destroyed. They have treated more than 25 acres of the valley, starting with the restoration of the natural forest balance and improving habitat for the forestandamp;#8217;s creatures.With more than 500 employees, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino is the largest business accepted to date in the Keep the Sierra Green program. Hyatt Hotels and Resort Properties corporate mission states andamp;#8220;we believe it is our shared responsibility to combine astute asset management with a passionate commitment to genuine and strategic stewardship of the environment.andamp;#8221;The hotel has extensive programs to reduce energy and water consumption and solid waste disposal. In fact, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe achieved a 20 percent recycling rate in 2008, by diverting more than 151 tons from the landfill, making it one of the leading recycling businesses in Incline Village. The resortandamp;#8217;s energy savings efforts conserved 1,750 million BTUs, equivalent to the household energy use for one year of 17 residences. Employee training includes a worldwide, proprietary training program, providing instruction in areas of water and energy consumption, solid waste reduction, and pollution prevention and carbon emissions reductions.The TCES building provides a world-class center for scientific research in the understanding of alpine lakes and watersheds and the preservation of their environmental quality. The facility is the first building in the Lake Tahoe Basin designed and built to achieve certification under the U.S. Green Building Councilandamp;#8217;s LEED rating system, obtaining the highest rating, andamp;#8220;platinum.andamp;#8221; In order to achieve this recognition, the project design needed to achieve more than 52 credits in six subject areas and they surpassed this number. The building uses 60 percent less-energy, photovoltaic roof panels to provide 10 percent of the buildingandamp;#8217;s annual energy demand, with future plans to add photovoltaic capacity to cover 20 percent. Potable water use was reduced 65 percent through drought-tolerant native plant species, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and rooftop collected, treated rainwater for toilets.Other sustainable site features include low-glare lighting and retention basins. The building has high levels of recycled content from local sources. The concrete in the structural frame substituted 25 percent of the cement with fly ash, a by-product of coal combustion in power plants. More than 85 percent of the construction waste was recycled. Special effort was made to increase occupant comfort by using materials with low or no emissions, providing a high level of individual control over lighting and cooling levels and giving access to daylight and views of the outdoors. These systems have been expressed to educate the public about the applications and benefits of green building, and to continue the learning experience for all. The centerandamp;#8217;s education program has offered a andamp;#8220;green building tourandamp;#8221; to more than 10,000 visitors since the facility opened. Building users are required by policy to follow comprehensive waste reduction and energy saving practices.Integrated Environmental Restoration Services, Inc. (IERS) is a Sierra-based contracting and consulting firm specializing in environmental restoration implementation, watershed assessment, and ecological monitoring and storm water pollution prevention projects. Founded in 1995 by Michael Hogan, soil scientist and restoration practitioner, IERS has become a recognized leader in the development, implementation, improvement and monitoring of cutting-edge restoration, erosion control and water quality improvement projects throughout the Sierra Nevada.IERS strives to reduce their individual and collective impacts to the environment by implementing the following environmental practices: IERS pioneered the practice of capturing and reusing the flow of pine needles and wood chip waste going into the landfills. Through progressive restoration techniques now these carbon-rich former andamp;#8220;wasteandamp;#8221; materials are being used to rebuild soils at disturbed sites. They capture, reuse and recycle old job site materials. They train contractors on strategies for salvaging and reusing valuable topsoil on construction sites. IERS has implemented procedures and projects to reduce their carbon footprint by communicating with co-workers using a scorecard metric system to track energy usage, vehicle miles saved and trash cans used, and then set goals to reduce waste. They participate in Lake Tahoeandamp;#8217;s Bike-To-Work-Week each year and in 2008, they placed first on the North Shore. IERS also completed a winterization assessment of their office building then implemented energy conservation measures to passively moderate temperature fluctuations in the building. They help other companies to protect water quality by educating and inspecting job sites for proper storm water pollution prevention practices and BMPandamp;#8217;s.In addition to the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, the Annual Green Business Recognition Awards Luncheon was sponsored by Placer County, Nevada County Recycles, the Town of Truckee, Incline Village General Improvement District and the Sierra Green Building Association. For more information about the NLTRA, visit http://www.nltra.org. For details about the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, visit http://www.NorthLakeTahoeChamber.com.