Vermont Business Magazine What do a brewery, a coffee company, and a semiconductor facility all have in common? These businesses represent some of this year’s winners for the Governor’s Award of Environmental Excellence. Every year, the Governor recognizes several organizations and companies that are striving for excellence when it comes to sustainability. The 2018 winners are the Alchemist Brewery, Downstreet Housing and Community Development, Global Foundries, Vermont Coffee Company, and the Village of Essex Junction.
Alchemist photo of founders John and Jen Kimmich
The awardees took on a range of ambitious and innovative projects from renewable energy to water conservation initiatives. Here's a quick look at the five award-winning projects:
- Alchemist Brewery made a multi-million-dollar investment in a state of the art pre-treatment waste water system. This highly efficient system sends less than 1 pound of high-strength waste down the drain each day, which is less than the average household.
- Downstreet Housing & Community Development constructed an affordable housing unit in downtown Barre that is a certified National Green Building. The housing unit installed energy efficient equipment, saving 35,000 pounds of carbon emissions each year.
- GlobalFoundries made an important change in how they manufactured one of their product components, moving from wet processing to dry processing. This change saves 6.5 million gallons of water each year, produces fewer toxic byproducts, and reduces annual electricity consumption by 352,414 kwh – comparable to taking 56 cars off the road.
- Vermont Coffee Company installed over $1 million in new, energy-efficient equipment and switched from propane to renewable natural gas and Cow Power. Vermont Coffee is now the first U.S. coffee company to use 100% renewable biogas to roast its coffee.
- The Village of Essex Junction invested $15.4 million dollars to refurbish their wastewater treatment facility. Through a series of improvements to enhance efficiency and sustainability, the Village installed 150 kw of solar, a geothermal well, solar heating wall panels, and a methane heat and power system.
The Vermont Governor's Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability. Awards are given to companies implementing outstanding projects that demonstrate a significant contribution to protecting the environment, conserving energy and reducing the production of greenhouse gases. The Awardees must also pass a review of their environmental compliance record, showing no violations, in any sector, in the past three years.
Source: Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation 8.31.2018