Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently honored 17 companies and organizations with the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA).
GEELA recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the State's economy.
The following three winners showed leadership in reducing their waste:
- Joseph Gallo Farms for using biogas digesters that set a new industry standard and for their work to become the first large cheese plant to integrate green energy. The farm reclaims or reuses 100 percent of its effluent. The company has also reduced the need for 3,000 truck deliveries by pumping milk directly into the cheese plant, saving thousands of gallons of diesel fuel.
- San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park for diverting 2,947 tons of its waste from landfills. The diverted waste was composed or recycled. The park is the single largest contributor to the San Francisco Compost Program. The Giants organization (which includes AT&T Park) , in partnership with PG&E, became the first team to install a solar power system in its ballpark, a decision that generated enough energy to power 5,200 homes.
- County of Santa Cruz for achieving a 75-percent waste diversion rate in 2010 and is striving for a zero-waste goal. In the past year, the county has banned the sale of polystyrene foam, plastic bags at most retail establishments, passed an ordinance to properly recycle e-waste, grown a thriving green business program, and established comprehensive strategies to reduce waste. Local beach cleanup efforts have collected more than 900 pounds of trash and 4,000 pounds of recyclable material.