Love Your City Awards Revealed: Honoring Sustainable Business Leaders
23 Recognized for Social and Environmental Impact
Achievement: Landrieu Concrete and Cement Industries
For the Achievement Award, we selected an organization that has made significant
improvement in learning how to manage stormwater at their facility. In fact, their runoff
catchment system is going to prevent any stormwater runoff from going into local city
drains and also allow them to reuse rainwater and washwater for their trucks. The system
saves the company 174,000 gallons of water a month, saving over 2 Million gallons
annually, with $15,000 of annual savings. Furthermore, this company is learning how to
shift their services to a for-benefit model by training their team on the installation of
Leadership: Urban Conservancy
For the Leadership Award in this category, our Selection Committee was proud to see so
many organizations helping our community improve our ability to live with water. While
each of these nominees play an important role, one organization stood out in their
commitment to not just their mission, but tracking their impact. To date, this organization
has removed 18,474.73 SF of paving which provide visible examples of green infrastructure in the urban environment and serve as models and inspiration for future efforts throughout the city.
Buy Local Winners
Achievement: Empire Services
Many of you prefer to shop locally and are members of Stay Local and we commend all of
you in addition to our nominees tonight for making that a priority. The Achievement Award
is going out tonight to a company that purchases 90% of their needs through local vendors and suppliers (and 50% of these suppliers are women or minority owned).
Leadership: Natural Awakenings Magazine
For the Leadership Award, one particular company rose to the top in expanding the
presence of local businesses in our community. With her particular product and service, this entrepreneur ensures that 80% of their content is made from local companies. In addition to their core services, this business owner goes above and beyond to provide opportunities for local, small companies – such as partnering with Whole Foods to organize quarterly health festivals for small vendors to gain more exposure, organizing and promoting local fundraisers for non-profits like Top Box Foods, and organized a series of wellness workshops at no cost to participants.
Healthy Fresh Food Winners
The winner of the Achievement Award will be no surprise to you. This restaurant does
virtually all they can to operate in a socially and environmentally conscious way. Not only do they compost and source locally, they are also working with local chefs to educate others about buying local food and are working with fishermen to source this directly. This company also sources ingredients that require less energy to produce. For example, biologists consider wild boar one of the greatest threats to our wetlands and to keep the population at an even level at least 70% of the animals must be culled annually. So now this restaurant switched to using 100% wild boar rather than conventionally-produced pork in spite of the costs doubling. Similarly, in 2017 the company instrumental in serving and promoting the consumption other invasive and underutilized species, such as Asian carp (silverfin), lionfish, Gulf squid, whiting and king snake eels.
Leadership: Compost NOW
For the Leadership Award, our subcommittee looked for an organization that was really
moving the needle for our healthy food ecosystem. In a very short amount of time in 2017,
this organization has converted 30,000 lbs of food waste into compost with multiple drop-
off locations at library sites around the city. In fact, in operating these compost sites, this
individual continues to promote sustainability by traveling through public transit. (open
envelope). She is an expert in the space and we are glad her organization is growing such an important cause in New Orleans.
Employee Wellness Winners
Achievement: New Orleans City Park
The Achievement Award goes to a company who impressed us in many areas, but in particular, we thought they had made significant improvements in this past year in this category. For an organization with hundreds of employees, they managed to host 2 organization-wide employee breakfast meetings (which were not previously done as frequently). This is done in addition to an annual wellness fair for their team. Furthermore, the company started a monthly sustainability themed lunch & learn for all employees in order to provide extra educational opportunities featuring Compost N.O.W., Bike Easy, Energy Smart and Energy Wise, and Grow Dat Youth Farm.
Leadership: Solar Alternatives
The Leadership Award for Employee Wellness goes to a company that checked off all the boxes for employee wellness. This includes: paid health care, retirement plans, paid maternity leave, flexible work arrangements, flexible workstations, diversity training, gym access, window access for 75% of the team, and a formal ethics policy. Congratulations on your commitment to your team!
Clean Energy Winners
Achievement: The Green Project
The achievement award in this category goes out to an organization that participated in all
three programs of the EnergySmart program: a special volunteer weatherization program
for local nonprofits run by an Energy Smart partner, EnergyWise (which reduced drafts in
office space by 20% and upgraded a standard thermostat to a smart thermostat). They also participated in the Energy Smart Small Commercial Solutions program to upgrade all of our interior and exterior lighting to LED models. Overall, over 200 fixtures were upgraded. The project is expected to reduce our electricity use by 69,000 kWh a year. In addition, they became an official retail partner for the Energy Smart Retail Lighting Rebate program. In their store, they now have new LED lightbulbs for sale with a 90% discount of prices that are found in big box stores. Our average price has been .25 per brand new LED lightbulb (don’t everyone run out of here at once!). A large percentage of their customers are low to moderate income residents that cannot afford new bulbs or to shop in the well-known home improvement stores. This allows us to bring energy-efficiency information and
fixtures to our community and we are grateful for the incredible leadership this organization has demonstrated in this way.
Leadership: Green Coast Enterprises
The Leadership Award for this category goes to a company whose very business is energy efficiency. This company manages energy for some of the largest and smallest consumers in the City. They also target developers of affordable multi-family housing, and help roughly 50% of the projects funded in any year by the state housing finance agencies in Louisiana and Mississippi comply with their green building requirements. They are a Better Buildings Challenge partner with the US Department of Energy, and across our portfolio of 17 buildings have helped create one of the more energy efficient housing stocks in the region. Their Pythian renovation will be a LEED-Silver historic renovation of a long-dormant community asset.
In addition they use renewables on one small residential building in Mid-City, and have
supported the use of renewables by a number of our clients. At the moment, they are in the planning stages for what we believe will be the first net zero energy, mixed-income condominium project ever in Louisiana. Stay tuned for that next year.
Equitable Hiring Winners
Shawn comes to podium and says: In 2017, this company has implemented a Pharmacy
Technician Career Pathway for opportunity youth in the city of New Orleans. These
participants get career readiness training, mental counseling, and personal interview
trainings, providing holistic support in the hiring and training process. This program helps
all participants gain livable wages and greater economic security.
Leadership: The Ruby Slipper
Many of you today understand the challenge that someone faces when coming out of jail and looking for a job. For even those professions that an individual may qualify for, there rarely are companies who are willing to hire someone with a criminal background. Knowing that we all need opportunities for growth, we commend this next company who regularly hires individuals with significant barriers to employment (whether that be a need childcare, transportation barriers, or a criminal history)
Clean Transportation Winners
Achievement: Insurance Design & Placement
This small company winning the Achievement award is an incredible leader for clean transportation. It is one of few businesses to offer transit passes for employees, they have attended and provided input into the RTA’s Strategic Mobility Plan–establishing the long-term transit goals for our region, they participated in Mayoral transit “Ride Along’s” with 2017 candidates to promote expanding transit service overall and in her neighborhood of New Orleans East. They participated in New Orleans East forum with RTA CFO, Council member Brossett, RTA Board Chair, VAYLA representative. They are a member of RTA’s Riders’ Advisory Committee to highlight rider issues and make recommendations to RTA Board and finally – this individual ride’s transit everyday to work!
Leadership: Friends of the Lafitte Greenway
This next organization has completely revolutionized transportation options for the City of
New Orleans. Over 300,000 individuals use its bike path and green space connecting mixed neighborhoods of all sizes throughout the City, and its no doubt that their existence is in part why New Orleans now ranks 10 th in the US in the percentage of residents who bike to work each day.
Inclusive Workplace Winners
Achievement: Dancing Grounds
This next company has gone above and beyond to invest in anti-racism training for their
team. Once staff are hired, they are required to participate in an anti-racism training, and
they encourage any partner they work with to do as well. As a company, they participate in
any inclusivity trainings they can and have partnered with other local organizations in
organizing workshops that expand beyond their doors.
Leadership: Lighthouse for the Blind – Louisiana
This next organization also hires with inclusivity in mind by ensuring that 75% of all
employees hired are blind. This year, they will spend 8 hours of training for each employee and created a strategic plan to increase their minimum wage to a living wage.
*Klassi Duncan, Urban League of Louisiana, accepted on their behalf
Zero Waste Award Winners
For the achievement award, this company goes above and beyond those of their industry to reduce waste. As of 2017, they recycle about 90% of our post-project building materials. We have completely eliminated plastic bottle usage by installing an energy-efficient water cooler with Pure Water Technologies. They have implemented glass recycling and donate wood shavings to local farms. We have doubled our amount of recycling bins, and are buying blue bins with clear labeling. They not only recycle everything they use, they also replace wood materials used by planting trees to take their place through a partnership with SOUL.
Leadership: Republic Services
Our leadership Award for this category goes to a company that is constantly thinking of
creative ways to support recycling in this City. From being the first pilot to recycle at Mardi Gras (literally next weekend), to doing free waste audits for companies interested in becoming Zero Waste – this company goes above and beyond. In fact, they have removed all trash cans in their office and only have recycling bins.
Achievement: Recirculating Farms Coalition
For the achievement award this company knows what it means to partner locally. From
their site locations for their farms to community workshops, they regularly work with
various entities to offer more and better trainings and opportunities for their growers. They
work with National Young Farmers, LSU AG, USDA (Farm Service Agency) and others to
bring professional trainings and information to our growers. One of their primary goals is to bring quality professional trainings into the community to develop local job opportunities. In the past 3 months they have offered 10 various training and information sessions across the community.
Leadership: Water Collaborative
Our leadership Award for this category goes to an organization that existed by itself for
years without funding, but because it formed a strong collaborative network bringing
together hundreds of organizations. In fact, many other backbone organizations were
inspired by their leadership to develop similar collaborative networks. This organization
partnered with several training experts to host educational workshops and lunch and learns about green infrastructure, serving about 50 people participate each month for 10 months for a total of 500 hours for the year.
The Love Your City Award Winners
The “best all around” awards went to Green Coast Enterprises and Folgers Coffee. Green Coast Enterprises also took home the leadership award for clean energy for their work in building affordable, energy efficient housing in New Orleans. Folgers Coffee was recognized for its commitment to achieving zero waste, a practice
aimed at eliminating unused byproducts. The New Orleans roasting location hopes to reach its goal by 2020.
Sugar Roots Farm, a working farm in Orleans Parish, won the people's choice
award. The farm collects New Orleans food waste to feed their livestock and to
make compost, reducing what goes to the landfill, according to their website.
$3,000 was raised at the event in the silent auction to be donated to the People’s
Choice winner to further sustainability improvements within their operations.
Event photos can be found here: