CSU, Chico News

First Chico Greenies Awarded at Sustainability III Conference

Date: 11-07-2007

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Scott McNall
Executive director, Institute for Sustainable Development

This Way to Sustainability III welcomed more than 1,100 participants to the Bell Memorial Union at California State University, Chico Nov. 1 through Nov. 4. At least 200 of the attendees were students from other universities.

One of the highlights of the conference and of particular significance to the Chico community was the conference’s first presentation of the “Greenies.” More than 400 people attended a Friday night banquet where the awards were given to the local individual, nonprofit organization and business that have done the most for sustainability this year.

The individual award went to Ken Grossman, owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., whose mission includes “being a good corporate citizen and environmental steward.” While Sierra Nevada has grown to more than 300 employees with state-of-the-art brewing and processing equipment, founder/owner Grossman continues to operate the brewery in an ecologically clean and efficient manner.

The business Greenie winner was Lundberg Family Farms, which has been growing rice since 1937. Jessica Lundberg accepted the award. The Lundbergs operate from the belief that healthy soil produces healthy food. On their Web site, they state, “We respect the land and the wildlife that depends on it and our eco-positive farming methods continue to improve the environment for future generations.”

Butte Environmental Council won the Greenie for a nonprofit organization. BEC is a community-based, nonprofit organization founded in 1975. It provides environmental education and information referral services and advocacy. With its 800 members, it is the region’s leading environmental organization.

The Greenies awards were made by students in Robert Herhusky’s art-glass class from reused and recycled window glass.

Among others recognized at the banquet were Paul Persons and Jeff Price. Persons, who died in January 2007, was recognized for his many contributions to the environment and his vision that every student in the CSU have the opportunity to learn and practice the principles of sustainability. Price is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that received the Nobel Prize.

PG&E representative Tino Nava recognized the good work of Green Campus, a student-based organization focused on energy savings. Rebate checks for $48,000 and $98,000 were presented to the campus for their efforts.

“Participants in the conference reported in a closing session that the conference helped them identify goals for the country beyond growth alone, including happiness, well-being, health and durability,” said McNall, executive director, Institute for Sustainable Development. “They noted that those goals can be achieved through the development of deep economies and local communities. A first step in that process, we were all told, is to become involved in the democratic political system at all levels.”
The conference was hosted by CSU, Chico and Butte Community College and the Associated Students of both institutions.