Contest Nominations

Arizona's Greenest Workplace 2011


Contest nominations will be accepted from September 9-22, 2011.
Check back often to view new entries!

Pop-Cycle Shop – Tucson, AZ

Popcycle Shop logoPop-Cycle supports over 100 artists that use reclaimed and recycled materials to create both beautiful art and functional goods. Many artists get materials from bulky pickup piles and salvage yards in an effort to reduce the amount of waste in our landfills and to encourage others to reuse and recycle!

Popcycle Shop image

In addition to the goods produced, Pop-cycle uses recycled maps and bingo paper along with all ribbons to wrap gifts. Anyone that requests a bag for their purchase will receive used and recycled grocery bags or reclaimed gift bags.


Originate Natural Building Materials Showroom – Tucson, AZ

Originate logoOriginate is a natural building materials showroom that specializes in interior finishes that are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, durable, and made from natural, renewable, and recycled resources.

Originate renovated a 1950’s warehouse in the heart of downtown using only healthy building practices in 2003. Reuse of existing building stock has one of the highest values versus new construction.

Originate is certified under the City of Tucson’s Green Business Cerification Program. Through this certification program it was determined that Originate uses 1/5th the amount of energy per square foot as a typical retail establishment. We also earned 53 of 66 points in Tucson Water’s WaterSmart Business Program.

There are 2 cisterns that harvest 6000 gallons of water and a permaculture based landscape in place. A solar evaporative cooler cools the main showroom. For about half of the year we are able to heat and cool our space through opening the doors and allowing the breezes and sun to come inside. We have added extensive daylighting features to the building over the last 8 years.

Originate uses 100% recycled or tree free paper in all of their daily needs from checks to copies to business cards and brochures. We recycle everything possible that comes through our doors.

One employee walks to work daily.


PureSalon – Scottsdale, AZ

PureSalon imagePureSalon uses non toxic hair color, organic/gluten free/veagn shampoo, conditioners and styling products. “Brazilian Blowout” type smoothing systems used are chemical free and plant based.

Blow dryers used are “green” emmitting no measureable EMF.

The nail area of the salon uses a soy polish remover, organic soaks and scrubs along with non toxic polishes. Autoclave sanitation and uv sterilization is used for tools and all surfaces. Safe stainless pedicure bowls are used with absolutely no recirculation therefore no worries.

Salon interior is clean air. Walls, flooring and lighting are all eco.

All hair color bottles and hair are recycled along with the usual recycleable items.

Onesta certified green salon.

PureSalon is your healthy alternative.


VerVe Salon – Tucson, AZ

VerVe LogoVerVe is committed to creating not only a more beautiful community, but a world. We have partnered with Aveda to offer 100% paraben free beauty products and hair color that is 97-99% naturally derived. VerVe has been practicing for over seven years this sustainable way of being beautiful, and less than a year ago, opened a second location on the east-side. The location was opened using all “upcycled” furniture as well recycled materials for anything that was purchased.

Aveda Recycle Caps Program

VerVe actively participates in a Bottle Cap recycling program, where anyone can bring in their bottle caps (what the recycling plant won’t recycle) and we ship to Aveda to have them melted down and used to make our bottles (for shampoo, etc). We accept any cap from prescription caps to shampoo and detergent caps.

When we partnered with Aveda, it was important to us because we believe in the cradle to grave mentality that they strive for: mineral makeup w/ environmental compacts for reduced packaging, soy candles, aerosol hairsprays with 0 carbon footprint, 100% wind powered manufacturing plant.

We also participate in Earth Month to raise awareness and money for Western Resource Advocate to educate and promote water conservation efforts locally. This program has become our focus not just in April but year-round. We have added water conservation tips near each sink and mirror to remind us what we can do to help! We also offer gratuity envelopes made out of recycled magazine pages.


Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona

Goodwill logoGoodwill Industries of Southern Arizona is the Greenest Workplace because last year they kept 19,006,543 pounds of goods out of Southern Arizona landfills. That’s right, just over 19 million pounds!

They have almost 30 donation sites in the area, making it very easy to donate gently used household goods and clothing. Anybody who has been in a store will tell you how easy it is to shop there because things are so well organized.

So what happens to things that don’t sell at the stores? Those items get another chance to get sold at Goodwill’s outlet store where items are priced by the pound. If they don’t sell there they go to an auction where re-sellers have been known to buy a pallet of clothes for as little as $50.

If they don’t sell at auction, Goodwill has a network of salvage buyers who recycle metals and turn clothes into cleaning towels. By working together with people in the community; that’s how Goodwill kept so much out of our area landfills.

And as a side note, Goodwill’s mission is to provide services, training and jobs to people in Southern Arizona. Your support of Goodwill has helped them add direct jobs (like the 25-30 at their new Oro Valley store) and increase their job training and career assistance programs.

Goodwill has been green from the start!


The New Well – Phoenix, AZ

The New Well logoWhat better way to spread wellness than in an environment that embodies doing whats right for the planet and its people. The New Well, is a new women’s weight loss and wellness company located by the Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix. Its program focuses on sustainable weight loss using an approach of wellness. Educating its clients with local whole foods nutrition, and promoting beauty with 100% natural skin care and make-up products.

The New Well image
The New Well took a larger picture view at what wellness meant when it designed and built a facility to truly promotes health and wellness by creating a non-toxic, sustainable environment which protects our natural resources in an efficient manner. Green thinking went into every aspect of The New Well includes case goods, artwork, signature light fixtures, insulation, signage and wall coverings – all of which were made from 100% organic material, sustainable materials, post industrial recycled materials or recycled content core materials.


Adobe Veterinary Center
Tucson, AZ

Adobe Veterinary ClinicAdobe Veterinary Center is a hospital that sees both large and small animals. Although they are first and foremost a veterinary care facility, they care enough about the world we and the animals live in to go the extra mile to be more sustainable by having solar panels, encouraging recycling among employees, encouraging employees to reuse dishes by providing a breakroom dishwasher rather than going to the easier, but less earth friendly default of disposable plates and plasticware.

Adobe Veterinary Clinic solar panels

Turning lights off in any rooms they are not in use is also a rule.  Multiple employees carpool to work when possible. They have skylights and doublepane windows for ample natural light, more efficient insulation and reduced energy needs as well.  The majority of the in-hospital and boarding kitty litter is a product made from recycled newspaper (unless the kitty has a strong preference or need for another type!).  There are other areas where the more earth friendly options have been used throughout the hospital and its standard procedures as well.


Raytheon – Tucson, AZ

Raytheon logoRaytheon Missile Systems has a long-standing tradition of environmental responsibility and sustainable business practices. Our vision is to be the gold standard for sustainability within our company, industry, and our communities by demonstrating a culture of environmental stewardship. This is exemplified by a suite of programs that reduce our resource consumption and carbon footprint. The 3R-Reduce, Reuse, Recycle program has, so far in 2011, kept 2,795 tons of waste out of the landfill—a 73% recycling rate. This has been accomplished through traditional recycling amplified by the purchase of a baler, an internal supply and furniture reuse program, donations of surplus items to schools and non-profits, and many other partnerships that allow us to recycle or reuse dozens of commodities such as batteries, Styrofoam, and kitchen grease.

Raytheon Recycling Machine image

Our energy use has decreased 4.4% in 2011, reducing related greenhouse gas emissions by 7.5%. Programs include the Energy Citizen program that educates employees about energy-saving practices, a holiday building hibernation program, and system upgrades. Water use has decreased by 5.7% since 2008. We have achieved this through projects such as converting to xeriscape and recycling water in cooling towers. Other practices include LEED certified construction, a bike share program, the use of compostable dinner ware, installation of reverse vending machines that take back empty cans/bottles, and HHW drop-off events for employees, among others.


Environmental Development Group
Tucson, AZ

EDG logoEnvironmental Development Group (EDG) is a company dedicated to reduction of their carbon footprint.  EDG takes anything that is considered ‘waste’ and looks for ways to recycle or reuse it.  But above that, EDG offers other companies and consumers ways to reduce their carbon footprint.  The best example of this is their production of viable motor fuels from waste cooking oil.  EDG collects millions of gallons of waste cooking oil from a large portion of the United States and brings it to Tucson.   This waste is refined into motor vehicle fuel, Biodiesel.   An alternative fuel market is created that advances the efforts of the USA to decrease its dependence on foreign oil.

The word is out there.  With EDG’s Enjoy Dining Green initiative, local businesses can do their part.  Enjoy Dining Green is a coalition of concerned and environmentally-conscious business owners united to practice environmentally sustainable recycling in the form of waste cooking oil to biodiesel processing.

EDG Fuels photo

But that’s not all, EDG services include management and re-use of organic material such as food and landscape waste.  Through the efforts of EDG, what was once material decomposing in landfills is now being used for composting and power generation.

EDG is proud of their business practice and values that put conservation of the environment at the forefront.  EDG is definitely a role model, and a benefit to our planet and our human family. – Tucson, AZ lists Sustainability as the first of their Core Values, and for good reason!  The first things you see upon arriving at are the enormous water harvesting tanks, located at each end of the building, holding a combined 36,000 gallons of water! Water is collected from the roof and goes to cover the landscaping needs.  These tanks are also a City of Tucson Water Harvesting Demonstration Site.By year end, the tanks will be joined by a 128kW solar array that will cover approximately 90% of the building’s energy usage.  Panels will be located on the roof, as well as being constructed as part of two shade structures over the parking lot. rain water harvesting tanks

Along with the very visible “green” features that has in place, there are many other programs and processes in place. Some of these efforts include: Dual light controls in office spaces, along with plenty of natural light, and zoned A/C, Extensive recycling – from paper to bike parts, we recycle everything we can, Commuter program which encourages employees to bike to work by giving them a credit for every mile they commute, along with contests and awards to make it fun and interactive, Greenbox program which gives our customers the option to receive a recycled box and packing material, Shoe collection program which donates collected shoes to a local non-profit for reuse within the Tucson community. This list could keep going on and on! is able to make all of this a success through a combined effort from all of the staff, and everyone feels passionately about preserving natural resources.  It really is a team vision!


Renee’s Organic Oven
Tucson, AZ

Renee's Organic OvenWe are a proud team working hard and playing often to bring you our very best! Our little restaurant is bringing it… How you say? What follows is our answer to “What makes you so special” ? Renee’s Organic Oven has been trans fat free, sweet-n-low free and the like since opening day in 2005. Our interest in Organic can be found and tasted throughout our menu. Look forward to enjoying organic dough, sauce, beer, wine, coffee, beans, vanilla, eggs, milk, local grass fed beef and olive oil are used daily. We buy local produce when we can and we support many local and sustainable businesses with our dollars. We are the first pizzeria in Tucson to offer Gluten Free Pizza starting over 3 years ago…we now feature almost our entire menu with a gluten free option. We do our part to encourage more plant based eating; this can be done easily by making great vegetarian food! We are currently a host for Sunizona farms FarmBox program connecting our east-side neighborhood to amazing organic & sustainable foods brought to us for you to conveniently pick-up on your home!

Renee's Organic Oven photo

Our commitment to recycle all that we can includes all of our produce and shipping boxes, glass, plastic, wine corks, bottle caps and cooking oil. We even use the water from diners to make our plants happy and growing strong all while beautifying our storefront. Eco- friendly containers, cups, napkins and straws help us package up our delicious meals to go. We help you save energy when we cook for you.


Shaffer Dry Cleaning
Tucson, AZ

Shaffer Dry Cleaning & Laundry logoWould you ever consider rubbing a dry cleaning solvent on your skin? At Shaffer Dry Cleaning & Laundry, the GreenEarth solution we use is so safe you could do that because it’s made with the same base ingredient found in shampoos, conditioners, skin lotions and deodorants.

Shaffer Dry Cleaning & Laundry delivery car photos

We are committed to a toxic-free, healthier solution for our customers, employees and environment. Over 10 years ago, long before green was mainstream, we stopped using PERC which is still commonly used by most dry cleaners today. PERC is a listed hazardous waste with the EPA and a known human carcinogen.

The GreenEarth solvent we use is non-toxic, non-allergenic, odorless and leaves your clothes feeling softer. Most important, it ensures a healthier workplace and finished product that is truly better for our customers.

Our green commitment includes:

•    Recycling hangers which has reduced thousands of pounds of metal.
•    Plastic bags that disintegrate faster to reduce the environmental impact.
•    Retro-fitting each of our 11 stores to use energy efficient lighting.
•    Use of fuel-efficient Scion XBs, which get 2x the mileage of a conventional delivery van.
•    We even recycle clothes! We partner with Angel Charity for its annual resale fundraiser and collect donated clothing for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The initial investment we made over 10 years ago to switch to green dry cleaning was costly but the health benefits for our employees, customers and the environment are well worth it.


Lakeview Elementary School
Glendale, AZ

Lakeview Elementary School logoLakeview Elementary and the whole Washington Elementary School Disrict are committed and dedicated to finding an alternative and solution to reducing the energy use in the classrooms and schools in our state. We are the only Energy Star leader school district in Arizona. Electrical use has been reduced almost 30% over the last three years. Recently the district has experimented with a geothermal pilot and recorded data showing 50% less energy use. Things are in the works to eventually do this in all schools.

Lakeview Elementary School's Recycling Container

Nineteen schools hold the” energy star” designations for energy efficiency. Two schools were awarded the first Green Schoolhouses series projects in Arizona. Lakeview Elementary has a paper recycle bin on campus along with the many other sources we use. The Eco-Friendly after school program is extremely successful and has twenty-five plus members this year and is growing! I have high hopes for the geothermal pilot and I believe my school and whole district should be noticed for their continued dedication to recycling and reducing energy.


Tucson Padres – Triple-A Baseball Team

Tucson Padres logoIn their inaugural season, Tucson Padres Triple-A Baseball Team made an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of their 250,000 fans. The Padres worked with the Do More Blue program, facilitated through the City of Tucson, to install recycle bins throughout the stadium. The Padres executed an in-game promotion, rewarding the fan that recycled their stack of water bottles the quickest in the Do More Blue “Recycle-off” contest with tickets to a future Padres game.

Even the umpires were involved as they were announced as the Do More Blue Crew and the public address announcer reminded fans to recycle during the game and do their part to keep Kino Stadium clean.

Tucson PAdres Recycling photo

The proof was in the pudding as the Tucson Padres recycled nearly 27,000 lbs for the year! The original goal was (what we thought was) aggressively set at 10,000. The Padres surpassed that mark during their second month of the season. Since the recycling goal had been reached, following the August 20th game that hosted a pre-game, on-field award ceremony for winning Arizona’s Recycler of the Year award for the Sports/Entertainment category, fans were treated to a coupon for a free Bloomin’ Onion (with purchase of an entree) from Outback Steakhouse. Next season, the Padres hope to recycle over 15 tons (30,000 lbs)!


911 Collision Centers – Tucson, AZ

911 Collision Centers logoAt 911 Collision Centers, we are so committed to recycling for the good of our environment and the communities we serve that we even recycle cars!

911 Oro Valley photo

Dawn Tyau, a working mother of four daughters, hugs her oldest daughter Julia, 14, after receiving keys for a donated 2003 Ford Taurus.

We take donated vehicles that have been “written off” by insurance companies but are still functional, repair them, and then donate the refurbished vehicles to individuals and service organizations in need. This green program, Recycled Rides, was pioneered five years ago by Michael Quinn, co-founder of 911 Collision Centers, in Tucson, and it has now become a nationwide program adopted by the National Auto Body Council. Hundreds of vehicles have now been recycled and donated throughout the country through Recycled Rides. For more information on Recycled Rides, click here.

911 Collision Centers also provides a safe, healthy workplace environment and practices green initiatives to conserve resources and energy. Staff members at each of our seven locations in Tucson, Scottsdale and Las Vegas are trained to recycle standard items such as paper, bottles, cans, as well as plastic vehicle parts like bumpers, aluminum and other salvaged metals, oil and anti-freeze. We continue to conserve and monitor water, fuel, electricity and material usage and utilize only the most environmentally friendly refinish equipment and products.

From the smallest material part to the entire vehicle, throughout our entire operations, 911 Collision Centers is committed to be responsible stewards of our environment and resources.


Cox Communications of Southern Arizona

Cox Communications logoCox Communications has emerged as a leader in green energy and sustainable practices. They announced the creation of the Cox Conserves program in 2007, which aims to reduce energy use 20% by 2017. Their e-waste recycling program diverts an annual 1.8 million pounds of out-of-use electronics from landfills, and they have already completed alternative energy programs in five states including Arizona, California, Georgia, New Jersey, and Oregon.

Cox Communications has focused much of its philanthropy on the environmental health of the regions it serves. As one of South Arizona’s primary utility companies, they have bestowed grants to the Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, and Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center (SABCC).

Their $25,000 partnership with the SABCC aids efforts to control the spread of buffelgrass, an invasive species that threatens the native plants of the Sonoran Desert, through treatment, mapping, education, outreach and volunteer opportunities.

Their sponsorship of Techtopia at the Children’s Museum Tucson demonstrates a commitment to engaging youth in the importance of green and sustainable issues. Techtopia teaches youth about life sciences while expressing their creativity through an interactive shadow mosaic video wall. Users create works of art they can e-mail to friends and family.

Cox Communications continues to seek innovative ways to foster youth and community engagement with sustainable practices.


Greener Lives LLC – Tucson, AZ

Greener Lives LLCGreener Lives LLC is a licensed, full-service interior design firm that specializes in healthy and eco-friendly interiors. We design beautiful and functional homes that preserve the environment and create healthy living spaces.

Greener Lives has received Green America’s Business Seal of Approval awarded to businesses that set the highest standards in environmental sustainability and social justice. The firm’s interior design principal is a U.S. Green Building Council Arizona Chapter member and a LEED Accredited Professional. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a national green building certification program.

Greener Lives LLC photo

We work with local wholesalers, retailers and craftspeople, and we maintain a design library of green products from over 60 manufacturers not available at Tucson retailers. Our sources feature sustainable furniture, furnishings and finishes.

Greener Lives uses a home office and a virtual office for client meetings, so the firm’s principal does not have a daily commute, reducing energy and gas usage. We drive a Prius for business activities.

The home office uses daylighting, energy-efficient lighting, dual-flush toilet and faucet aerator while the landscaping features native plants, water reclamation, LED lighting and many recycled products. Our brochures, letterhead and business cards are printed with soy ink on recycled paper. We use recycled bond paper and print in-house documents on the back of used paper. We recycle everything possible.


Food Conspiracy Co-op – Tucson, AZ

Food Conspiracy Co-op logoA majority of the products at the Food Conspiracy Co-op are organic, and many are fair trade, local, and GMO-free.

The co-op maintains the largest bulk section in Tucson and encourages customers to fill their own reusable containers with dried pasta, rice, herbs, teas, and more.

The co-op buys produce from local farmers, and recently agreed to pay Sleeping Frog Farms $25,000 in advance for produce, to be repaid over a period of no more than three years. Sleeping Frog Farms, located in Cascabel, AZ, will use the money to build greenhouses that will supply the co-op with local produce even in the lean winter months.

Food Conspiracy Co-op photo

The co-op supports other local vendors, like Borderlands Brewery, Julie Bar, and Anita’s Tortillas.

There is ample bicycle parking in front of the co-op.

The co-op’s produce department donates cull — trimmings from fruits and vegetables, as well as past-its-prime produce — to backyard farmers, who use it to create compost.

In March, the co-op organizes Solar Rock, a solar-powered rock concert to raise awareness of the benefits of solar energy. Solar Rock t-shirts are printed on re-used shirts.

In December, the co-op organizes the Backyard Chicken Coop Tour, a self-guided tour of Tucson’s backyard coops. Proceeds from the tour are donated to the Watershed Management Group, which offers chicken coop building workshops.

The Food Conspiracy’s employees practice what they preach. A majority of them walk or ride their bicycles to work!


Rob Paulus Architects – Tucson, AZ

Rob Paulus logoBesides being a creative and innovative place to work, Rob Paulus Architects is an incredibly green place to work.  Sustainability has always been part of our architectural practice, so when it came to creating our own offices, “green” was a priority.

Rob Paulus photo
One of the most sustainable ways to build is to reuse an old building and its materials instead of tearing one down and building new. This building was an old auto repair shop.  We reused the steel frame and reconstructed it with modern, sustainable materials that is set to receive LEED certification. The building is naturally lit and requires no artificial lighting when sunny outside.

The old concrete driveway was removed, broken into chunks and re-laid as the pavers for the walkways.  The old roll-up doors for the garage and the metal siding are re-purposed as fencing for the courtyard.  Metal supports are re-used as supports for the raised bed organic garden.

We have 300 sq ft of organic garden beds that can be used by the employees and a composter where organic material can be turned into compost.  All of the courtyard landscaping is comprised of low-water, native, desert plants.  The garden and landscaping is irrigated in part by rainwater that is captured off the roof and fed into 3,000 gallon underground tanks. The system provides over 15,000 gallons of rainwater each year for irrigation use.

Rob gets to walk to work since the office is across the street from where he lives.  Biking to work is encouraged and there is indoor bike storage.  These architects live what they practice – creating sustainable environments for their clients and living it themselves in their workplace.


The Fairfax Companies – Tucson, AZ

The Fairfax Companies logoThe Fairfax Companies recycles more construction and landscape waste than any other business in Southern Arizona.


The Fairfax Companies photo


Triple Pane Systems
Tucson and Phoenix, AZ

Triple Pane Systems is a family owned and operated window and door replacement company and BBB accredited. Triple Pane Systems is a very “Green”Company.They have Triple Pane windows and doors throughout their building saving up to 60% on utilities. They have all kinds of recycling bins including a large metal container for all metal scrap. The staff will also turn off all office and bathroom lights throughout the day vs. leaving lights on and they continue to work on sending information electronically, to save paper.


University of Arizona Business Affairs Departments

University of Arizona logo

Over the last several years The University of Arizona Business Affairs Departments consisting of Facilities Management, Planning, Design and Construction and Parking and Transportation have been working very aggressively to make The University of Arizona a world wide leader in sustainability practices.

Not Just Clean but Green - solar trash compactors on U of A CampusThis article reviews in detail sustainability practices ranging from a national recognition for our Green Cleaning practices, water harvesting efforts, use of solar panels on several buildings on campus and bio diesel fuel for our fleet Motor Pool. In addition, Student Recreation Center has been awarded LEED Platinum as future buildings on campus continue to use sustainable construction material.
Our Parking and Transportation Department recently has installed solar parking meters.

In partnering with our Sustainability Office, students and faculty we have teamed up to increase the amount of recyclable material removed from the Football Stadium, started a tea composting project on the Bear Down turf and a student composting project using Campus green waste and Student Union food waste.


Arbico Organics

Arbico Organics logo


Pima County

Pima County logoAs one of the largest employers in Southern Arizona, Pima County is committed to adopting green practices that promote the sustainability of our natural resources while also reducing government operating expenses.   We set an example for other communities, businesses, and individuals desiring to achieve a high quality-of-life, protect natural and cultural heritage, and provide meaningful economic opportunities.

Employees are the ingredient in our Sustainability Program. They have taken on a diverse range of activities and programs designed to integrate green practices into virtually all facets of the way County government operates. These activities affect the cars we drive, the energy and water we consume, the construction of our buildings, the products we purchase, and the way we handle our “used” materials.

Pima County Recycle Bin

Since 2008 Pima County has lowered energy expenses by over $1.2 million and reduced landfill waste by 29%.   We reduced water use in the County’s 39 urban parks by 20%.  Additionally, one fourth of the County’s fleet vehicles now run on alternative fuels and the proportion of office supply dollars spent on eco-friendly products was increased by over 73%.   We track and report our progress and continually strive to improve performance, particularly in response to the availability of resources or evolving policies, technologies and best practices.  Learn more about the County’s Sustainability Action Plan and accomplishments at