In July 2008, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau launched the Scottsdale Green by Design Awards program, recognizing Arizona companies for their efforts to be more sustainable. Entrants were asked to submit in one of three categories:
1. Green: For the creation of green projects, programs or campaigns
2. Greener: For the improvement of pre-existing green projects, programs or campaigns
3. Greenest: For businesses that have both green business practices and offer green products or services
In all categories, entrants had to demonstrate their effort to help preserve the environment or reduce their carbon footprint, including, but not limited to: waste reduction, energy efficiency, water conservation, green meetings, or a green product or service for consumers.
Winners and finalists were selected from each category and were announced at the Scottsdale CVB Quarterly Update Meeting in October 2008. The Hotel Valley Ho, Fairmont Scottsdale, and Edwards Design Group were recognized for exhibiting outstanding sustainability practices.
Hotel Valley Ho won in the Green category for its creation of a recycling program, and other environmentally friendly and energy efficient practices. The hotel started its recycling program in 2006, and is now the largest recycler in downtown Scottsdale, recycling approximately 4,500 pounds of material per week. The Hotel Valley Ho also uses green-certified cleaning products, non-toxic cleaning fluid for dry-cleaning services and dual pane glass windows. The Orange Tree Golf Resort was recognized as a finalist in this category for its green committee that worked on three main goals: to reduce non-recyclable waste, reduce water usage and implement a recycling program on property.
The Greener award was given to the Fairmont Scottsdale for its ongoing improvement of green practices. The hotel has been committed to improving its impact on the environment for more than 25 years and continues to develop sustainability programs such as its green partnership with AZ Biodiesel. This collaboration allows the Fairmont to save 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere by converting its kitchen grease to biodiesel. The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa was named the Greener finalist for its organic foods, spa treatments and retail offerings, as well as its water conservation efforts.
The highest award was given to Edwards Design Group, an Arizona-based custom home design firm, for its dedication to providing quality, sustainable homes. For the past 30 years, the builders have specialized in building energy efficient homes made with non-toxic, recycled and locally produced materials. Dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of sustainability, co-owner Kevin Edwards serves on the City of Scottsdale Green Building Advisory Committee and co-chairs the city’s Green Building Lecture series. Bio Green Planet was recognized as the finalist in this category for its specially formulated solution that helps restaurants safely clean grease traps instead of sending grease to landfills.
Scottsdale CVB Sustainability Initiatives
In April 2008, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau launched the Scottsdale Green by Design Tool Kit to encourage members of Scottsdale’s tourism industry and business community to implement measures that will reduce their impact on the environment. The purchase price for each kit, $15, is donated to the Desert Discovery Center Fund to help create a public access center within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The bureau began addressing sustainability issues in early 2007 and through various efforts has created great momentum in helping its nearly 600 members become more sustainable.