The businesses, schools, non-profits and faith-based groups below have gone above and beyond to help lead environmental sustainability in their community.
LA COSTA APARTMENTS
This 462 unit apartment home community exhibits a serious commitment to sustainability. Energy cost-saving improvements include installing an Energy Star Certified roof and LED lights in exterior and common areas. Resident homes have Energy Star appliances and low-flow shower heads. Drought-tolerant plants along with decomposed granite and mulch were installed to reduce water usage.
Axium is a solar contractor that heats/cools 3,984 square feet of its administrative offices with 25kW of solar energy. This company believes in credentials, conservation, commitment and community. Axium participated in Plano’s 2017 Great American Cleanup by providing solar-powered phone charging stations. They frequently engage communities on the benefits of reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Sustainability has been the driving force in the construction of the Toyota North American headquarters since its inception. Austin Commercial was the first construction company in Plano to co-mingle Construction & Demolition (C&D) debris and first to recycle onsite food waste. Results? 13,322 tons of C&D debris from May 2016 to May 2017 and a combined 99% diversion rate.
GREEN BUSINESS CERTIFIED
THE HOPE CENTER
This facility was built to LEED Silver standards. With an active green team and support from upper management, sustainable purchasing was increased and LED lighting installed. An energy management system, low-flow toilets, drought-tolerant landscaping and single-stream recycling are among its green initiatives. The Hope Center’s green team hosted a Texas Recycles Day event and improved its green purchasing policy as well.
PEPSICO - PARKWOOD
PepsiCo’s comprehensive sustainability programs are part of its DNA and engage all associates, impact sourcing/vendors and involve continuous employee education and improvements. Projects this past year included RENEW which diverted 306 tons of furniture from the landfill; Eco-Week which raised awareness about solar energy, organics recycling and included in-house swap shops; a Goodwill donation drive; electronics recycling and children’s book drive.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON FINANCIAL SERVICES
This finance arm for Harley-Davidson dealerships has a vibrant green team focused on employee environmental education and community engagement. The team is innovative in educating associates and others in sustainability. In April 2015,
the green team initiated a Green Business Roundtable—an exchange of best green practices and information sharing for Plano’s certified green businesses. Green Business Roundtables continue to be held quarterly.
COMMUNITY HARVEST GARDEN
The Community Harvest Garden is a ministry of Community Unitarian Universalist Church and exists to provide fresh produce to local community food banks and the people they serve. Through 100% volunteer work and donations, the garden has grown from producing 400 pounds of produce in 2007 to 2,500 pounds of produce in 2016. The garden also promotes sustainability through water conservation techniques, use of organic compost, and reuse of materials.
PRINCE OF PEACE CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Prince of Peace Catholic School created a butterfly garden in their Outdoor Learning Center as a haven for Monarch butterflies during their migration through Texas. The garden not only benefits the butterflies, but teaches students and the community about ecosystems and the environment. The school also installed a water efficient sprinkler system to reduce the amount of water needed to keep the butterfly garden thriving.
PLANO GARDEN CLUB
The Plano Garden Club partnered with Children’s Medical Center of Plano to create the Meadow Garden on what used to be an eroded field. The newly completed Meadow Garden includes vegetable plots, a pollinator garden and drought-tolerant plants. This oasis is a certified Monarch Way Station and provides a beautiful retreat for patients, families and hospital staff.
COMMUNIT Y OUTREACH INDIVIDUAL - ADULT
JIM STRAUSS & REBECCA ARCHULETA
Jim Strauss and Rebecca Archuleta created the “Recycle Rainbow”, an interactive mural made from plastic bottle caps that was exhibited at the City of Plano’s Great American Cleanup event. The 6’ x 4’ mural was made from 100% reused materials and allowed the participants attending the event to help create the final piece. The fun, engaging project was used as an educational tool to remind participants to recycle and keep our waterways clean.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH INDIVIDUAL - YOUTH
DANIEL & ALEXANDER ATIYEH
Daniel and Alexander Atiyeh designed, constructed, and donated a produce washing table to the Plano Community Garden. The table was built to replace the ailing, existing table and includes a collection system that conserves water. The water used for rinsing the vegetables is collected and then reused to water the plants in the garden.
EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL OUTREACH GROUP
MURPHY MIDDLE SCHOOL
The Murphy Middle School Environmental Club was founded in 2003 and is comprised of students interested in recycling, organic gardening, landscaping with native plants and overall environmental awareness. Sustainability is incorporated into the science curriculum and motivates the students in the club to implement various projects. This year the environmental club collected over 3,400 pounds of clothing and large quantities of electronics to be diverted from the landfill.
NEW ENVIRONMENTAL OUTREACH GROUP
RICE MIDDLE SCHOOL
The Rice Middle School Eco-Club was created last year to provide a platform for students who want to make a difference in their local environment. The club members worked to increase recycling throughout the school by identifying areas for improving recycling and increasing awareness among students and staff. One of the ways the group increased awareness was by hosting a reduce, reuse, recycle week during Earth Week.