What do recycled pillows, workforce training and a reimagined landfill have in common?

They’re all among the sustainable efforts of local businesses and organizations that are being recognized with a 2021 Go Green Award this year from Tucson Electric Power. The awards are given annually to highlight meaningful work that protects our environment, preserves natural resources and promotes sustainability in some way in our community.

The Go Green awards are being presented virtually again this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

“Our award recipients are being recognized for their exemplary journey to sustainability as well as their efforts to enlighten and inform others in our community,” said Dallas Dukes, Vice President, Customer Experience, Programs and Pricing. “Sustainability is one of the core values at TEP, whether it’s expanding our use of renewable energy, helping our customers make wise choices around energy usage or volunteering at local events to help our neighbors. We congratulate these nine organizations that demonstrate their own commitment every day to doing a better job for the planet.”

This year’s award recipients along with a description of their efforts and a short video are:

Conservation Partner Award – City of Tucson

The City of Tucson has an unshakeable commitment to decarbonization in response to climate change. As a few examples, the City is working toward making Tucson’s only active landfill a “zero waste” sustainability campus and is leading the way on transit electrification to keep the air clean and promote public health. From Mayor Regina Romero’s goal of planting 1 million trees to its Green Stormwater Infrastructure, the city is taking decisive steps to combat climate change.

Community Partner Award – Thrive in the 05

Miracle Mile was once a significant commercial corridor, serving as a gateway for visitors traveling across the country. For their efforts to highlight the area’s unique treasures and support revitalization by building human capital to find solutions, we acknowledge the efforts of Thrive in the O5.

Pioneering Partner Award – ASARCO/Komatsu

From the cell phones we use to the cars we drive, copper mining supports our modern lives. ASARCO and Komatsu have shown their leadership in leveraging innovative solutions in this critical industry. On property leased from ASARCO, Komatsu is working on developing sustainable solutions through zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure, including a new trolley truck system that runs in part on electricity.

Collaborative Partner Award – Hotel Congress

Hotel Congress supports sustainable stays in the heart of Tucson, earning five star reviews as our Collaborative Partner. Hotel leaders have been proactive in rethinking how the industry can adopt more sustainable practices across the board. Drawing on the expertise and energy of many other partners, they’ve successfully reduced landfill-bound waste, installed low-flow bathroom fixtures and solar water heaters, minimized single-use lotion and shampoo and have given recycled wine bottles a second life as water glasses. Soon, guest also will be able to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) there.

Educational Partner Award – STEMAZing Institute

STEM education teaches our children how to find future solutions for a healthier world. The STEMAZing Institute, a program of the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office, offers workshops that provide teachers with engaging, hands-on activities – and the right supplies – that they can bring back to their classrooms. Importantly, the STEMAZing Institute was able to adapt and deliver these teaching opportunities during the pandemic when teachers needed it the most.

Sustainable Partner Award – JW Marriott – Starr Pass

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass has assessed its operations from the ground up and is making conscious choices that reduce its impact on the planet. Its recycling efforts include not just cardboard, paper, aluminum, cans and glass, but also food waste and even fryer grease. The hotel is currently retrofitting guest room lighting with LEDs and installing EV chargers to support guests who choose to drive zero-emission vehicles.

Trailblazing Partner Award – Pima County

Ensuring a cleaner, healthier environment is key to the region’s economic health and Pima County is leading the way. From the Chuck Huckelberry Loop, a nationally recognized biking and walking trail, to energy efficient facilities and a fleet electrification effort that will lead to cleaner air while saving money on fuel and maintenance, the County is working to promote a more livable, sustainable and economically vibrant community.

Eco-Friendly Partner Award – University of Arizona/Tucson Village Farm

This year, the University of Arizona became the largest research university in the nation to offset all of its “scope-two” carbon emissions – those associated with purchased energy – through a landmark clean energy supply agreement with TEP.  The UArizona also is contributing to our community’s sustainability in other ways, from its solar research to its work to find sound, interdisciplinary solutions to environmental challenges. We’re also proud to honor its efforts at the Tucson Village Farm to engage, educate and inspire our youth to shape a better collective response to climate change.

Innovative Partner Award – Pima Community College

Too many good local jobs are going unfilled. Pima Community College is actively engaging business leaders to ensure a stronger connection between higher education and a strong workforce. For its groundbreaking work to establish Centers of Excellence at its campuses, we are recognizing Pima Community College as an Innovative Partner. Its efforts are redefining workforce training and sustainability in our community.

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