Tucson Electric Power is recognizing nine local businesses and organizations with Go Green Awards on September 17 for their partnership in promoting greater sustainability through efforts that range from saving small owls and salvaging cactuses to brewing responsibly.
TEP’s Go Green Awards recognize green efforts such as recycling and waste reduction, use of renewable energy, conservation and wildlife protection and zero-emission electric transportation. Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the awards are being presented virtually this year.
“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 Catherine E. Ries, TEP Vice President of Customer and Human Resources.
Environmental Protection Partner Award – Wild at Heart
Urban development often forces wildlife out of its natural habitat. Such is the case for the small burrowing owl. Through a long partnership, TEP and our employees have worked closely with this wildlife rescue group to build underground artificial dens and relocate these tenacious little owls to safer habitats.
Preservation Partner Award – Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society
Cactuses are iconic symbols of our home here in the Sonoran desert – providing beauty as well as shelter and food for wildlife in our unique desert ecosystem. The Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society researches and rescues desert vegetation. TEP volunteers support their efforts to conserve plants that might otherwise be lost to urban growth and construction.
Community Partner Award – Town of Oro Valley
Visitors to Naranja Park enjoy solar-powered shade as a result of a partnership between TEP and the Mayor and Council of the Town of Oro Valley. The addition of solar shade structures at the park provides a desirable amenity to park-goers and demonstrates our shared commitment to community-wide sustainability.
Progressive Partner Award – City of Tucson and Sun Tran
The road to a sustainable future is best traveled in an electric vehicle. The fastest way we can get to a smaller carbon footprint is to make our vehicles cleaner. TEP has been working closely with the City of Tucson and Sun Tran to support the electrification of our public transit system’s bus fleet.
Educational Partner Award – Cox Communications
Cox has been quietly working behind the scenes for 11 years in a concentrated effort to drive positive environmental change. As part of Cox’s corporate social responsibility efforts, the company has set goals to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2024 and carbon and water neutrality by 2044.
Collaborative Partner Award – Borderlands Brewing Co.
As a microbiologist and cofounder of Tucson’s Borderlands Brewing Co., Mike Mallozzi wants to do his part to help save the planet – and ultimately, his beer. Mallozzi and cofounder, Es Teran, joined TEP’s GoSolar Shares program to power their business with renewable solar energy. This program gives businesses an easy and affordable way to go solar with renewable energy produced locally by TEP’s large solar arrays.
Media Partner Award – KOLD News 13
When viewers tune in to the KOLD News 13 weather forecast, they can learn how many homes are being powered by solar and wind energy on any given weekday. KOLD is believed to be the first TV station in the country to air a solar and wind energy report as a regular part of its newscast.
Sustainable Partner Award – Regional Partnering Center (RPC)
Sabino Canyon is treasured in this community for its recreational and health benefits, as well as for its cultural and natural resources. As a result of a project that is visionary for public land and the first of its kind for any federal park, visitors and hikers to this special place are now enjoying a greatly enhanced experience as a result of zero-emissions electric shuttles.
Big Picture Partner Award – The University of Arizona
The pace of innovation is accelerating all of the time, and universities are at the forefront of the revolution. With an agreement to purchase wind and solar energy from TEP, the UA became the largest research university in the country with a plan to offset all of its Scope 2 emissions – the ones associated with the power provided by utilities.
“TEP’s commitment to protect and conserve our natural resources and the environment is demonstrated through these partnerships with our Go Green Award winners,” Ries said, “as well as by our broad offering of efficiency programs, ambitious expansion of our solar and wind energy resources, and variety of community solar programs offered to residential and commercial customers.”
Stream the ceremony to learn more about these local efforts and to hear from the award recipients.