The City of Golden defines sustainability as living or acting in a manner that balances improving our quality of life, a healthy vibrant community, and mindful stewardship of the natural resources and environment.
The City established the Sustainability Awards program in 2009 to recognize members of the Golden community who are leading the way to a more sustainable future. The Awards honor and publicize residents, businesses, community groups, and nonprofits who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the City’s sustainability goals.
The 2017 Sustainability Awards were presented during the City Council meeting on April 13.
Recognizing students of all ages, from elementary to college-age, who provide positive and sustainable contributions to their community
Exceptional leaders who embody the spirit of sustainability and go above and beyond others in their field.
Companies who demonstrate a commitment to the environmental, social, and economic principles of sustainability and can show measurable savings in the areas of energy conservation, building efficiency, or recycling.
Partners in leadership, who work to ensure the vitality and continued prosperity of the community.
2017 Sustainability Award Winners
David Wann – Individual Award
Mr. David Wann is a nationally and internationally-recognized author of several publications, filmmaker, and speaker on the topic of sustainable lifestyles and designs. Simple Prosperity is a sequel to the best-selling book he coauthored, Affluenza, which is now in nine languages. A third book in the “trilogy” about creating a more sensible way of life is The New Normal, which has just been published by St. Martin’s press. It presents 33 high-leverage actions that can shift our culture in a more sustainable direction. His other works about sustainability include: Superbia!, The Zen of Gardening and Reinventing Community.
Mr. Wann has also produced 20 videos and TV programs, including the award-winning TV documentary “Designing a Great Neighborhood,” about the Holiday neighborhood in Boulder. He worked more than a decade as a policy analyst for U.S. EPA and co-designed the cohousing neighborhood, Harmony Village.
Golden High School Environment Club – Student Award
The Golden High School Environmental Club has worked hard over the past several years and the 2016-2017 year has produced several successes. Last spring, the Club invited Golden’s Mayor, Sustainability Board and staff to speak to the freshman class about the City’s efforts and about how a new generation can do their part to help the environment. This group of about 25 students has also been working toward a first-ever compost program through a partnership between the High School, the City, and Alpine Waste. As a pilot program, the initial efforts will handle cafeteria waste and has stations in five classrooms. Lastly, the group held an Earth Day fest on April 22, inviting other regional high schools and featuring a cleanup event, speakers, and a variety of sustainability booths.
City staff thanks the hard working students led by Emmy Adams, as well as their dedicated staff member, Mr. Mendoza, for bringing students together and working on important topics and values.
The Colorado Environmental Film Festival – Community Group Award
The Colorado Environmental Film Festival is recognized for their zero waste efforts at this year’s film festival and their ongoing commitment to sustainability education. The Film Festival strives to highlight films that leave people feeling that they can be a part of the solution to environmental problems. With a growing public awareness for the environment, the Festival aims to increase this groundswell through inspiring and educational films that, hopefully, will motivate people to go out and make a difference in their community and around the world. Their goal is to model sustainability in all areas of the film festival, including: reducing waste and providing recycling at screenings and events (with a goal of “Zero Waste”); offsetting carbon emissions; using recycled materials; encouraging the use of public transportation and carpooling; supporting local, organic, and fair trade producers.
Colorado Environmental Film Festival 2017 Zero Waste Report to learn more about the Festival’s successes from this past year! 2017 Sustainability Award Trophies
The City strives to feature local artists who might reuse or recycle materials in their art. This year’s awards were created by Liz McCombs, a local clay sculptor. Liz is an award-winning artist and has been working with ceramics for over a decade. Her work has been featured in many Golden and Denver art shows and the Foothills Art Center. 2016 Sustainability Award Winners
Ali Moradi – Individual Award
Mr. Moradi is a Colorado School of Mines PhD Candidate researching Soil Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Systems. He is working to improve renewable energy storage systems to increase efficiency in capturing and storing renewable energy in the form of heat.
Typical solar energy storage systems capture the heat of the sun to heat water; the heated water is then circulated through a system of underground vertical pipes to raise the temperature of the soil during summer. In winter, by circulating cold water through the soil, the stored heat can be extracted and used to heat up homes. This system is different from typical geothermal heat exchanger systems that bring the earth’s heat up. Ali’s research is focused on capturing heat from renewable sources like solar (not earth’s heat).
These systems are typically low in efficiency, so Ali is trying to increase that through modeling and field research. The City appreciates Ali’s cutting edge research and innovative ideas and we believe Ali embodies the principles of sustainability that our community values.
eThos Electric Car Share – Business Award
eThos Electric Car Share is the nation’s first all-electric vehicle (EV) car share dedicated to running on renewable energy. Their mission is to encourage the widespread adoption of electric vehicles grounded in efficiency, local renewable energy sources, and right-size travel.
eThos was chosen for a sustainability award based on their commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Their pledge to never use gas supports domestic energy and helps fight climate change. The EV cars that eThos provides to its members are incredibly efficient and improve local air quality.
eThos is the only all-electric car share in Colorado. They chose to place their headquarters in Golden due to our walkable downtown and the fact that Golden is a hub for numerous renewable energy projects. Golden also has no existing car share service, making it an ideal spot from which to launch the nation’s first all-electric cleanest car share.
Steelhead Composites – Business Award
Steelhead Composites is a world class advanced manufacturing company, based in the heart of Golden. Steelhead is dedicated to the manufacturing of lightweight, high-strength cylinders to be used for weight-sensitive energy and fuel storage applications.
Steelhead Composites is being recognized for their innovative lightweight composite accumulators. The new drive technology provides better fuel economy, reduces harmful emissions and delivers more power at the same time. The accumulators are a vital component in every hydraulic hybrid vehicle system. This technology helps to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, resulting in greater range for equal fuel consumption and provides the added bonus of lowering carbon fuel emission. The end result can be as much as a 40 percent uptick in fuel efficiency.
By creating weight sensitive fuel storage containers, Steelhead Composites is contributing to a cleaner more fuel efficient world.
Free Horizon Montessori – Student Award
The school’s Board of Directors and Building Corporation partnered with Namaste Solar out of Boulder to install a 171 kW array for the school, which is sized to produce 90 percent of the school’s electricity needs. They facilitated this through a Power Purchase Agreement arrangement with a private financier out of California, Wiser Capital. Wiser owns the array and the school serves as the host site; the school purchases the power back from Wiser Capital at a fixed cost, which is projected to save the school almost $500,000 over the life of the agreement compared to standard Xcel rates.
The array installed this past summer and completed the metering change over in September. At the official ribbon cutting, Free Horizon had 40 local professionals from science and engineering fields here to volunteer as judges for its Science & Engineering Fair also being held that day. The primary participants, however, were their student body of 300 students.
2015 Sustainability Award Winners
Rois Langner and Travis Scheefer – Individual Award
Recognized for their Passive House at 407 Garden Street, these Goldenites are a credit to our community, and true leaders in the realm of energy conservation and efficiency. Rois and Travis achieved 66 out of 25 required points on the residential sustainability menu, going far above and beyond the City’s requirements. The home’s amenities include the following green-building best practices: Net Zero energy use with 4.0 kW solar system, built to Passive House standard, insulated slab, Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), Passive solar gain, Custom high-efficiency windows manufactured in Colorado, Lifetime metal roof, high recycled content and all electric, no natural gas utilized.
Golden Optimists – Community AwardPresident Howard Bagdad, Vice president Ed Greivel, Treasurer Fred Clifford, Ted Rains and Suzanne Stutzman
The Optimists’ Bike Program repairs and distributes donated bikes to children and adults that cannot afford a bicycle. In, 2014, about 200 bicycles were recycled and donated to low income and the physically challenged individuals. The program plays an important role in not only helping the community, but also in assisting the City in achieving its alternative transportation goals. With a goal of trying to reduce overall vehicle miles traveled in Golden by 25% by 2017, biking is a viable and key option for most every resident, visitor, and employee in Golden. The Optimist program raises the visibility of this option to make biking accessible to all citizens. Natural Grocers – Business Award
Kemper Isely, Co-president and Chairman of the Board for Natural Grocers
Natural Grocers achieved 30 out of 25 points required under Golden’s Green Menu points system. accepted the award on behalf of Natural Grocers. At Natural Grocers, the following green practices have been utilized:
Double the minimum bike parking, including showers for employees
Connections to transit stops and walking paths into adjacent neighborhood.
Electric charging stations
Points for redevelopment of a brownfield site
100% indoor and outdoor LED lighting
Heat reclamation from refrigeration equipment
A cardboard baler and bagless policy
Recycled and reclaimed building materials and low VOC finishes
Bell Middle School iSTEM program – Student Award
Susan Arntson, iSTEM Director, Teachers and Students
This year’s program includes the design and testing of different vermicomposting environments in a space atmosphere. Students used 3D software to design vital habitat requirements within a limited space given by NASA. They then tested different models by creating them through a 3D printer and finalized two experiments using their research. Composting plays a key role in Golden’s commitment to diverting our community’s waste by 25% by 2017. The students’ research and insight into how compost might work in space shows an innovation that is very appreciated by our City Council and community. 2015 Sustainability Award Trophies
The Sustainability Award Trophies this year were created by local watercolor artist Becky Pearson. Several Golden landmarks are represented in the awards – Welcome to Golden/Historic Downtown, Table Mountain and Clear Creek. 2014 Sustainability Award Winners
Chuck Baroch – Individual Award
As Golden’s former Mayor, Chuck’s early leadership through the adoption of the sustainability goals was instrumental in setting the initiative on a path forward. Chuck’s longstanding family connection in Golden and ties to CSM fueled his passion for serving the Golden community through various boards including the Golden Vision 2010 committee, Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, Golden Urban Renewal Authority and the last six years on the inaugural Community Sustainability Advisory Board. Grant Sustainable Builders – Business Award
Peter Grant started his company with the concept that sustainability defines how Grant Sustainable Builders approaches the building process. Pete’s current project embodies many of the same elements as his others; his Ford Street remodel is on pace to divert 38 percent of the construction waste, has an efficient thermal envelope, daylighting, LEDs, high efficiency HVAC & water heaters, and a real sustainable innovation is the exterior rain screen. Pete’s philosophy of extending these ideas of sustainability to the community qualifies him as one of Golden’s finest green builders. Earth Treks Golden – Business Award
The owners of Earth Treks Golden embarked on a design that is unlike any of their other locations. Earth Treks Golden is the largest climbing facility in Colorado and ranks among the best in the U.S. The owners of Earth Treks Golden also understand the return on investment for their green building efforts. Their sustainable building elements of the new gym on Golden Ridge Road include a 60kW solar photovoltaic system, more than 5,000 square feet of porous pavement, preferred parking for carpools, electric vehicles, and bicycles, and a building that is 15 percent more energy efficient than required by code. Gunslinger Custom Paint – Business Award
Gunslinger may be best known for their unique motorcycle artwork and talented design staff, but this fast growing company also knows the value of being green. After outgrowing their current digs, Gunslinger added a 16,000 square foot warehouse to their site and hired another 50 employees. The new building includes many sustainable building elements, such as separate utility metering for tenants, porous pavement, double the amount of bicycle parking required, 20 percent more trees and an electrical vehicle charging station.
Golden Earth Days – Community Group Award
Since 1990, Golden Earth Days has conducted its mission of promoting greater environmental awareness in the Golden area. Beyond their annual Clear Creek Canyon clean-up efforts, tree plantings, and ongoing lecture series, Golden Earth Days also hosts annual Earth Day celebrations with solar cooking demonstrations, wildflower seed giveaways, renewable energy displays and an artists’ reception. In addition, this community group created a signature event for the Golden Community – the annual Golden Solar Home Tour. 2014 Sustainability Award Trophies
The Sustainability Award Trophies this year were created by Alyssa Graves, owner of Art on the Brix, and were made with recycled metal from the city’s trash bins. Several elements of sustainability are represented in the awards – the environmental (trees), economic (pennies), and effort (gears).” 2013 Sustainability Award Winners
Bell Middle School’s iSTEM Program
In its inaugural year (2012-2013), Bell Middle School’s iSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) focused on biodiversity for the Spring semester. The teams constructed an aquaponic system that uses Tilapia fish that provide nutrients for live plants in a sustainable system. Warren Tech and Infinite Harvest collaborated with the students to showcase the project to the public in March 2013. Students were divided into separate groups with responsibilities in maintaining or reporting on the project’s progress, including:
Community Education group – develops community awareness about sustainability and biodiversity
Techology group – monitors pH levels in the water, temperature, light and salinity. Runs a GoPro cam for a live video feed of the fish.
Plant group – charts plant growth and uses Colorado Native plants
School Education group – sets up school tours and assemblies
Social Media group – is creating the website and Facebook pages
Fish group – maintains the tank and tracks fish health
Congratulations to Bell for a successful start to the iSTEM program and for furthering knowledge of sustainable biodiversity.
Electrical Technologies building at 16145 Table Mountain Parkway
When he needed new headquarters for his company, Gerry Suman went beyond the City’s green building requirements because he views energy efficiency in particular as an investment that will pay off financially in just a few years. Whereas typical light industrial buildings are notoriously energy inefficient, Gerry Suman spent months researching innovative strategies to incorporate into the building designs. The result is an extremely energy efficient building and perhaps the most sustainable commercial building in Golden. Its features include:
Net Zero energy building, 11,400 square feet of new construction
Insulated concrete form construction for a tighter building envelope
30kW solar photovoltaic system
Geothermal heat means the HVAC system turns on less, even when it’s snowing sideways
20% more trees than required
Electric vehicle plug-ins
Double the number of bike racks required, employee showers
Congratulations to Gerry Suman, for his effort and foresight to create a successful green building; both environmentally and economically viable.
2013 Sustainability Award Trophies
The 2013 Sustainability Award Trophies were designed again this year by local artist, Nannette Johnson, of Remedavelo and uses recycled bike parts. 2012 Sustainability Award Winners
2012 Individual Awards
As a grass roots organizer, Barbara brought single-stream recycling to more than 370 condos in Golden Ridge. To gauge interest about recycling from residents, Barbara placed posters in each building, asking if people would support recycling service. Barbara used her own website to distribute information, and based on web traffic to her site, formed a proposal to the condo management. Convinced by her data and the majority of condo owners who showed support for recycling, the HOA was able to negotiate a new contract with their waste hauler to include recycling service at no additional cost. The new recycling enclosure was constructed last August with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Golden Ridge Condos also upgraded the windows in many of the common areas to double-paned and updated the common laundry areas with new energy efficient front loading washers.
Don Cameron has been a local high school chemistry and physics teacher for more than 10 years. After a long career as an engineer in Colorado, Don went back to school to get a teaching certificate because he wanted to be part of educating the next generation of scientists and inspiring them to consider engineering as a career. Don was a leader of the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Sustainability Working Group and member of the Solid Waste & Recycling Working Group as part of Golden’s original Sustainability Initiative. Don and his wife Carol have converted space on his lot in the East Street District into a neighborhood garden, allowing several neighbors to use 9 “plots” in this space. His community garden produces hundreds of pounds of produce each year. Don leads and manages a website for a local Golden bicycling group. Don’s motiviation comes from a desire to take action and be more effective than simply words on paper. 2012 Community Group Award: Compass Montessori – Eric Albright (Teacher)
Environmental education is a significant part of Compass Montessori’s curriculum and addresses topics such as recycling, food production, wildland restoration, compact fluorescents, and international sustainability efforts.
In 2011, the school installed 128kW of solar.
A growing “dome” is currently under construction that will allow students to farm organic produce.
Students performed an energy audit of the school’s buildings to learn about energy conserving measures.
Students participate in an active farm setting, selling produce and creating a fresh lunch daily for 205 students and staff.
The school also raises farm animals for food and fiber, and students spin yard from Alpacas.
2012 Sustainability Award Trophies
Nannette Johnson is a Golden artist who was commissioned by the City to create this year’s sustainability awards.
“I am a naturalist by training, always exploring and enjoying the environment,” she says.” I am a teacher, I am a jeweler, and ceramic sculptor, I am a mother and a gardener who also happens to enjoy riding bikes and playing in marching bands.”
Each of the three awards incorporated used bike gear rings and disc brakes atop a stained oak base with a brass plaque inscribed with this year’s award recipients.
2011 Sustainability Award Winners
2011 Individual Award: Pat & Brian Martinek
Pat and Brian Martinek embody a sustainable lifestyle which includes energy efficiency renewable energy, recycling, and alternative tranportation. Among their achievements:
They designed their own passive solar home, built into the hillside on North Table Mountain, which is insulated to R50 and features double-paned argon windows and a 2.88 kW photovoltaic system. Their home has been featured as part of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) solar home tour three times.
Pat & Brian are avid recyclers. In fact, Pat qualifies as a recycling “activist” through her creation of home products using recyclable materials. Pat also teaches classes on spinning and knitting using dog and rabbit hair.
Pat & Brian are committed to bicycling and bus commuting.
2011 Community Group Award – The Golden Visitors Center
Provides a robust environmental education program to vistors which covers topics such as West Nile virus, bear safety, toxic chemicals in the home, recycling, renewable energy, and Clear Creek water quality. Through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Visitors Center also has a children’s program that teaches about forestry, pollution and animal habitats.
The Visitors Center itself features many sustainability elements: drought-tolerant landscaping, LED lighting, and low-flow fixtures, all purchased locally.
The Visitors Center volunteers are committed to living sustainable lifestyles and help the Center promote sustainability through walking groups, eyeglass collection, and tours of the DOE Wind Technology Center north of Golden.
2011 Business Award – The Golden Hotel
In 2010, installed a 33 kW solar photovoltaic system which saves over 40,000 kWh annually. This is the equivalent of saving almost 100,000 vehicle miles driven and planting 3,500 trees. Energy Audit, motion sensors and room monitoring systems to reduce electricity when not needed.
A lighting retrofit currently in process; estimated to save $3,000 per month and over 35,000 kilowatt hours annually.
Water efficient fixtures throughout the Hotel
Recycling program and waste reduction through bulk guest amenities instead of sample sizes.
Energy Star appliances
2011 Business Award – Andersen & Hallas Architects
When the firm renovated the old motel as their offices they used reclaimed lumber from the old north Golden High School. Other components include a ground-source heat pump, porous asphalt, natural daylighting and 100% green power. The remodeled building is certified by the USGBC as LEED Gold – the only building in Golden with this designation. Andersen & Hallas employees also use sustainability best practices in the workplace through a green purchasing program, recycling, bike and telecommuting.
2011 Business Award – MIE Properties
In 2010, MIE installed over 850 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic collection on ten of their light industrial buildings at the Corporate Center Industrial Park on West Colfax Avenue.
The project is approximately $2M, offset by Xcel Energy rebates and a federal grant. “This is certainly the largest investment MIE has ever made in alternative energy,” said Steve Rasmussen, regional partner of MIE Properties. “And we’re absolutely thrilled to be taking our first foray into solar power here in Golden.”
MIE’s investment increased the annual solar contribution to the City in 2010 by over 1200%. Tenants will buy their electricity back from MIE with the revenue being used to offset the company’s substantial investment. “Our tenants are reacting very positively,” said Rasmussen. “This will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of not only MIE Properties but all the businesses that operate within these buildings.”
2010 Sustainability Award Winners
2010 Student Award
A local first grader, Robbie started his business, Sand Shark, in 2009 to raise money to help feed children in Colorado through selling reusable cloth napkins made in Golden. To date, Robbie has raised funds that have provided lunches to over 250 children and has partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies to raise awareness. His Feeding Frenzie napkins are reusable and help prevent waste. Robbie’s business embodies the spirit of sustainability by addressing the Golden community’s social, economic, and environmental needs.
2010 Individual Award
The family of Lloyd Athearn and Povy Atchison
The family of Lloyd Athearn and Povy Atchison (with their son, Forrest) have demonstrated how families can successfully live sustainably in Golden.
A historic renovation of an old garage into the Rockin A Studio, which used reclaimed materials (old wood siding from a dismantled barn) and a 4.2 kW solar system for a home-based business (VMT reduction).
Water conserving dual-flush toilets, low-flow fixtures, and energy-efficient appliances.
Active in the Golden community, through Lloyd’s participation on the Walkability Task Force and Povy’s green-living writing for Natural Home magazine.
Dedicated recyclers, xeric gardeners, and back-yard composters
Long-time users of mass transit and proving that Golden is very walkable through their daily commute to work and day care.
2010 Business Award
Woody’s Wood-fired Pizza
Co-owner: Jon Bortles
Through its many programs, Woody’s demonstrates that sustainability can positively contribute to a business bottom line.
9.84 kW solar photovoltaic system, including a public interactive display to show the system’s energy production, CO2 savings and costs.
Automated energy monitoring, high-efficiency appliances and lights
Water-conserving fixtures (waterless urinals, front-loading washers)
A rigorous recycling program that diverts 50,000 cubic feet of waste each year
Biodegradable or recycled disposable products and office supplies
VMT reduction through local purchasing and right-timing deliveries
2010 Business Award
A Better Car Wash
Jim Beetham, owner
Jim owns two ABC’s, one of which, is located at 730 Heritage Road. His car washes:
Conserve water through on-site reclamation
Prevent waste water pollution from entering Golden’s rivers
Use biodegradable chemistry
Conserve energy through efficient lighting
ABC was recognized by the Western Carwash Association as “most innovative” for their efforts.
2010 Business Award
Golden Real Estate
Jim Smith – owner
Jim has continually invested in making his building at 17695 S. Golden Road more energy efficient through the following:
5.2 kW solar photovoltaic system
3 solar tubes eliminate the need for interior lighting on most days
LED light fixtures and CFLs
Open invitation to the public to drop off polystyrene (Styrofoam) for recycling in Denver
Provides reused moving boxes and moving truck for clients’ use.
Jim is participating in the current CSM study to design a small wind turbine for his building.
2010 Community Group Award
Institute for Environmental Solutions
Carol Lyons, Director
The goal of IES’s pilot program in Golden, Contaminants of Emerging Concern, is to use education to mitigate and prevent the introduction of household and personal care contamination to the downstream water supply. For more than a year, IES has worked with Golden stakeholders (utilities, manufacturers, researchers and residents) to evaluate contaminants and implement effective communication strategies to reduce impacts. IES’s outreach to the Golden public and stakeholders has provided a valuable service to the Golden community.
is a sixth grader at Shelton Elementary where he is a dedicated recycler. Ms. Susan DeCamp, Shelton’s art teacher, nominated Jacques because he consistently shows up on time every week to help with the school’s recyclable material. Jacques arrives early to school in the morning to help with the recycling, but in a remarkable act of dedication, Jacques even showed up on a snow day to fulfill his responsibilities.
This effort began 10 years ago when the beer distributors for the Ace High tavern discontinued taking returnable bottles for reuse. Mr. Stillman’s waste hauler, EDS, recommended a local gentleman who now provides glass recycling for his use. Subsequently, Dave Shuey of Foss Liquors joined the Ace High program and offers to take back all glass beer and liquor bottles from his customers, as well as gives a 5% discount for new purchases when customers bring in bottles for recycling. Jolynn Johnson also joined the partnership and brings the glass recyclables to Mr. Stillman’s container for weekly pickup.
The glass is taken directly to Rocky Mountain bottling company, which reduces VMT and fuel consumption by eliminating the need to bring the material to a sorting facility prior to re-use. This partnership of downtown businesses is a prime example of how sustainable business decisions can be mutually beneficial, as well as conserve our natural resources.
In January 2009, a small group of motivated residents met to discuss how a community garden could benefit the Golden Community. The group’s goals were to promote local food sources, strengthen community ties, and to provide education on how gardening can foster sustainable behavior. This group of residents included Matt Burde, Bob Weber, David Braden, David Ward, Kemp Gillis, Brenda Porter, Linda Sorenson, Gary Leak, and Susan Saarinen. In a short amount of time, this group, led by Matt Burde, found a site, designed a layout, raised funds and secured permission by City Council to start the gardens in May 2009.