Tuesday, 16 November 2010 19:56

Canvas Dreams Wins Green Business Leader Award

Congratulations to Canvas Dreams, winner of the 2010 Green Business Leader Award. The sustainable web hosting provider was recognized by their peers for extraordinary leadership.

Green America presented the annual Green Business Leader Award to Canvas Dreams, LLC, a sustainably operated web host certified by Green America and B Corporation, and a recognized EPA 100% Green Power partner. The award was presented on Nov. 6th, at the San Francisco Green Festival. Canvas Dreams, based in Portland, was chosen as the winner from amongst five nominees by Green America’s Green Business Network members, who are all leaders in the green business field.

Photo: Canvas Dreams wins Leader AwardCanvas Dreams was the first Web host in the Pacific Northwest to use 100% wind power in the operation of our business. In the community, Canvas Dreams sponsors non-profits and activities like Green Business Network, Patagonia Rising, and Friends of Trees to educate and raise awareness about sustainable business practices. features a permanent Sustainability Desk and dedicated conference room for holding educational seminars, webinars, and brown-bag networking functions, we are turning our place of business into a place of learning and community.

Sustainable business practices include: features a permanent Sustainability Desk and dedicated conference room for holding educational seminars, webinars, and brown-bag networking functions, an active telecommuting program, and mass-transit reimbursement for staff.

"We are honored to receive this award and designation," said David Anderson, Principal of Canvas Dreams. "A primary goal of our company's Sustainability Program is to serve as an example from which other businesses can learn to adopt and incorporate sustainable principles and web-based technology into their business model, not only to green their business but make it more efficient and flexible in the midst of tough economic times. This award signifies all that we have worked to achieve and we will strive to continue our service to the green community as we move forward."

The other four nominees for the Green Business Leadership Award were Divine Chocolate (Washington, DC), Klean Kanteen (Chico, CA), RSF Social Finance (San Francisco, CA) and To-Go Ware (Berkeley, CA). Read more about all the nominees below.

This year marks the fifth Green Business Leadership Award.  Last year’s award was presented to Dharma Merchant Services (San Francisco, CA). Alexia and Jeff Marcous of Dharma Merchant Services presented this year’s award to Canvas Dreams. Green Business Network member Shasta Visions provided this year’s award.

Click on the company name below to learn more about each of the outstanding businesses nominated for the 2010 Award.

Read about the Nominees for the 2010 Green Business Leadership Award

Canvas Dreams

Sustainable Web Hosting by Canvas DreamsCanvas Dreams, LLC is a sustainably operated Web host certified by Green America and B Corporation and a recognized EPA 100% Green Power partner. We offer shared and reseller hosting, PCI-compliant e-commerce, virtual private and dedicated servers, and hardware colocation. Our customers include progressive radio shows, green businesses, and sustainability organizations. We are committed to the advancement of cleaner, greener Web hosting and Internet services.

Canvas Dreams was the first Web host in the Pacific Northwest to use 100% wind power in the operation of our business. With recent EPA studies showing data centers consume 3% of all energy produced in the United States (and projections indicating this figure could triple by 2020), it is not enough for IT providers to use renewable energy. Total energy consumption must be reduced. We developed an energy-minimization strategy and now design and build our own smaller, high-efficiency servers resulting in 60% energy savings per server for operating and cooling. We strive to be a model for other IT companies to operate sustainably and use technology to reduce their own carbon footprint.

In the community, Canvas Dreams sponsors non-profits and activities like Green Business Network, Patagonia Rising, and Friends of Trees to educate and raise awareness about sustainable business practices. We are also building an interactive community between our customers and vendors to create a self-driving economy that gives back to and supports itself. This full-circle approach is at the core of our Open Framework Sustainability program, which merges business consulting with relationship-based optimization to build community and leverage connections for sustainable growth.

All of these goals have become possible because our staff share a philosophy of helping others in a caring, personal manner. We have designed our business flexibly to support the real life needs of our team members, with a distributed phone and VPN network, an active telecommuting program, and mass-transit reimbursement to help each member do the best job they can. With our new office space in downtown Portland, which features a permanent Sustainability Desk and dedicated conference room for holding educational seminars, webinars, and brown-bag networking functions, we are turning our place of business into a place of learning and community. Over the years, Canvas Dreams has become much more than a Web host; we are closing the loop and tying it all together to benefit our clients, vendors, and staff in a sustainable manner.

 

Divine Chocolate
divinechocolatelogoIn 1997 the family farmers of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Cooperative in Ghana made a historic decision:  to improve the livelihoods of their members and ensure that cocoa farmers had a real voice in the chocolate market they would launch a chocolate brand of their own.  And Divine Chocolate was born. Today, Divine Chocolate is recognized internationally as an innovative social enterprise, a pioneer in Fair Trade, and a purveyor of delectable, premium chocolates for all occasions.

Divine Chocolate's mission is one-of-a-kind: to improve the livelihoods of West African cocoa farmers through their ownership in their own dynamic chocolate company.  Each chocolate bar is a masterpiece of  Kuapa Kokoo's time tested process of drying, fermentation and our careful selection of timeless recipes and flavor combinations.

All Divine Chocolate is made with Fair Trade Certified cocoa. Farmers receive a guaranteed minimum Fair Trade price and a social premium that Kuapa Kokoo invests in schools, health care services, clean water project, and agricultural support programs. Unlike other ethical chocolate brands, Kuapa Kokoo owns 45% of the company, shares in the profits, has two seats on the board and a real say in the company they proudly own.

Klean Kanteen
klean_kanteen-logoBefore anybody else was making stainless steel water bottles for personal hydration, before the health and environmental issues linked to plastic use were widely known, we were cobbling together the first Klean Kanteen prototype from things we bought at the local hardware store in Chico, California. Many years later we are seeing a massive shift away from single-use plastic as more people opt for reusable options and more ecologically sound lifestyles. To see changes of this magnitude in such a short time is inspiring and reinforces our belief that even small, individual actions can make a big, collective difference.

Klean Kanteen’s ability to engage organizations and individuals stems from simple, genuine, purposeful ideals of this small family business and its dedicated staff. Klean Kanteen’s format and structure have led to close partnerships with like-minded organizations, including the Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco, CA-based non-profit committed to identifying and eliminating the environmental causes of cancer; 1% For the Planet, a dynamic organization that promotes giving from the business community to non-profits that work toward preservation and restoration of our natural environment; and NatureBridge, an experiential education-focused non-profit working to inspire personal connections to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. Klean Kanteen is able to benefit people and the planet through on-going support of such organizations by way of direct campaign support, special program funding, donation of design and marketing service, and dedication of a portion of annual product sales. There are no greater gifts we can share with our children than clean air, clean water, richness in plant and animal species, and the ethic of stewardship for our environment. These are the outcomes we seek to support through our non-profit partnerships.

At the end of the day, people are at the heart of Klean Kanteen, the driving motivation behind what we do and how we do it. These “people” include our manufacturers, dealers, and customers, as well as those who live in communities where Klean Kanteens are made, bought and sold, and whose lives we indirectly touch simply by striving to run a cleaner, healthier business. In order to deliver on our heart’s intentions, we have been developing homegrown initiatives to guide decision-making across all company operations – the Sustainable Business Framework and the Manufacturer/Supplier Code of Conduct. Taken together, these initiatives help move the company toward an expression of business that creates long-term profitability through the nurturing of health, environment, community and culture, fair labor, and ethics throughout its endeavors.

 

RSF Social Finance

rsfsocialfinancelogoFounded in 1936 as the Rudolf Steiner Foundation, RSF Social Finance began making loans to Steiner-inspired organizations in 1984. In the late 1990s, RSF’s mission expanded to serve a broader range of clients whose intentions and values are compatible with Steiner’s insights on associative economics and social renewal.

Since 1984, RSF has made over $200 million in loans and over $90 million in grants, placing us in the top tier of social finance organizations worldwide. Our risk management practices have resulted in an extremely low default rate and leverage ratio. For over 25 years, we have consistently provided a positive return on investment for our clients.

Today, RSF offers investing, lending, and giving services to individuals and enterprises committed to improving society and the environment. We currently have over one thousand clients who are creating enormous positive impact by helping us redirect the flow of money from global capital markets to local ones.

Together, we’re creating a shift from financial transactions that are complex, opaque, and anonymous to those that are direct, transparent, and personal. Every decision we make is based on long-term relationships, not short-term outcomes.

Inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, we believe that money has a deeply spiritual dimension. In our view, money is a form of energy that connects one person to another and strengthens the bonds of community. Our innovative financial products not only meet the constantly shifting needs of the market, but also encourage meaningful and direct relationships among investors and social entrepreneurs, donors and grantees.

 

To-Go Ware

togowarelogoTo-Go Ware aims at reducing post-consumer waste and offer “on-the-go” utility for individuals and families with busy lifestyles.  Through a compelling combination of ecology, innovation and compassion, To-Go Ware aims to provide better eating experiences and lifestyle choices for consumers looking for alternatives to plastics and products with an ecological and social mission.

The world produces about 225 million tons of plastic annually. And nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists today. Plastic cutlery is non-biodegradable, can leach toxic chemicals when handled improperly, and is widely used.  An estimated 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in just the United States. The majority of these are thrown out after just one use.  Our utensil sets are direct solution to this problem, encouraging people to move away from a toss and use mentality.  We’ve sold over 300,000 utensil sets since our inception in 2004, encouraging people to reduce their single-use plastic waste.  Our utensils are made of renewable bamboo, a durable and sustainable material option.  We’ve had three styles of utensil holder, that is the carrying case for this item.  Each tells a story:

  • WEAVE: cotton holder, made by Burmese refugee women on the Thai-Burma Border
  • CONSERVE: made by NGO in Delhi, employing rag pickers who reclaim and repurpose plastic shopping bags into our material
  • REPEAT: made from recycled plastic bottles (1 bottle = 1 utensil set)

Our stainless steel items also address the single-use disposable issue, providing reusable, BPA & Phthalate-free alternatives to plastic food containers.  Stainless steel is not only safe, but it has an incredible life cycle spanning decades — and can always be recycled.  The carrier bags we sell to accompany our tiffins are made from post-industrial cotton scraps, and dyed with low-impact dyes.  The hope is that the mission of our products is conveyed through their utility, providing a functional and enjoyable solution to the problems we face today.  But in addition, we hope that in their using them, they become ambassadors for the cause and inspire those around them to make similar choices in their daily life, to reduce their forkprint.

SVlogoSpecial thanks to Shasta Visions for donating this year's award.




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