2015 Green 20: Colorado companies carving out paths to sustainability.

Author:Ryckman, Lisa
 
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Airius

Longmont / (Product) / theairpear.com

In 2004, Airius CEO Ray Avedon had a problem at his plastic injection molding company: The 30-foot ceilings in the manufacturing area meant the warm air would rise to the ceilings and employees on the floor level would be cold --no matter what the thermostat said. So he came up with a solution and a centerpiece for his business. The Air Pear destratification fan increases heating and cooling efficiency and reduces energy bills by solving the problem of "thermal stratification," the layering of air in buildings. Stratification is a proven factor for energy loss in buildings and inefficiency in HVAC systems. Airius fans destratify, or equalize, a building's temperature by moving air in a vertical column from ceiling to floor and recirculating it until there is no more than a 3 degree difference in temperature, leading to operational savings of up to 35 percent or more.

aWhere Inc.

Broomfield / (Product) / awhere.com

Certified B Corporation aWhere delivers agricultural intelligence right into the hands of commercial growers and policymakers around the world. This decision-making data can be generated for a single field and aggregated across areas to inform national policy or corporate objectives. The company captures more than a billion points of data every day to create unprecedented visibility and insight anywhere on the planet, from California's Central Valley to small farms in Ghana. The company has virtualized most of its servers and has begun using hot aisle containment, which reduces cooling power consumption by as much as 30 percent.

Brown Palace Hotel

Denver / (Practice) / brownpalace.com

The Brown Palace redesigned its in-room amenity line in summer 2013 featuring organic essence, BPA-free plastics and paraben-free amenities. The new line is infused with honey from the hotel's own beehives, which live on the hotel's roof and pollinate the downtown Denver area. This project also included biodegradable shoe and laundry bags and 100 percent recycled content in the cardboard packaging for its shower caps and shoe shine. The hotel also maintains a sustainable purchasing policy.

Cool Planet

Greenwood Village / (Product) / coolplanet.com

Cool Planet transforms renewable biomass into environmentally friendly hydrocarbon fuels like gasoline into organic biocarbon products, starting with its CoolTerra[TM] soil amendment. Its green fuels are chemically identical to fossil fuels, and the CoolTerra[TM] soil amendment sequesters carbon, increases crop productivity and promotes more robust plant health while reducing fertilizer and water requirements. For farmers and growers in the Western U.S. and elsewhere, the commercially available amendment gives them the ability to maintain or improve their crop yield, even in drought conditions with less water and fertilizer.

DaVita

Denver / (Practice) / davita.com / *Green Colorado

Company - Year 2

In 2010, DaVita established a set of 2015 environmental goals, integrating principles of sustainability and pursuing innovative processes, while lessening the environmental impact of its operations. Starting this year, all its new construction and remodeled clinics will include LED lights in addition to environmentally preferable equipment such as solar shades, light shelves, daylight systems, energy efficient HVAC systems, floor and ceiling finishes and more. Teammates at its world headquarters in Denver are offered an RTD EcoPass, which provides free transportation through the bus and light rail system. The company is working to reduce energy consumption by 15 percent per treatment, reduce water consumption by 10 percent per treatment, and reduce office paper consumption by 20 percent per treatment.

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