Biz Buzz: Six firms honored for green practices

Six businesses dedicated to saving energy and reducing their waste were honored Tuesday with Green Awards by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

“We think these awards show it makes good business sense to be green — and brands this community as an environmentally sensitive place,” said chamber President Dave Garth.

The keynote speaker was Deborah Lyons, an environmental sustainability specialist for Hewlett- Packard in Palo Alto. The high-technology company, which is the largest information technology company in the country, was recently named by Newsweek magazine as the greenest company in America.

Lyons’ message was that saving the planet is good for businesses — and the bottom line. She came to San Luis Obispo hoping to inspire local enterprises to measure their energy usage and waste, be efficient with their resources and find new ways to save costs. But after listening to what county businesses were doing to reduce their carbon footprint, she said, “I’m the one who’s inspired.”

The award winners, chosen from among 70 nominees, were:

— Melanie Cleveland

Grants available to help nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations that would like help learning how to collaborate with other groups are invited to apply for funding to help reduce the cost of professional facilitation. Local consultants can offer customized support in the following areas: coaching for performance, consensus of collaborative vision, identifying success factors, assessing realities and external environments, determining strategic objectives and developing action steps.

Backing for this program is made possible through support by First 5 San Luis Obispo County, the Fund for Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation, the Cal Poly Learn and Serve Grant, Nonprofit Support Center, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing and United Way of San Luis Obispo County. The application for funding can be downloaded from

For questions, contact Maria Fabula at 547-2244 ext. 11 or Applications are due Nov. 23.

— Julia Hickey