Outstanding Business: Bridgestone - Aiken County Plant
Worksites are another very important place for encouraging environmental stewardship.
Bridgestone – Aiken County Plant is being recognized for implementing on-site air
quality improvement strategies. These voluntary initiatives are making a difference
by promoting excellence and leadership at the workplace.
Actions taken by this business include:
- Obtaining the coveted LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council;
- Construction of a solar-powered onsite Environmental Learning Center for internal
meetings and community outreach activities;
- The use of solar energy to power the onsite vehicle fueling station;
- Relamping of its facility to reduce energy consumption;
- Achieving a significant reduction in air emissions from maintenance activities by
converting to 5 percent bio-diesel fuel and reducing grass mowing schedules;
- Conversion of its forklift fleet to hydrogen fuel cells, thus supporting the development
of cleaner burning hydrogen fuel as an alternate to conventional fuels; and
- Increasing participation in carpooling among staff, with preferred parking offered
as an incentive.
Bridgestone is leading through action. They are committed to seeking innovative
approaches to improving air quality, to protect our citizens and the environment
through the worksite.
Outstanding Individuals: Joelle Teachy and Mary Lou Jones of TreesGreenville
Joelle Teachy, executive director of TreesGreenville, a non-profit community organization
whose initiatives are centered on preserving, planting and promoting trees in the
Upstate, is a strong believer that trees are an investment in a community. For each
tree planted, a new legacy is established, with the hope that these trees will be
around for the next 100 years.
Mary Lou Jones is TreesGreenville's education chair and a board member. She has
influenced teachers and students through offering schools an opportunity to share
in the responsibility of caring for the environment and the air that we breathe.
Her efforts have been practiced at schools through educational programs such as
Project Learning Tree, Tree Walk, Tree Gardens, and Neighborhood Woods.
Through her leadership, the TreesGreenville has successfully:
- Educated over 3,300 students on the value of trees;
- Partnered with Greenville County's Spare the Air Campaign
and established a contract with Earth Design to create, design and plant a Tree
Garden at Sevier Middle School (Breathe Better program); and
- Partnered with the Greenville Redevelopment Authority and the Home Depot Foundation
to plant over 150 trees in two rebuilt communities, Freetown and Brutontown.
These co-recipients are great examples of catalysts for taking action to improve
Outstanding School: Ocean Bay Middle School
Ocean Bay Middle School, located in Myrtle Beach attributes its success to the Breathe Better (B2) anti-idling program
The recipient's program included:
- Incorporating the B2 program into the discovery class curriculum, which
included collecting data by monitoring and surveying cars; and
- Students setting up a Science Club booth at a local Earth Day celebration to explain
the B2 program and anti-idling benefits to the community
Prior to the implementation of this program, 40 percent of automobiles idled during after-school
pickup. Following this program's implementation, no cars idled during pick-up, meaning
100 percent of the parents turned their engines off!
Another outcome of this program is a more efficient bus parking plan was designed
which resulted in the elimination of bus idling on campus. This resulted in an estimated
savings of approximately 17 1/2 gallons of fuel per bus, equating to almost 630 gallons
per year saved, for an estimated cost savings of $1500.
Outstanding Local Government: City of Columbia, Climate Protection Action
The City of Columbia Climate Protection Action Campaign (CPAC) has demonstrated
sustained actions and efforts for improving the environment for its citizens. The
city signed on to the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement in October, 2006
and has continued to strive to meet this Agreement's objectives.
Among CPAC's accomplishments this year:
- Participation in the Midlands Lawnmower Exchange, which helped more than 80 Midlands
residents replace gas-powered mowers with more efficient electric ones;
- The education of more than 300 people on how to implement environmental improvements
in the workplace at its "Green is Good for Business" Conference;
- Increasing the number of Green Business members to 100 members;
- Developing a green building incentive program for commercial and residential projects,
which will be funded by formula funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009; and
- Developing a new "Green Congregations" education and outreach program intended to
help shrink carbon footprints within the faith community.
CPAC continues to help do its part for reducing its carbon footprint through innovative
actions. They serve as a model to other local governments that desire to make a
difference in the environment in which its citizens live and work.
Outstanding Volunteer: St. John's Lutheran Church
St. John's Lutheran Church is committed to preserving and protecting human life
by demonstrating good stewardship.
Examples of this church's voluntary initiatives are:
- Developing and implementing its first "Stewardship of God's Creation" program;
- Introducing the concept of caring for the environment through a series of sermons;
- Including "Green Tips" in its weekly bulletins and newsletter, as well as organizing
a group to offer Bible Study and "green information" to other congregations in the
- Organizing a committee to plant a "green" meditation garden in the Town of Walhalla;
St. John's Lutheran's pursuit of improving air quality through progressive education
and outreach efforts has established them as an environmental leader. This organization
was also recently recognized by the "Keep South Carolina Beautiful" as the 2009
Community Leader of the Year.
Pastor David Coffman and his parishioners are making a difference not only within
their spiritual community but also at home, work, school, and the community.
Outstanding Air Quality College or University: Furman University
Furman University, a national leader in sustainability on college campuses and a
prominent resource in the Upstate for sustainability information is committed to
promoting a healthier environment through sustainable initiatives, to build awareness
and motivate others towards positive behavioral changes has made a significant contribution
to improving our state's air quality.
President David E. Shi signed the American College and University President's Climate
Commitment in January 2007. Since that time, Furman has developed dozens of projects
and programs have been implemented to help move the university toward carbon neutrality.
Efforts have included:
- The construction of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability to LEED certification
- The introduction of a "Humans and the Natural Environment" general education requirement;
- The construction of the Solar Aquatic Wastewater Treatment Center (a part of the
Townes Science Center to LEED certification standards; and
- The expansion of the university's already substantial recycling and composting program.
Outstanding Community Air Quality Improvement Campaign: Chesterfield
and Darlington counties, WCRE radio, and The Link newspaper
Staff from Chesterfield and Darlington counties and the owner
of WCRE Radio and The Link Newspaper joined in a collaborative effort with the DHEC Region 4 (Florence)
Environmental Quality Control office to develop and implement an Open Burning Pilot Campaign in Florence County.
The Open Burning Pilot Campaign focused on reducing the use of open burning household
garbage and the use of burn barrels as a means of disposal by area residents.
This campaign informed citizens of the health risks/hazards associated with burning
household garbage and increased their awareness of open burning regulations and
alternatives for properly disposing of household garbage.
As result of this campaign, Darlington and Chesterfield counties have experienced
a reduction in pollution from open burning household garbage and a decrease in the
number of DHEC open burning complaint investigations by 50 percent.
2009 Spare the Air Awards Participants
Any questions? Please call Debra Briggs-Monroe at (803) 898-3752 or email her at SpareAir@dhec.sc.gov.