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MarBorg Industries, Santa Barbara Art Frame Co. Employ Sustained Improvements, Benefits

The local businesses are leaders in incorporating green initiatives into the workplace

Increasingly, local businesses are recognizing the value of incorporating sustainability initiatives into the workplace, not only for the environmental benefits but for the improved working conditions as well. The Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County has played a large role in encouraging local businesses to employ green best practices and maximize the impacts of their environmental initiatives. This article highlights the achievements of two local certified green businesses: MarBorg Industries and the Santa Barbara Art Frame Co.

MarBorg Industries, a local waste hauler serving various areas of Santa Barbara County, is not only a leader in waste management but sustainability as well. Through its partnership with the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County, MarBorg’s dedication to improving the environment has extended beyond the services it provides and is now a part of its corporate policies, operations and values.

MarBorg’s corporate offices employ a comprehensive purchasing policy that requires the purchase of products containing recycled materials. It also has a landscape and hardscape management plan, a green cleaning plan and an integrated pest management policy to help reduce its overall environmental footprint.

In an effort to further reduce its carbon footprint, MarBorg Industries invested in an impressive solar photovoltaic (PV) installation atop a number of its buildings. In early 2006, MarBorg installed more than $500,000 of solar panels at its corporate facilities, creating one of the largest solar installations on the South Coast. Through this installation, MarBorg generates enough energy to power 40 homes on a sunny day!

MarBorg Industries also has taken strides to reduce the carbon emissions of its vehicles by updating its fleet with compressed natural gas (CNG) trash trucks. MarBorg was the first hauler on the South Coast to use CNG collection vehicles, and has continued to steadily add them to the fleet. In September 2010, MarBorg opened its new CNG fueling station for its collection vehicle fleet. Additionally, in October 2007, to ensure a comprehensive fleet of sustainable vehicles, MarBorg began using B5 bio-diesel fuel in all of its diesel vehicles.

A simple reminder to turn off lights, and save energy.
A simple reminder to turn off lights, and save energy. (Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County photo)

Since earning certification though the Green Business Program, MarBorg Industries has begun working toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for existing buildings. The process has resulted in the analysis of current energy use and the development of a low- to no-cost list of energy-efficiency projects.

Similar to MarBorg Industries, the Santa Barbara Art Frame Co., a small framing business in downtown Santa Barbara, is committed to optimizing its operations with green business practices. By utilizing passive solar strategies, skylights provide ample natural lighting for its design and fabrication. It has always recycled office paper, cardboard and all materials possible, and now participate in the City of Santa Barbara’s Food Scrap program.

To conserve water and energy, the Santa Barbara Art Frame Co. installed water-efficient fixtures and energy-efficient appliances. To promote alternative transportation and reduce the impact of employee transportation on the environment, it has instituted a ridesharing policy. Additionally, its location in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara makes it easy to walk to nearby businesses for needed supplies and errands.

The owners are particularly proud of the sustainable frame moldings they offer to customers and are eager to educate suppliers and others in the industry about sustainable framing materials.

Through responsible purchasing and recycling programs, the use of alternative energy and the modernization of older equipment, MarBorg Industries and the Santa Barbara Art Frame Co. are continuously striving to improve overall operations within their organizations and serve as environmental leaders in Santa Barbara County.

— Megan Birney serves on the Steering Committee of the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County on behalf of the Community Environmental Council. Crissy Haley is an intern with the Green Business Program and a master’s degree candidate at the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.

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