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GreenBusinessChallengeNearly 100 local organizations participating in the Westchester Green Business Challenge (WGBC) and Westchester Green Business-Certified programs will be honored for their green business leadership at the WGBC's 4th Annual Recognition Event taking place from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains.

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Dr. Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester, today announced and recognized the outstanding achievements of six Westchester-based firms in the following categories:

  • Outreach & Organizational Commitment: Hendrick Hudson Free Library (Montrose)
  • Energy: The Colonial Needle Company (White Plains)
  • Waste Management & Green Products: Diamond Properties (Mount Kisco)
  • Transportation: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division (White Plains)
  • Land Use: Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm (Yorktown Heights)
  • Water Resources: Doubletree Tarrytown (Tarrytown)

"The diversity of honorees reflects the widespread appeal of the Green Business Challenge," Astorino said. "Companies of all sizes and industries are realizing that implementing sustainable business practices is a win-win for the environment and for the bottom line."

The highly prestigious Charles W. Brown, Jr. Sustainability Award will be presented this year to Reckson, a division of SL Green Realty Corp., one of the largest commercial property managers in Westchester County and a leading proponent of sustainable tenant spaces. The award was established two years ago in memory of the founder and owner of C.W. Brown, the Armonk-based firm that became the first existing facility in Westchester to receive LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

"Reckson is honored to receive this environmental award in recognition of our market leading sustainability program," said Jay Black, Reckson's Director of Sustainability. "Thank you to the Westchester Green Business Challenge, The Business Council of Westchester, and C.W. Brown for your confidence and support by choosing Reckson for this award that represents a true commitment and passion for the environment. We hope that this achievement, combined with our efforts now and in the future, will inspire others here in Westchester."

Founded in 2009 as an innovative private-public partnership between Westchester County and The Business Council of Westchester, the WGBC is a 501c-3 non-profit designed to educate and inspire all Westchester businesses to move down the path toward environmental sustainability while improving performance and saving money. Con Edison has been the program's Platinum Sponsor since 2010. To date over 275 local businesses have joined the WGBC, which was expanded earlier this year to include a new certification program – "Westchester Green Business-Certified." The 18 pilot participants will be acknowledged at the event, and the first companies to achieve Westchester Green Business Certification will be announced.

"It has been enormously satisfying to see this program expand in Westchester County and become a regional, statewide and even national model for others to follow," Marsha Gordon said. "Employers from all industries are realizing that sustainability is an essential ingredient to their long-term success and ability to retain the most talented workforce."

For more information about the WGBC and the June 5 event, including sponsorship opportunities, visit www.westchestergreenbusinesschallenge.org or contact WGBC Co-chairs Dani Glaser and Scott Fernqvist at .

Event and program sponsors include Con Edison, Reckson, The Blue Book Building & Construction Network, C.W. Brown, Diamond Properties, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Pernod Ricard USA, AKRF, Metropool, Strauss Paper Company, Heineken USA, Verita Vision Photography and Green Guru Network.

List of Winners

Charles W. Brown, Jr. Sustainability Award:

  • Reckson, a division of SL Green Realty Corp.: Reckson recognizes that sustainable initiatives are a critical tool for many of its tenants. From constructing a LEED Certified office space, to establishing energy, water and recycling programs, Reckson is committed to assisting its tenants achieve their sustainability goals. Reckson has been a member of the WGBC since the program was founded in 2009 and is one of 18 pilot members of Westchester Green Business-Certified.

Outstanding Achievement in Outreach and Organizational Commitment:

  • Hendrick Hudson Free Library: One of 38 libraries in the Westchester Library System (WLS), Hendrick Hudson Free Library is committed to incorporating sustainability into the core of its operations and engaging all staff in the greening process. Since joining Westchester Green Business-Certified, the library has established an internal "green team," expanded its website to report on green efforts, added sustainability topics to all staff meetings and committed to an annual review process and presentation on progress toward meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Outstanding Achievement in Energy:

  • The Colonial Needle Company: Colonial Needle sells a broad range of needle brands, styles, and packaging and performs office, warehouse, and light manufacturing activities in their two adjoining buildings in White Plains, which underwent a major energy upgrade in 2012. This included the installation of state-of-the-art windows, improving insulation, retrofitting with more efficient lighting, and replacing an inefficient oil-burning boiler. Colonial Needle also installed a solar-powered hot water system and is currently in the process of installing solar PV to provide for most of their electrical needs from the sun.

Outstanding Achievement in Waste Management and Green Products:

  • Diamond Properties: From recycled paper products, to solar panels, to green cleaning products, to electric cars, Diamond Properties makes new advances every month toward building more sustainable office spaces. Diamond Properties has implemented a comprehensive waste management program that includes tenant and custodial training as well as innovative partnerships to collect electronic waste and other hazardous items. Diamond Properties is a pilot member of Westchester Green Business-Certified.

Outstanding Achievement in Transportation:

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division: NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the largest hospital systems in the country and a key player in the region's health care sector, employing 800 people in Westchester alone. The hospital is an active member of Westchester Green Business-Certified and has a comprehensive sustainability program in place that includes a number of transportation-related initiatives, including purchasing hybrid vehicles, partnering with MetroPool and even developing a web-based application that matches employees for carpooling based on where they live and work. Bike racks and showers have been installed to encourage biking to work and investments in teleconferencing equipment have led to a significant reduction in employee travel.

Outstanding Achievement in Land Use:

  • Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm, Inc.: Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is a working crop farm and environmental education facility located in Yorktown Heights. Formerly a dairy farm, and with roots dating back to the 1600's, today Hilltop Hanover acts as a regional education hub offering programs on healthy and sustainable food production, skills for small-scale suburban and urban farmers, and sustainable living practices for local communities. The farm features demonstration models for backyard farming, animal management, rainwater harvesting, organic composting, and green-roof technology.

Outstanding Achievement in Water Resources:

  • DoubleTree Tarrytown: DoubleTree hotels and resorts across the United States, including in Westchester, are quickly aligning their business practices to meet the highest green standards found in the hotel industry. The DoubleTree Tarrytown has embarked upon an ambitious program to track and reduce its environmental impact in all areas, including water. The hotel has installed "smart valves" to reduce water usage, trained staff on detecting and reporting leaks, and committed to only purchasing water-efficient appliances, among other initiatives.