In 2017, the following twelve business were recognized at an awards ceremony for becoming certified. Collectively, they saved 10,310 kWh of electricity annually and 1,598,593 gallons of water (an average savings of 53%).
AKASHA was opened in 2008 by Akasha Richmond and Alan Schulman. Together, they renovated the historic Hull Building, turning it into a beautiful restaurant and they hosted the first year’s award ceremony. Akasha’s menu features California and New American cuisine created with cultural influences taken from Chef Akasha’s many travels around the world.
Prior to participating in the Certification Program, Akasha also participated in the West Basin Municipal Water District’s CASH FOR KITCHENS Program. The City is a partner in the Cash for Kitchens program, which includes a thorough assessment of commercial kitchens that often lead to the installation of free low-flow sink sprayers and rebates on energy efficient equipment and appliances.
Some of Akasha’s accomplishments through the Certification Program include using 100% third-party-certified green cleaning supplies, installing LED lighting with a savings of 2,690 kWh of electricity annually, and retrofitting their faucets, toilets and urinals with high efficiency models that lead to a savings of 578,479 gallons of water annually. Akasha switched from using disposable plastic straws to paper straws, and is on the path to becoming a zero-waste business.
Everything on A LA CARTE THAI BISTRO’s menu is prepared with high quality ingredients and is made fresh to order. They are located on West Washington Blvd at Centinela Avenue and their customers often remark that whether they dine in, carry out or receive delivery, they always get their order right.
Through the Certification Program, A La Carte Thai Bistro installed LED lighting throughout their restaurant, saving 2,812 kWh in electricity annually, and their faucets were retrofitted to conserve water, with an estimated 41,464 gallons of water conserved annually. The restaurant commenced with a robust recycling and organics separation program to divert their waste from landfills. To encourage and support employees to commute by bike, they purchased a tool kit to perform emergency repairs.
APPLIANCES PLUMBING DESIGN is a premier supplier of appliances and fixtures offering brand names from around the world. Appliances Plumbing is a family business run by Stacy Fisch, who is a second-generation, hands-on owner. Raised in this trade alongside her mother and father, Stacy and her staff are well-informed and up to date on product lines, alterations, installation details and the general remodeling process.
Through the Certification Program, Appliances Pluming switched to 100% recycled content paper products, established a recycling program for appliances and is striving to implement a rechargeable battery process. In addition, the LED lighting retrofit of the store saved an estimated 5,171 kWh of electricity annually. Appliances Plumbing is the only certified retail business to become a “Certified Innovator”, which includes paying their employees more than the living wage ordinance requires.
CRITEO, founded by Jean-Baptiste Rudelle in 2005, builds high performing and open commerce marketing ecosystems to drive profits and sales for brands and retailers. 2,800 Criteo team members partner with over 18,000 customers and thousands of publishers across the globe to connect shoppers to the things they need and love.
In addition to installing water conserving aerators with a savings of 21,900 gallons of water annually, during the Certification Program process Criteo also committed to 100% third-party-certified green cleaning supplies and posted conservation signs to raise staff awareness. In addition, they created a Company Wide Environmental Policy to include in their Employee Handbook. Criteo achieved the “Certified Innovator” tier, which includes their paying employees more than the living wage ordinance requires, providing employee benefits, and engaging staff in community service.
For over thirty years, Fresh Paint Art Advisors has provided art consulting and project management services to many of the country’s top interior design firms, luxury hotels and gaming industries. The business, founded by Josetta Sbeglia, reduces their carbon footprint by allowing in natural sunlight through multiple windows and skylights, and by installing solar photovoltaic panels on their rooftop more than a decade ago.
Through the Certification Program, Fresh Paint made a commitment towards reducing their eco-footprint by creating and implementing a companywide Sustainable Policy. Their achievements include retrofitting all gallery light fixtures to LEDs (saving an estimated 17,294 kWh of electricity annually), posting energy and water conservation prompts, restricting water flow on all restroom faucets, and diligently reporting any water leaks (saving 21,945 gallons of water annually).
HI-LO LIQUOR MARKET is a rejuvenation of the classic neighborhood corner store. They quench the thirst for local and regionally focused craft beer, wine, artisanal spirits and offer a broad selection of convenience items, decadent snacks, gourmet foods and traditional sundries.
Through their participation in the Certification Program, Hi-Lo switched to 100% non-toxic green cleaning third-party-certified supplies and increased zero waste practices such as replacing disposable cleaning items such as paper towels and replacing them with reusable towels for cleaning. They also installed window shades to reduce heat gain and energy use associated with mechanical cooling at their facility. The retail store had LED lighting installed (saving an estimated 280 kWh of electricity annually), and their toilet and faucets were retrofitted saving 13,359 gallons of water annually.
THE MOVING PICTURE COMPANY (MPC) is an Academy Award winning creative studio. As world leaders in visual storytelling for over two decades, MPC is renowned for adding visual wonder and creative expertise to the advertising, music, contemporary art and film industries; crafting work across the full spectrum of comms platforms and immersive technologies. The studio’s unique combination of talent, technology and craft delivers experiences that are more distinctive and memorable. Recent projects include Disney’s The Jungle Book, Channel 4’s We’re the Superhumans, Samsung ‘Ostrich’ and EDEKA ‘2117’.
Through their participation in the Certification Program, MPC switched to third-party-certified 100% non-toxic green cleaning supplies, performed an office-wide LED lighting retrofit that saves 13,700 kWh of electricity annually, had their toilets and faucets retrofitted with a savings of 76,262 gallons of water annually, and posted signs to encourage their staff to conserve resources. MPC achieved “Certified Innovator” status.
Established in Culver City over 23 years ago, NOVECENTO PASTA & GRILL is one of the oldest Italian restaurants located on Main Street in the downtown area. Owner Angela Vianello believes in providing fresh, made-to-order traditional Italian dishes. Novecento is a cozy restaurant offering a traditional blend of Italian pasta, grilled dishes and housemade desserts, often prepared by Angela herself.
Through their participation in the Certification Program, Novecento installed new high efficiency toilets, and faucet aerators saving 48,645 gallons of water annually. They retrofitted halogen and compact fluorescents fixtures with LEDs savings of 1,008 kWh of electricity annually, and switched to citrus oil based; non-aerosol deodorizers in their restrooms. 50% of Novecento’s cleaners used onsite are third-party-certified by the EPA Safer Choice program.
POPSUGAR is a global media and technology company that delivers inspiring, informative, and entertaining multi-platform content across entertainment, fashion, beauty, fitness, food, parenting, news and more. Their mission is to create media that powers the optimism and dreams of women around the world.
Through the Certification Program, PopSugar established a robust recycling program, switched to compostable foodware and reduced their purchase of single-use water bottles by replacing them with refillable containers available at their water dispensers. PopSugar also had their toilets and faucets retrofitted saving 86,870 gallons of water annually. In addition, PopSugar staff regularly volunteers to serve the Culver City community. PopSugar achieved “Certified Innovator” status.
RÖCKENWAGNER BAKERY CAFÉ was founded in 2015 by Hans Röckenwagner. The business quickly outgrew its original home inside his restaurant and is now a standalone establishment. Today, Röckenwagner’s Bakery Café is a local favorite in the neighborhood by serving its trademark baked goods and featuring a full menu for breakfast, lunch and brunch -- all in a friendly, familiar setting.
Through the Certification Program, Röckenwagner installed a bike rack onsite; retrofitted restrooms with high efficiency toilets and faucet aerators, savings of 208,415 gallons of water annually; completed a LED retrofit saving 390 kWh of electricity annually; and they are expanding their recycling practices to incorporate the separation of organics for composting, thus increasing the amount of solid waste they divert from landfills.
RUSH STREET, owned by Brian McKeaney, is named after the famed street in Chicago, where Brian’s family also owns six bars and restaurants. Brian opened Rush Street less than a decade ago with the goal of providing a fun, comfortable bar to unwind in after work in the busy downtown area.
Through their participation in the Certification Program, Rush Street had LED lighting installed saving 1,371 kWh of electricity annually and had their faucets retrofitted to reduce their water use saving 498,554 gallons of water annually. Rush Street switched from plastic disposable straws to paper straws and encourage customers to opt-out of receiving disposable utensils when placing their take-out food orders. Rush Street is in the process of procuring more organic produce and sustainably-harvested seafood and they also participated in the West Basin Municipal Water District’s CASH FOR KITCHENS program.
SOLE SOCIETY is a women’s apparel company that takes their inspiration from the latest trends. Sole Society’s design is a fresh take on fashion’s must-have looks by offering a wide assortment of brands. They focus on empowering customers to create a style that is solely their own so that every woman can her look her best; every day.
Through their participation in the Certification Program, Sole Society created a used products donation program, initiated a disposable coffee pod recycling program and all their paper goods (including toilet tissue) were switched to products containing 100% post-consumer recycled content. In addition, Sole Society had their toilets and faucets retrofitted saving 2,261 gallons of water annually.
Sole Society achieved the “Certified Innovator” tier by paying their employees more than the living wage ordinance requires and incorporating many socially responsible practices such as providing benefits to their employees not traditionally offered by others.
Shea Cunningham of Balanced Approach and Susy Borlido of Sustainable Works