Better Business Challenge 2011-2012


The first ever Charlottesville Area Better Business Challenge successfully engaged more than 100 businesses with a combined 4,000 employees in a friendly competition aimed at increasing their efficiency and sustainability in their day-to-day operations.  The contest yielded over 1,000 actions completed in energy, water, waste, purchasing and transportation.

The Challenge was the result of a strong partnership with central VA nonprofit BetterWorldBetty, local government, and the Chamber of Commerce – to name just a few partners.  It was generously funded through a local foundation and the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance via our Better Buildings grant. Betty and LEAP provided businesses with a strong support platform that included education, training, networking, media coverage, recognition as well as one-one-one consulting through assigned business “concierges.”

Local businesses were honored for initiatives including: ENERGY STAR ratings for their buildings (State Farm); installing programmable thermostats (GreenBlue); using energy-saving window tinting (Carpet Plus); installing energy efficient lights (The Paramount Theater); pledging to reduce energy use by 50% (VMDO Architects); utilizing solar tubes and skylights instead of lights during the day (Alloy Workshop); and installing a higher efficiency HVAC system (Jefferson Madison Regional Library).

Check out the Earless Rabbit’s coverage of the Challenge.

Challenge Collage2012 AWARD WINNERS (listed in order received at Awards Night with a highlight of their action)

Restaurant Superstar: Blue Moon Diner
For overcoming unique obstacles inherent in food service industry through their creative composting/gardening

– Replaced dishwasher sprayer with high efficiency model
– New composting efforts recycle 100% of pre-consumer and 25% of post-consumer food waste

Stridemaker Award: Woodard Properties
Greatest leap forward in a single category through going paperless

–  Going paperless will saves 1500-2000 sheets of paper a month and about $3000 worth
of toner a year!

Ripple Effect Winner: Church of the Incarnation
Excellence in environmental stewardship, as shown through a strong dedication to complete community engagement

–  Launched youth program about environmental stewardship “Stomp Out Your Carbon
Footprint: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus”
– Rain barrels and composting help their community garden, which is used to feed families in

Kilowatt Crackdown Winners: State Farm (owners)
Recognizes the largest reduction in energy use based on the points earned on the Energy Scorecard

– Charlottesville Operations Facility earned a 96 Energy Star Rating on their office building

Kilowatt Crackdown Winners: GreenBlue (renters)

– Utilized task lighting, installed curtains, and programmable thermostat, and LEAP gave staff a
presentation on energy efficiency at home and work

Biggest “Loser” (waste reduction): GreenBlue
Recognizes the larges reduction of waste achieved based on the points earned on the Waste Scorecard

– Compost bins in kitchen and bathroom collect 40% or more of their waste

Green Leader: JAUNT
Demonstrates outstanding leadership in the business community with implementing high-impact measures

– Installed a rain garden to help clean run-off water which flows into significantly polluted
Moore’s Creek
– Added timers to vending machines
– Committed to installing new technology interlocking permeable pavers – will give tours to

Top Innovator: Virginia Eagle Distributing
Business that stands out for its ingenuity and is not afraid to think outside the box

– Installed solar panels on top of tractor trailer to keep the lift gates charged (5 month ROI)
– Achieved $33,000+ savings from recycling cardboard 6-pack containers


Highest Total Earned Points in the Challenge

Carpet Plus – Founders of “Re-cork Cville” – a wine cork recycling program, Installed energy
-saving window tinting

The Paramount Theater – Installed new cold cathode energy-efficient lights for marquee, which
use 3 watts and last 25,000 hrs

VMDO Architects – Adopted 2030 Challenge to reduce energy use in their buildings by 50%

Alloy Workshop – No daylighting needed in the office with their 5 solar tubes and 3 skylights

Jefferson Madison Region Library – Installed higher efficiency HVAC system and increased our
recycling efforts

Albemarle County Service Authority – Achieved 40% water reduction with installation of low
flow faucets and fixtures; Established no idling policy!