The Vienna Community Enhancement Commission on Dec. 11 honored seven businesses for their innovative and money-saving ideas as part of the first-ever Vienna Sustainability Challenge.
Launched last spring by the commission, the initiative certifies companies that use sustainable products and institute policies that improve the public’s quality of life, town officials said.
“These businesses have implemented various sustainability practices in their organizations,” said commission member Desiree DiMauro. “We wanted to really highlight what a great job they’re doing and how they get a win-win both for the environment as well as for their bottom line with these practices.”
Businesses aiming to be certified by the program achieved a required number of points from green practices they undertook as part of their operations.
• Caboose Brewing Co., which bakes house-made crackers from its spent grain or donates the grain to local farms. The brewery and restaurant buys supplies from local farms and encourages customers to use the nearby Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail.
• Caffè Amouri, which installed bicycle racks for its customers and workers. The cafe also consolidates its deliveries for maximum efficiency and has implemented a robust recycling program. The business has received the Virginia Green Restaurant of the Year Award as well, DiMauro said.
• Cycle Chi, which uses reusable towels and rechargeable batteries at its facility and has reduced the company’s use of office paper.
• Joanne Ehreth Burke CPA PLLC, which installed higher-quality insulation in the firm’s attic and basement crawl space and uses LED light bulbs.
Burke, who co-chairs the Community Enhancement Commission, runs the business from her home.
“She’s a great example of what can be done, even if you don’t have office space,” DiMauro said.
• Purple Onion Catering Co., which has cut back on its office-paper use and buys supplies in bulk, to reduce packaging and supply expenses.
• Social Burger, which is outfitted with recycled-wood tables and uses EcoCraft sustainable packaging.
• The Sustainability Guys, which seeks affordable, proven, environmentally friendly solutions that offer clients the greatest return on investment. Among those solutions are the use of insulation and energy-efficient windows. The company practices what it preaches, using many of those same techniques at its own offices, DiMauro said.
“These are all local businesses or all individually owned,” added Community Enhancement Commission chairman Susan Stillman. “Support them. They’re supporting us and our future.”