By Shubhika Prakash SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)— Local professionals gathered to honor businesses and organizations for their new sustainability practices this morning. The Sunrise Breakfast & Awards was hosted by the Sustainability Upstate Network (SUN) at the Embassy Suites in East Syracuse.
Businesses and organizations across the Central New York area are moving towards becoming more sustainable. Beginning last year, SUN decided to recognize these progressive establishments as well as help companies interested in sustainability network.
“I like to call it the pool of sustainability. We created a pool to allow people to come in, sit on the side of the pool, and put their feet in the water and feel how that is. That might be just recycling at your desk, changing out your lights, but eventually you might want to learn more and get in the deeper end. We are there to help you in the deeper end,” Andy Pico, founder of SUN said.
This year guest speaker, David Katleski talked about how his business, Empire Brewing Company, is continuing to become more sustainable. Empire Brewing Company was honored last year at the awards.
Empire Brewing Company’s has many sustainable initiatives. Among them are converting spent fry oil to bio-diesel, using biodegradable paper products, and using eco-friendly cleaning supplies.
“We also started growing our own vegetables and we formed partnerships with about forty different local farms in the area to really reduce the carbon footprint of the food that we are buying, Katleski said.
Destiny USA, SUNY ESF, Onondaga County, Village of Minoa, Solarize Syracuse, Rick Fedrizzi, and Pastabilities each won in their categories. SUN surprised its own member, Syracuse Haulers, with an award for its sustainability efforts.
Syracuse Haulers teamed up with Pastabilities to implement a composting program in its facilities. This has been a dream for Karyn Korteling, owner of Pastabilities.
“It was something I always wanted to do. I didn’t think that there was much opportunity in Syracuse at the time. It worked out great with Syracuse Haulers,” Korteling said.
Some other practices Pastabilites has implemented within the last six months are switching to LED lighting, overhauling its furnaces and air conditioning units to be high efficiency, and installing a ventilation system to help reduce wasteful airflow. Pastabilities is looking for more ways to become sustainable.
“I met Solarize Syracuse today. I think that’s my next step,” Korteling said.