FOSTER CITY, Calif., May 28, 2009— Acterra has announced the winners of the prestigious 2009 Business Environmental Awards, identifying SolarCity® as a company that has demonstrated extraordinary environmental leadership. SolarCity, a national leader in solar power system design, financing, installation, monitoring and related services, was named the top medium-sized company in Acterra’s “Environmental Enterprise” category.
The award recognizes SolarCity’s achievements in building a business that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Because the upfront cost is the largest barrier to adoption of solar power, SolarCity invented a groundbreaking solar lease option (SolarLease™) that can allow homeowners to install solar panels and save money from day one. To foster the spread of solar power, SolarCity also pioneered the community program model to encourage neighbors to adopt solar together and save on installation costs.
SolarCity estimates that the thousands of solar systems it has installed to date will collectively offset more than 600 million pounds of greenhouse gas pollution. In addition to making solar power feasible for thousands of businesses and homeowners, SolarCity’s own business practices offer a green example for other local companies. The company operates a highly fuel-efficient vehicle fleet of hybrids and light trucks. Even the company’s larger installation vans generally maintain better than 25 mile-per-gallon fuel economy. The majority of the company’s sales collateral is digital, and printed materials use recycled paper with soy inks. Excess construction materials are recycled, and the company offers carpool and public transit incentives to employees.
“We founded SolarCity to dramatically increase the adoption of clean power by making solar affordable and accessible for businesses and homeowners, and that is ultimately our greatest contribution to the environment,” said Peter Rive, co-founder and chief operating officer SolarCity. “But being a solar provider doesn’t automatically make a company ‘green’. We try to consider sustainability in every element of our operations, and for that reason, this award is particularly meaningful to us.”
During the rigorous three-month judging process, which involved 25 regional environmental and sustainability experts, the nominees showcased their environmental innovations in six categories including sustainability; sustainable built environment; environmental and sustainability education; environmental enterprise; commute and transportation, and pollution prevention/resource conservation. For information regarding the other award winning programs, please visit www.acterra.org/bea.
“In a very competitive business environment, SolarCity's business model makes installation of roof-top solar panels for single family homes affordable and cost effective,” said Robert Douglass, Business Environmental Awards Judging Team Captain. “As a result, families that wanted to reduce their energy bills by using solar panels, but were deterred by the cost, are now signing up in significant numbers. In addition, the management at SolarCity views its role as being supportive of their employees, training them and ensuring that they are equipped with the tools to do their jobs correctly. The judging committee was very impressed with this ‘management from the bottom up’ approach.”
Since 1990, Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards program has recognized over one hundred Bay Area businesses and academic and nonprofit organizations for excellence in environmental leadership. Past winners have included Adobe, Apple, HP, Roche-Palo Alto and Sun Microsystems.
Acterra is a non-profit organization with a 38-year history of environmental leadership and programming in and around Silicon Valley. Acterra’s events, resources and programs involve and educate individuals and communities about a broad range of environment issues. For more information visit www.acterra.org.
SolarCity® (NASDAQ: SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company makes solar energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. SolarCity currently serves 15 states and signs a new customer every two minutes. Visit the company online at www.solarcity.com and follow the company on Facebook & Twitter.