ST. LOUIS, MO – The 2019 St. Louis Green Business Challenge, a program of the Missouri Botanical Garden, has just completed a tenth year of work with companies across the bi-state region to advance sustainability as a business solution. At an awards celebration held Friday, December 6, 2019 in the Lakeside Café at the Saint Louis Zoo, 61 businesses, non-profits, and local government entities were recognized for their work this year to integrate sustainable business practices and policies into their daily operations.

Green Business Challenge: Award of Achievement Winner

Twelve companies received Awards of Achievement for participation at the Challenge Apprentice Level, including Alternatives in Engineering, who also received the award in 2016 and 2017. At the Apprentice level, companies work with a menu of fundamental sustainability policies and practices. Each participant chooses to work on measures that will best advance their business goals and fit with company culture. Services include a training seminar, customized coaching, peer-to-peer learning in a report-out seminar, and the opportunity to network and learn at monthly Challenge programs.

What is the St. Louis Green Business Challenge?

The St. Louis Green Business Challenge supports companies and local government entities’ voluntary efforts to conserve energy and water, reduce waste through recycling and other practices, advance sustainable transportation options, enhance biodiversity on company property, and educate and engage employees around sustainable thinking and practice.

AIE is proud to be part of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge initiative. In 2019, we replaced all light fixtures with LEDs, started to transition our landscaping to native plants and flowers, and collected shoes for Shoeman Water Project to keep them out of landfills and in use. The Challenge has also helped us innovate and evolve with health and environmental sustainability practices.” Kati Smith, President

In 2016 and 2017, AIE was also recognized for:

  • Creating a company Green Team.
  • Implementing a sustainability policy.
  • Utilizing recycling bins office-wide.
  • Donating/recycling electronics.
  • “No-idling” in the parking lot policy.
  • A smoke-free workplace.
  • A waste-reduction program.
  • Procuring green products where feasible.
  • Consolidating the number of desktop printers (reduce energy and waste).
  • Encouraging carpooling whenever possible.

Results of St. Louis’s Green Business Challenge

Since the Green Business Challenge launched in 2010, 233 companies, non-profits, and municipalities have joined the Challenge. This participation has engaged over 155,000 employees and nearly 470,000 residents, for a total of 620,000 individuals influenced by this work, across our regional economy. Ongoing sustainability commitment is strong: 56% of these companies have participated in the Challenge for two or more years, 41% for three years or more. Twelve companies comprise the Challenge Green Decade Honor Roll, as participants for all ten program years.

“The Green Business Challenge is a successful and innovative example of how we can use competition and collaboration to improve both the economic and environmental health of our region,” said Bob Woodruff, CFO of the Missouri Botanical Garden. “As delivered by our sustainability division, the EarthWays Center, the Garden is proud to lead this challenge to embrace sustainable practices for our business and civic community.”

The St. Louis Green Business Challenge will launch its eleventh year of sustainable business services in March 2020. To learn more about AIE or The St. Louis Green Challenge, explore resources online.           

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