2nd AELA Poster

A group of seven businesses and organizations were honoured for their leadership and commitment to going green at the 2nd annual Abbotsford Environmental Leadership Awards held at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre on January 31st, 2013.

Organized by the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui, the event lauded 20 nominees vying in seven categories for their innovative ideas or outstanding environmental business practices.

The awards night went on to mirror the theme presented by guest speaker former environmental minister Barry Penner, who stressed that contrary to popular belief, business can in fact lead and drive positive environmental change.

This year’s event followed the successful inaugural year of the Abbotsford Environmental Leadership Awards, which saw 22 nominees, and 150 guests attend the awards ceremony. 

The nominees and recipients, in no particular order, were as follows:


Save On Foods – Whatcom Road Store

City of Abbotsford

Thrifty Foods – Parallel Marketplace

2013 Energy Saver Award goes to the City of Abbotsford respresented by Mayor Banman.




Energy Saver Award sponsored by:

















We are pleased to present the 2013 Energy Saver Award to the City of Abbotsford.  Through the many energy saving projects it has implemented in a wide variety of buildings and facilities, the City has saved 1,060 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The City’s on-going commitment to energy conservation and drive to become carbon neutral in all of its facilities serves as an example of what can be accomplished through effective leadership and coordination of resources in the public sector.


Established in 2001, The Loft Hair Studio and Beauty Bar incorporate environmental integrity into every product and practice of their daily operations, spending considerable time and effort researching and implementing environmentally responsible best practices.

Through the use of an environmentally conscious hair care line, formaldehyde free, vegan nail care, and handmade organic skin care, to recycling & repurposing hair, foils, colour-tubes, papers and plastics, AND diverting excess hair chemicals from being rinsed down the drain, The Loft continues to demonstrate leadership in reducing their environmental impact and are able to divert between eighty-five and ninety-five percent of the waste created, which would normally end up in landfills, into innovative recycling or repurposing solutions.

They have also implemented a comprehensive composting program, choose to partner only with product companies that are environmentally responsible and were the first salon in Abbotsford to participate in the Green Circle Salons Program, a program designed to helps salons “green” their businesses, reduce their environmental footprint and keep hair colour products and chemicals out of the waste stream.

The Loft has shown a commitment to igniting and supporting a pathway that advances positive green change that empowers everyone; the customer, their employees and the community-at-large.

Here receiving the award is owner Kelly Sansalone and her staff at the Loft Hair Studio and Beauty Bar.




Green Product or Service Award sponsored by:


















Maan Farms

Restaurant 62

Taves Family Farms

2013 Agri-link Award goes to Restaurant 62, represented by Alicia Bodaly.





Agri-link Award sponsored by:


















Restaurant 62’s mission statement is “local, organic and seasonal wherever possible”. Fraser Valley producers make this exceptionally easy as there is an abundance of meat and produce that is produced in a responsible, sustainable manner within kilometers of the restaurant.

Restaurant 62 is now in its ninth year of operations and has built close relationships with their suppliers. Restaurant 62 showcases local, in season products grown or made by local producers who are acknowledged, by name, in their innovative menu. They have taken their mission to heart and demonstrated that a culinary enterprise can be innovative and successful while using and supporting local agriculture. Restaurant 62 composts its produce and protein waste products that is then collected and distributed locally. Restaurant management make responsible choices to reduce waste, to support sustainable agricultural practices and producers that, in turn, have lead to award winning culinary delights for its clientele.


The Abbotsford Arbour Day Committee is nominated for their hard work, commitment and innovation in promoting environmental stewardship in Abbotsford. Under the umbrella of Abbotsford Parks and Recreation, The Arbour Day Committee has partnered with the School District #34 who transported 1000+ students to a designated park where community partners lead interactive learning stations and demonstrations focused on the environment. The Abbotsford Day Arbour Day Committee has provided ongoing leadership in environmental conservation and protection for over 13 years and that leadership has positively impacted the awareness of environmental stewardship for 10’s of thousands of young people and their families.

The Community/Grass Roots Award goes to the Abbotsford Arbour Day Committee. Abbotsford Mayor, Bruce Banman is accepting the award on behalf of the Arbour Day Committee.



The City of Abbotsford

Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service

The Irrigation Industry Association of BC

2013 Water Saver award goes to the Abbotsford School District for Abbotsford Senior Secondary School. Here receiving the award are Board Chair, Cindy Schafer, Project Manager – Bob Mainman and School Principal – Lance McDonald.


It took six years to receive approval, funding and construction for the new LEED Gold Abbotsford Senior Secondary School.  The Abbotsford School District is proud of this building that uses a geo-exchange heating system using water from the aquifer and returning it through a series of underground pipes. The heating system stores the water in a 30,000 gallon underground concrete reservoir. In addition the school uses water from the aquifer to irrigate the school fields through buried sprinkler systems at night when the school is unoccupied.  This decentralized system helps conserve treated municipal water especially during peak demands in the summer.

In addition, the rain that falls on various parking lots is channelled into specially constructed ‘bio swales’. These are depressed grassy areas, planted with rocks and natural vegetation, where the water is retained, and soaks away slowly into the ground, while special filters trap any dirt, grime, and unwanted liquids from going into the storm water system.


The Abbotsford School District

Capt’n Crunch Auto Wreckers Ltd.

The Canada Safeway Store – S Fraser Way 

Save on Foods – Whatcom Road

Thrifty’s at Parallel Marketplace

2013 Green Project Award goes to Thrifty Foods.  Michael Bryant, Store Manager and Jerry Wyshnowsky, Director, Energy and Environment at Thrifty Foods are here to accept the award.


Thrifty Foods was nominated in the Green Project category for recycling and compost collection that go beyond what is expected in terms of municipal and provincial legislation. Starting this month this store, and for that matter, the entire Thrifty chain, have added to current compost collection, meat, dairy and bakery materials.  Rather than daily collection of household-sized bins, the new system involves one large volume, sealed container to be collected once weekly.

In addition, Thrifty’s plans to roll out a Styrofoam collection and recycling service where their cardboard compactor will be fitted with high strength mesh bags, and Styrofoam inserted and crushed.  The resulting blocks, the equivalent of one 52ft trailer annually, destined for reuse in liners for electrical fixtures will be transported together with cardboard loads. The resulting savings in fuel burn by coordinating this and compost collection transport will be significant.


Lee Pemble, General Manager of Capt’n Crunch Recycling

Jonathon Stewart, Executive Chef at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Center

Travis Drew and Colin Hutchinson of Lucerne Foods, Clearbrook

The Green Leader Award recipients are Travis Drew and Colin Hutchinson of Lucerne Foods, Clearbrook. Colin Hutchinson, Plant Superintendent is seen here accepting the award on behalf of both Travis , the Plant Manager, and himself.




Green Leader Award sponsored by:



















Travis & Colin have spearheaded a large number of environmental actions at the facility. They have led initiatives that have reduced the amount of waste going to landfills by 87% in three years. This was done by segregating all garbage into categories. Plastics, cardboard, metals are recycled, with the cardboard being taken to Abbotsford Community Services to support local disabled workers. Paper and food scraps are composted and other recyclables are placed in “Blue Bags” for recycling. This initiative has reduced the amount of garbage going to landfills from 378 tons to 51 tons annually.

In addition they led initiatives to partner with B.C. Hydro to reduce energy usage by 19%. This was accomplished by upgrading the lighting in the plant to more efficient fixtures and installing sensors to turn off lights in unoccupied areas. The Ammonia System controls were upgraded and all motors were upgraded to Variable Frequency Drive so that they run only at required frequencies.

Water usage has been reduced by 13% and gas usage by 14%. The plant has also upgraded its water treatment system by adding extra screening prior to the water entering the city sewer system, reducing Biological Oxygen Demand b 52% and Total Suspended Solids by 251% in three years.  In addition the company donates fruits and vegetables to the Agriculture in the Classroom program in Secondary Schools and they donate considerable amount of product to the Abbotsford Gleaners.

Congratulations to all award nominees and winners.