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Sustainability Award Presented to Arc

Sustainability Award for Visionary Leadership and Commitment to Sustainability

Westchester Green Business Challenge Bestows It’s Most Distinguished Honor on Arc of Westchester

HAWTHORNE, NY  -  June 1, 2015 –On Thursday, June 4, 2015 Arc of Westchester will receive the Charles W. Brown, Jr. Sustainability Award For Visionary Leadership and Commitment to Sustainability, the most distinguished honor awarded from the Westchester Green Business Challenge. Arc of Westchester will receive this award due to its ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability throughout the entire organization.

From selecting energy-efficient lighting and ENERGY STAR certified appliances to using double-paned/tinted windows and low-VOC building materials in its headquarters, Arc of Westchester’s leadership has played an extensive role in creating a sustainable work environment for employees. To help eliminate toxins in the air, Arc of Westchester uses green seal cleaning products, environmentally conscious pest control products that minimizes toxins, and trains its drivers to utilize safe and efficient fuel management. The company also encourages a flexible work schedule so employees do not have to travel during rush hour and utilizes video conferencing to reduce employee travel. Even the electronics at Arc of Westchester are sustainable, such as miser-rated vending machines, programmable thermostats, and copy machines that quickly go into sleep mode when not in use.  

Each employee, no matter who they are or what their job responsibilities may be, participates in the green process. As an eco-friendly company, all employees are required to minimize paper through electronic presentations, e-subscriptions to publications, and electronic file storage. Recycling bins for paper, glass, metal and plastic are placed throughout the building, and employees are encouraged to print on the back of paper to help minimize waste.  Arc of Westchester has also developed community gardens that are cultivated by both employees and individuals with disabilities. The projects utilize the organization’s land for crops that feed the individuals, and the excess produce is donated to the Food Bank for Westchester to provide food in low-income areas.

The Westchester Green Business Challenge, which began in 2009, is an annual competition among county businesses, helping them to move toward environmental sustainability and save money at the same time.  The awards recognize companies for their achievements in “greening” their operations. To participate, organizations complete a scorecard that outlines more than 80 activities one can take to create a more environmentally sustainable business while improving performance and saving money. 

The Sustainability Award was created in memory of Charlie Brown, a true visionary with a deep commitment to sustainability.  He and his wife Renee built the first LEED Platinum office building in Westchester County. The company was recently WGB-Certified and continues to operate in the "greenest" possible manner and serves as a pillar of the community.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino, Business Council of Westchester President & CEO Dr. Marsha Gordon, and Erika Conradt of C.W. Brown will present Arc of Westchester Executive Director Ric Swierat with the award.

“It is a wonderful honor to receive this award, made even more special as it is in memory of Charlie,” said Swierat. “The day we moved into our current site in Hawthorne in 2008, sustainability and environmental stewardship became the key focus for our employees.  This has evolved into many initiatives that include people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our educational and residential programs. Our green initiatives are an important part of our business plan, and we hope that our continued efforts will inspire others to do the same.” 

In 2014, Westchester Green Business introduced a new program that provides the county’s only green business certification. Arc of Westchester is actively working to become Westchester Green Business-Certified and hopes to complete the application by the end of 2015.

 

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About The Arc of Westchester

The Arc of Westchester is the oldest and largest agency in the county serving children, teens and

adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Over 800 employees provide more than 2,000 individuals throughout the county with a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services designed to foster independence, productivity and participation in community life.

 

The mission of The Arc of Westchester is to empower children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, to achieve their potential by

strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests.

The Arc of Westchester’s vision is a world in which children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including individuals on the autism spectrum enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future.               

The Arc of Westchester is a chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc.

 

CONNECT WITH US: www.arcwestchester.org

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Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc of Westchester, not The

ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.