RICHLAND -- Richland recognized area residents, groups and businesses for their conservation and environmental efforts at the annual Green Recognition Program awards Thursday.
Paragon Corporate Housing won top billing as the 2010 Green Business of the Year for its conservation efforts while serving 400 guests each day.
Paragon was recognized for encouraging its guests to conserve water and electricity, as well as having a cleaning staff that drives hybrid cars and recycles waste products. The company also gives a reusable shopping bag to each guest.
The city named Areva's On-Site Hydrogen Generation as Green Project of the Year and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Zero Waste Picnic won Green Program of the Year.
Areva's project eliminated all anhydrous ammonia, the most dangerous substance in use at its Richland site, while PNNL put on a zero waste event that resulted in 100 percent of waste being recycled.
William Sperry of Richland received an environmental stewardship award for his conscious efforts to conserve throughout the day that resulted in a reduction of his carbon footprint by 175 pounds per year.
The Ridges to Rivers Open Space Network also was recognized for environmental stewardship.
Gesa Credit Union received an honorable mention for Environmental Commitment for its new LEED building on Gage Boulevard. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.
This is the sixth year Richland has recognized businesses, organizations and individuals that are reducing their impact on the environment.
Conservation saves money, protects the environment, conserves natural resources and helps reduce costs for municipal utility operations, a news release said.
"Honoring and acknowledging those in our community who are living a greener lifestyle is a terrific way to educate the rest of us," said Gail Everett, Richland's green awards coordinator.
For more information, go to www.ci.richland.wa.us and link to "Green Living" then "Green Recognition Program."