Meet the 2019 Green Business of the Year Finalists

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Business Awards celebrate organizations from across the region who are leading in their field and making an impact in the community – writing our next chapter as a great community to live and do business.

Meet the 2019 Green Business of the Year finalists, presented by Danone North America: FattE-Bikes, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company and Xcel Energy. No matter the size, every business can find ways to integrate sustainability into how they work, and these outstanding businesses are doing just that. The winner will be announced live on May 1.

Get your seat for the 2019 Business Awards Luncheon!

Making every commute a little greener, FattE-Bikes is changing how people get around town.

FattE-Bikes is Denver’s first electric bike company and the only produces of fat tire electric bikes built in America.  In starting their company, Victoria Brunner and Kenny Fischer focused on e-bikes because are the world’s most widely sold electric vehicle.

“We’re probably one of the only electric bike companies in the country to be able to claim that we’re 100 percent solar powered,” said Brunner, CMO and co-founder of FattE-Bikes.

This upstart is all about making it easy to be green, from the bikes and upcycled goods they sell, to how they model sustainability personally. FatteE-Bikes was recently named a Certifiably Green Business, their business location is designed using reclaimed materials and they have a history of engaging in community sustainability – they created PalleteFest in 2015.

“Everything from our bikes to our accessories to our mission has to have sustainability and the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit,” said Fischer, FattE-Bikes co-Founder and CEO.

This global company is thinking big when it comes to sustainability – but it knows how to think local with its impact on the environment and in the community.

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is a global pet care leader rooted in science and dedicated to helping pets live longer, healthier lives through proper nutrition and care. Purina’s 280-plus associates in Denver are committed to improving the quality of life for pets and their owners beyond the food bowl through sustainable practices and bringing their passion into the community they call home.

“Having an organization with such a large footprint globally has enabled us to understand that we have a big social responsibility,” Stefano Casadei, factory director for Nestlé Purina PetCare, said.

Purina is striving for zero environmental impact in all their operations. They have already made strides locally. In Denver, their manufacturing site has been a zero-waste site since 2017, is the first to be partially powered by renewables and has reduced water consumption by 20 percent.

“In Denver specifically, we’ve led the way with solar … we’re the first pet food factory in the world to produce with solar,” said Tom Rotunno, engineering manager for Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. “As an engineer, I’m most excited about how we drive with permanent solutions that will last for decades.”

After 150 years in Colorado, this utility company is looking to the future, with an ambitious plan for renewable energy.

Xcel Energy is the largest utility in Colorado, with 1.4 million electric customers and 1.3 million natural gas customers from the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope. Xcel provides its customers the safe, clean, reliable energy services they want and value at a competitive price. Case in point, Colorado residential electric bills have fallen 14.7 percent in five years (and are 31 percent below the national average).

Xcel’s work in Colorado has laid the foundation for moving to greener energy options. They launched a utility-wide goal of zero-carbon electricity by 2050.

“We’ve just had 600 megawatts of wind brought on to our system, what we call our Rush Creek Project,” Jerome Davis, regional vice president for Xcel Energy Colorado said. “It was the largest wind farm project west of the Mississippi to come online, a $1 billion economic development project.”

And, they’re working to lead their industry.

“By 2025, we will achieve a 60 percent carbon reduction on our system and we’ll be at 55 percent renewables,” said Alice Jackson, President, Xcel Energy Colorado. “That’s the highest percentage of any utility in the world, period.”

Laura James is the  senior marketing and communications specialist for the Denver Metro Chamber.