Find out what local companies are on the cutting edge of green technologies, who's "going green" and how green building is being incorporated into our communities.

  • Head of nonprofit trade association aims to make region clean technology hub

    Fostering growth of fledgling companies and helping larger ones take root is Lisa Bicker's strategy to bring San Diego to the forefront of the clean technology industry.

  • First speculative, LEED-certified office tower

    Sunroad Centrum I, a 275,000-square-foot Class A office tower located in Kearny Mesa, has officially achieved the coveted LEED certification as determined by the U.S. Green Building Council. Developed by Sunroad Enterprises, the building has set a new local standard for environmental responsibility as the city of San Diego's first speculative LEED-certified office tower.

  • MTS launches latest additions to its green fleet

    The Metropolitan Transit System has launched the first of a new fleet of 26 earth-friendly and head-turning buses. With these new buses, well over 70 percent of the entire MTS fleet of 700 buses use clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG).

  • Reno contracting continues to grow green

    Reno Contracting, having completed Kilroy Realty's Sabre Springs three-building, Class A campus, holds the distinction of having built San Diego's first Silver LEED-certified core and shell building project. The prestigious Silver Certification, given by the U.S. Green Building Council, was awarded through the USGBC's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. Spearheaded by architectural firm Hanna Gabriel Wells, the building was awarded top-rating points for its many positive environmental attributes. Within the next few months, an additional four buildings built by Reno will also become LEED certified, which shows why the firm has been named as one of the "Top 50 Green Contractors" in the nation by Engineering News-Record.

  • Sapphire Energy going 'full speed ahead' on green fuel

    The words "green" and "gasoline" are synonymous for San Diego-based Sapphire Energy. The privately held company uses algae and other photosynthetic microorganisms to create renewable synthetic crude oil.

  • Cubicles division connects suppliers with firms seeking eco-friendly office gear

    Calling cubicles a danger zone may sound extreme, but Mark Canavarro knows a dirty secret: Many of these workspaces contain pollutants that are harmful to the environment and people's health.

  • Local cleantech industry benefits from government support, entrepreneurial spirit, skilled work force

    Even in its fledgling stages, San Diego's clean technology industry hums along, buoyed by a growing solar market, a committed community and increasingly supportive federal and state policy.

  • Solar and small wind -- poised to weather economic storm

    Despite the recent turbulence in the financial markets as well as the dramatic drop in the price of oil, cleantech investing remains poised for significant growth over the coming years. According to the Cleantech Group, the third quarter brought in $2.6 billion across 158 companies in North America, Europe, India and China, and the sector may reach as much as $7.5 billion to $8 billion by year's end. While it remains to be seen how recent events will influence this sector, there are some positive signs that appear to indicate that the cleantech sector will successfully weather the current financial storm.

  • Money, research spur race for algae as fuel source

    SEATTLE -- Could the next green fuel be pea-green pond scum? Supporters think algae could someday be turned into cheap fuel for automobiles and airplanes, and are betting heavily with infusions of venture capital money and intensive research.

  • Amazon.com making packaging simpler, less wasteful

    SEATTLE (AP) -- One of the worst things about getting a new gadget or toy is trying to free it from the hard plastic casing that houses many products. To reduce those battles, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) said Monday it is working with manufacturers to make the products it sells easier to open and more environmentally friendly.

  • Energy hogs: U.S. prisons now recycle, grow food

    Of all the things convicted murderer Robert Knowles has been called during his 13 years behind bars, recycler hasn't been one of them.

  • Largest green building program for school districts in California

    The Sweetwater Union High School District has designed and is about to start the first phase of construction. The district's board of trustees laid the groundwork for a long-term vision of the environmental and economic impact of district facilities by adopting board resolution 3794, which directs green building practices be employed where possible during the Proposition O construction program. The board's leadership has resulted in the largest green building program of a school district in the state of California.

  • Attention owners, managers, maintenance engineers: Annual maintenance inspections save money

    Fall is here and there is no better time than now to get your roof inspected before the rain does it for you. It never fails that whenever water enters a building, the roofer gets called. The problem may be from a variety of different sources such as windows, siding, wall joints or an HVAC unit, but the roofer always gets called. The downfalls of neglecting roof maintenance seem obvious in the long run, but even in the short run will result in irate tenants and constant budget overruns due to budget breaking emergency repairs. The benefit of roof maintenance is that you can delay the capital expense of major roof repairs until much later, and you will know exactly how much you need in your roofing budget for that year.

  • Building green to save green

    Until recently, the benefits associated with designing and building a "green" or sustainable project were considered too small to outweigh the costs. Fortunately, the adoption of eco-friendly technology has become mainstream, which in turn causes price reduction. It is no longer considered too expensive to build a sustainable facility. In many cases, it is considered too expensive not to build with this goal in mind. This increased awareness of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and benefits has created a much more sophisticated client whose objectives include sustainability and environmental awareness. As such, valuable resources exist to aid owners, developers, architects, engineers and contractors in their quest toward achieving LEED Certification or more effective "green" practices.

  • Embracing LEED challenges

    By now, many, if not most people have heard of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. LEED provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction and has grown to encompass more than 14,000 projects in all 50 states and more than 30 countries.

  • Green materials offer chic, environmental friendly design solutions

    In the past, when people heard the term ''green design," they might think of products and materials that were unattractive or looked like they were made of salvaged pieces assembled together.

  • Developer of green battery secures $30 million in new funding

    Startup battery maker PowerGenix has developed a nontoxic, noncombustible, completely recyclable nickel-zinc battery that is generating a lot of attention in the cleantech field and interest from original equipment manufacturers who have been looking for a safe green battery.

  • Green curricula at local universities reflect student focus on social responsibility

    Alternative energy, nanotechnology, biodegradable plastics, zero waste -- today's local university students want to know the science behind the solutions.

  • Biofuels: A balanced act

    Energy is expensive, and the cost is only increasing. Any recent visit to the gas station or grocery store can be a reminder of the challenges in providing the energy we need to power the American standards of living and the growing demands of developing countries.

  • Green certification for the whole business

    Many businesses are looking for ways to differentiate their efforts and achievements in the realm of environmental compliance and corporate social responsibility. This is where green certification comes in. But it is rapidly becoming a complex field filled with many choices, provided by a host of agencies. Certification can be obtained for products, for processes, for parts of the business such as the administrative wing and for the entire business.

  • Bailout bill gives boost to renewable energy market

    The controversial $700 billion federal bailout bill signed into law Oct. 3 was crafted to help fix America's severe economic crisis.

Environmental Innovation

National News

  • Money, research spur race for algae as fuel source

    SEATTLE -- Could the next green fuel be pea-green pond scum? Supporters think algae could someday be turned into cheap fuel for automobiles and airplanes, and are betting heavily with infusions of venture capital money and intensive research.

  • Amazon.com making packaging simpler, less wasteful

    SEATTLE (AP) -- One of the worst things about getting a new gadget or toy is trying to free it from the hard plastic casing that houses many products. To reduce those battles, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) said Monday it is working with manufacturers to make the products it sells easier to open and more environmentally friendly.

  • Energy hogs: U.S. prisons now recycle, grow food

    Of all the things convicted murderer Robert Knowles has been called during his 13 years behind bars, recycler hasn't been one of them.

Archived Reports

Environmental Innovation - 2015

Learn about the latest eco-friendly innovations and how local businesses are trying to reduce their impact on the environment.

Environmental Innovation - 2014

This edition focuses on new technologies and green building techniques that can aid in conserving water.

Environmental Innovation - 2013

Learn about San Diego's first solar-powered community.

Environmental Innovation - 2013

Learn about new options to finance solar energy systems, how retrofitting a swimming pool can reduce utility costs and local government’s latest commitment to become sustainable.

Environmental Innovation - Fall 2012

Learn about the latest eco-friendly innovations and how local businesses are trying to reduce their impact on the environment.

Environmental Innovation - April 2012

Read about local pioneers in environmental science, how electric cars are taking over San Diego’s streets, and why one Chargers player loves his Smart car.

Environmental Innovation - October 2011

From “green roofs” to sustainable surfboards, learn about the latest eco-friendly innovations and how local businesses are trying to reduce their impact on the environment.

Environmental Innovation - 2011

Learn about the latest innovations in eco-friendly technology and how local businesses are going green.

Environmental Innovation - Oct 2010

Take a closer look at how businesses in various sectors throughout the region are embracing sustainability.

Environmental Innovation - 2010

Explore some of the local companies and products driving green innovation.