SBR’s Recognition Program is a continuous improvement program structured to help businesses reach achievable sustainability targets. We want to recognize your company for its sustainable business practices – those decisions that lower expenses and reduce the environmental footprint of  your company. We offer increased exposure for the exemplary accomplishments of leaders, initiatives, and organizations working to reduce the impact of their business on our environment and make positive contributions to our community. This animated video describes why and how you should apply!



Let us know about your successes by applying for the Recognition Program Awards! The program is open to SBR members in good standing. The 2021 application window opens on January 19th and closes on March19th. A pdf version of the application document is available HERE, and a google doc version of the application is available HERE!


All SBR member companies that achieve at least bronze level receive a certificate from the SBR Board of Directors. This distinction will be announced at our annual marquee event, the Sustainable Business Summit, and be highlighted on SBR’s website and social media channels. In addition to the achievement levels, SBR recognizes outstanding projects described in Section 2 of the application. Outstanding projects selected for recognition will receive an engraved award that will be presented during SBR’s annual Summit. They will also be highlighted in widely disseminated paid advertisement in addition to SBR’s website and social media channels. 

In addition, one individual is presented with the Eric Lindstrom Sustainability Star Award. This is presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond to create an environmentally and economically resilient Western New York. The honoree does not need to be a member of SBR to be considered for this award, however SBR members must nominate all candidates. The 2021 nomination form can be found here.  





Award categories


Companies are awarded sustainability awards at bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. Specific projects are awarded the following:


  • Most Innovative Sustainability Project
  • Community Impact Award
  • Board of Directors’ Choice Award



Award Winners 



The organizations recognized at the 2021 Summit embody the SBR’s Principles to become a thriving and resilient business by establishing plans to reduce material waste, protect our waterways, optimize use of energy, and invest in our communities with an overall goal of reducing their footprint and becoming role models in the business community. The following companies were recognized for their outstanding work in sustainability. 


Platinum Level: National Grid, Tesla, & University at Buffalo

Gold Level:  Harmac Medical Products, Erie County, Wendel, Goldfarb Financial, Curbell, Perry’s Ice Cream, Niagara Malt, & M&T Bank

Silver Level:  Triad Recycling, Montante Solar, ARCA, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Catholic Health, Chudy Paper, Eaton Office Supply, Environmental Advantage Inc., Guard Contracting, & LED Energy Solutions

Bronze Level:  ECIDA, FIFCO USA, materialsIn, & NOCO Energy


In addition to overall recognition, three companies and one individual were recognized in specific categories:

  • Most Innovative Sustainability Project awarded to NOCO Energy for their efforts to greatly improve lighting efficiency by converting all lighting at their facility to LED and for their composting innovations of developing both a traditional composting facility and the other in a food waste to black soldier fly protein processing facility.
  • Community Impact Award was awarded to Rich Products for their support and collaboration with the Massachusetts Avenue Project to combat unprecedented threats to local food security during the COVID pandemic from farm to family table through their Mobile Market Food Access Initiative.
  • The Board of Directors Choice Award honored University at Buffalo for their incredible achievement of converting to 100% renewable electricity and a carbon footprint reduction of 33%.



Read out press release announcing our 2020 Recognition Winners here!


Gold Level:  Curbell, Niagara Malt, Perry’s Ice Cream, Triad Recycling & Wendel

Silver Level:  Buffalo Zoo, Erie County, Goldfarb Financial & Harmac Medical Products

Bronze Level:  Montante Solar


In addition to overall recognition, three companies and one individual were recognized in specific categories:

  • Most Innovative Sustainability Project awarded to Niagara Malt for recently achieving climate neutrality through a host of groundbreaking initiatives including installation of a wood pellet boiler, onsite solar energy production and more.
  • Community Impact Award was awarded to both Montante Solar for their Community Solar Array Project, featuring collaborations for protection of natural habitat and wildlife during construction, and integration of native plant species into the design to increase habitat for native pollinators.
  • The Board of Directors Choice Award honored Perry’s Ice Cream for their continued upgrades to more efficient lighting and new energy efficient heating process.

The 2020 Eric Lindstrom Sustainability Star Award was presented to Zandra Cunningham, CEO of Zandra Beauty, for her examplary efforts to build a business based on sustainable products manufactured in Western New York.




Gold Level: Wendel and Curbell

Silver Level: Harmac Medical Products, Erie County, Buffalo Zoo & Goldfarb Financial

In addition to overall recognition, three companies and one individual were recognized in specific categories:

  • Most Innovative Sustainability Project awarded to Harmac Medical Products for their waste reduction of foam sheets and nylon wipes.
  • Community Impact Award was awarded to both Goldfarb Financial for their Money Talks speaker series and the Buffalo Zoo for its native plantings initiative.
  • The Board of Directors Choice Award honored Erie County for its Climate Action, Sustainability Plan execution, and relentless commitment to mitigating the impact of climate change within the bounds of our community.

The 2019 Eric Lindstrom Sustainability Star Award was presented to Tom Leone, President of Curbell Industries, for his exemplary commitment to the advancement of sustainable business practices in WNY.


SBR recognized ten local companies as leaders in sustainability and sound environmental practices:

  • Perry’s Ice cream
  • Niagara Malt LLC
  • Harmac Medical Products
  • Erie County
  • Curbell
  • Wendel
  • University at Buffalo
  • Tri-Main Development LLC
  • Triad Recycling
  • Tapecon

Business Stories

Niagara Malt


Awarded 2020 Gold Level Recognition and Most Innovative Sustainability Project 

Niagara Malt has installed a wood pellet boiler and a hydronic heat exchanger to tackle the energy intense process of malting. Malting at Niagara Malt was originally supported by an all electric system, creating extremely costly electric bills. Niagara Malt soon took action by installing the boiler system, which reduced the company’s electric use by 65-75% and uses wood pellets (which is considered carbon neutral by the EPA). In addition, in 2018 Niagara Malt installed a solar rooftop system from Solar Liberty, which they had met at the 2018 SBR Summit. Through the combination of the initiatives, Niagara Malt has  generated a total of 20.28 MWh of electricity, saving an estimated 14,258 kg of CO2 emissions. As of March 2020, Niagara Malt has generated an excess of 1,240 kWh of electricity. 

Niagara Malt Case Study, published in 2020

Montante Solar

Awarded 2020  Bronze Level Recognition and Community Impact Award

Montante’s awarded project is the “Solar Park 2”: 7 MW Community Solar Array located on Grand Island, NY. The project broke ground in March 2019 and is currently operational. This is the largest community solar array in WNY and produces 8,930,000 kWh annually, which has the capacity to power over 1,000 homes in the area. Montante partnered with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to plan around the protection of natural habitat and wildlife during construction. It built a bridge that spans over the state wetland that runs through the site in order to connect the two halves of the site and not disrupt the habitat. Furthermore, Montante integrated native plant species into the design and planted them among the solar panels to increase habitat for native pollinators, and also cut down on maintenance to the vegetation in the array.

Perry’s Ice Cream

Awarded 2020 Gold Level Recognition and  Board of Director’s Choice Award

Perry’s most recent project is their 20-year continued upgrade to energy efficient lighting was the upgrade of their truck garage lighting in 2019. The purpose of this project was to reduce energy consumption – it replaced nine 400-watt HID fixtures with nine LED 162-watt high bay motion sensor light fixtures. The original light fixtures consumed an estimated 7,488 kWh annually, while the LED fixtures only consumed an estimated 3,120 kWh annually, a 58% annual energy saving. Perry’s installation of LED light fixtures in their Akron truck garage is in addition to their continued upgrade to more efficient lighting and their newest policy to replace light fixtures with LED technology when replacements are needed.

Perry’s has also implemented a new energy efficient heating process for heating their 20,000-gallon tank used for cleaning. They capture waste heat generated from their ammonia compressors that are used in their refrigeration process to heat the water used for cleaning, which needs to be heated to 140 ºF. The heat captured from the compressors is able to heat the cleaning water from 50 ºF to 90 ºF, saving 40 ºF of heat that would otherwise be generated through the use of natural gas. Through this process, Perry’s has saved 213,581,200 BTU’s annually which has saved 165,564 CCF of gas annually. This has avoided the release of 9.1 metric tons of CO2 annually.

Harmac Medical Products 

Awarded 2019 Silver Level Recognition and Most innovative Sustainability Project for keeping 60,000 foam sheets and 20 cases of wipes out of landfill

“In 2018 our manufacturing and engineering group found that we were discarding 3,000 foam sheets and over a case of nylon wipes every week. The material was used to protect molded parts manufactured in one clean room, as they were transported to another clean room for final assembly. The engineering teams worked together with the operators to implement a process to save the packaging materials, return them to the warehouse and re-use them. While this seems pretty simple for most industries, Harmac had to implement this process in accordance with all FDA, and ISO 13485 regulations to ensure the integrity and quality of the product is not compromised. This process took about 6 months to implement, and has had a significant impact. In just 5 months we have saved almost $30,000 by reusing the materials, and have kept 60,000 foam sheets and 20 cases of wipes out of landfill. One of the most rewarding pieces of this project, is that it was completely driven by manufacturing and not the EH&S department or Green Team.” 

Harmac Medical Products Case Study, published in 2020

Buffalo Zoo 

Awarded 2019 Silver Level Recognition and Community Impact Award for their Native Plantings Program

“Though the Buffalo Zoo’s primary collection includes animals from every continent, we also have an impressive botanical collection.  The Zoo’s 23.5-acre campus is situated in Delaware Park, one of the premier Olmsted Parks in Buffalo. To maintain the park-like atmosphere, our public spaces are well planted.  Exhibit spaces also require select plantings. One of the Buffalo Zoo’s sustainability goals is to increase the number of native plant species at the Zoo by 5-10% each year over the course of 5-10 years.  Planting natives reduces the need for watering and attracts fewer unwanted pests, thereby reducing the need for pesticides.  To reach this goal, any perennial planted must be a native species. This has led to the creation of pollinator gardens with 15 different pollinator species to attract birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.  In addition, we have eliminated several invasive plants such as Japanese honeysuckle and obedient plant.  Rather than using harmful herbicides to eliminate weeds, we use a “weed dragon” that utilizes heat to kill weeds.”

Erie County

Awarded 2019 Silver Level Recognition and Board of Director’s Choice Award for their Climate Action & Sustainability Plan

“Erie County developed a Climate Action & Sustainability Plan (CASP) for internal operations as a blueprint of actions the County can take to mitigate its production of greenhouse gases (GHG) and lessen its contribution to climate change. The CASP contains overall GHG emission reduction goals, which were originally aligned with those of the Paris Agreement, 26-28% by 2025 based on a 2005 baseline. After a GHG inventory showed that the County’s internal operations has reduced its emissions by 27% (already fulfilling the Paris goals), the Core Green Team set new aggressive yet achievable reduction goals against the 2005 baseline. The goals were set over three time periods:  Short-term (2020) – achieve 32% overall GHG emissions reduction, Mid-term (2025) – achieve 50% overall GHG emissions reduction, and Long-term (2040) – achieve 80% overall GHG emissions reduction. By following the actions recommended in the CASP, Erie County can create financial savings, keep dollars in the local economy, support new jobs, improve air quality, and attract and retain dedicated public servants.”