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Sustainable Quality Award Winners

Presented in alphabetical order. Click on a letter below for a listing of winners.

1 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica (video)

SQA Grand Prize, 2016; Sustainable Quality Award, 2003; Excellence Award in Economic Development, 1999

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica (UCLA-SM) is a 265 bed, full-service medical center employing almost 2,300 employees - the largest city employer next to the City of Santa Monica. Since 1936, UCLA-SM has continually expanded and adapted to keep pace with the ever-changing healthcare landscape. One example of UCLA-SM's responsiveness to changing needs is the opening of urgent-care centers in Westside locations to reduce overcrowding in emergency centers and provide more accessible, low cost alternatives for uninsured residents. 

UCLA Medical Center strives to create a positive work environment in many ways. Every two years, UCLA Health conducts an Employee Opinion Survey to gauge how employees feel about the hospitals and health system, their jobs, salaries and various other factors. Once the results are shared, all mangers are required to develop action plans to address any specific shortcomings. Nursing departments also conduct "RN Satisfaction Surveys" on a regular basis to measure how nurses feel about their work. At UCLA-SM, the Chief Administrative Officer also conducts "Open Forums" with staff members. 

UC's robust Sustainable Practices Policy addresses many areas. In response to Green Building Design. the Facilities Department installed a zero-discharge system fot the cooling tower water at UCLA-SM, saving approximately 10,000 gallons per day. In addition, a comprehensive lighting retrofit of approximately 9,000 fixtures reduced almost 500,000 KwH (equivalent to $112,683) annually. Estimated greenhouse gas emission reductions in metric tons CO2e=799,025. Amongst many incentives and program for employee ridesharing, the Santa Monica campus served as one of seven pilot sites for the Breeze Bikeshare program and now house a permanent Breeze station. 

Uniglobe Pacific Travel

Special Recognition, 1996

No additional information at this time

Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica

Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment, 2018; Excellence in Social Responsibility & Stewardship of the Natural Environment, 2010

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC) had SoCal Edison perform an energy audit in 2007 and completed Sustainable Works Business Greening Program in 2008. They installed reflective film on the office windows and replaced more than 50 incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. Their energy bill decreased from 2,166 kWh per month to 1980 kWh – a 9% decrease. To prevent pollutive runoff into the ocean, they installed 3 cisterns on their patio. UUCC performs remodels using Santa Monica’s Green Building Guidelines. They are reusing materials such as floors, doors and furniture. They post weekly green tips in their announcements and offer a range of adult education classes throughout the year. Additionally, they hosted three Green Living Workshops funded by the City of Santa Monica and provided by Sustainable Works. A portion of their Sunday Service collection plate goes to a different charity each week. UUCC donated $250 to TreePeople for a grove of 20 trees and members attended a tree planting event in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Untitled No. 1

Grand Prize, 2022

Untitled No. 1 is a full-day community nature-based preschool for families of all income levels. Children are taught with a high ratio of teachers, all of whom attend to various aspects of development. They provide scholarships to maintain diversity and a socio-economic balance. Untitled No. 1 is a certified Santa Monica Green Business, LEED Gold certified, and WELL Gold certified. The first WELL certified preschool in the world. Regarding social responsibility, their excellent and carefully detailed DEI statement is one that other companies can learn from. Their onsite EV Chargers are available to employees and the public at no charge. They pay for transit commuting for their employees. Untitled No. 1 School has a terrific community garden volunteer program and strong partnerships with local groups. They conduct community engagement and educational programs with local organizations like Community Corp to expand their efforts and diversify their outreach.  

Unurban Coffeehouse

Sustainable Quality Award, 2006

Unurban Coffeehouse is one of the last cafes and community driven social houses in Santa Monica that retains its bohemian theme. They have been in their Pico location for over 12 years. They incorporate organics into their entire menu of homemade meals as well as their hot and cold beverages. They also fulfill community needs by allowing use of the Unurban for meeting or party spaces and support local artists through theater and open mike nights. They support the local economy by purchasing supplies and staff gifts from neighboring Pico businesses.

Uplifters Kitchen

Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment, 2017

Uplifters Kitchen  is a  small coffee shop and bakery with a menu that has a strong emphasis on locally sourced ingredients by partnering with Southern California based artisanal food companies. They are in process of achieving Santa Monica Green Business Certification.

Dine-in guests use reusable glasses, dishes and silverware. Uplifters worked closely with the City’s R3 division and Sustainable Works to arrange for an Organics collection pick up in their Ocean Park location.  With a strong commitment to environmental sustainability including Zero Waste events, they are one of the few cafes in the Santa Monica/ Los Angeles area to provide reusable dishes and glassware for their catered events at no additional cost.  Uplifters Kitchen registered their location on the “WeTap app” map so any resident or visitor can refill their containers with Santa Monica water, regardless of whether they are making a purchase.

Urth Caffé

Sustainable Quality Award, 2005

Established in 1989, Urth Caffé only purchases coffee from farmers that pay workers a fair wage, practice biodynamic agriculture and grow organically. Procurement policies also include natural and/or certified organic teas and food items, unbleached recycled paper products and printing with soy inks. Urth Caffé strategically built on an empty lot in the less-developed part of Main Street, with the aim to help strengthen the local business economy. They have an advanced solar energy system which exclusively powers their hot water heater and feeds back into the main power grid. They cover costs for staff that commute using public transportation. By paying above minimum wage, offering health insurance, vacation time and profit sharing, they boast an extremely low staff turnover. They are leaders in their industry; demonstrating that implementing sustainable practices leads to a successful business.