Alter Eco receives the Acterra Award for Sustainability

Last night in Palo Alto, Alter Eco was honored to receive the Acterra’s 2012 Business Environmental Award in the category of Small Business for its commitment to small-scale farmers and to sustainable and fair trade practices.

Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s oldest and most prestigious environmental recognition programs. Initiated in 1990, it is considered a heavyweight among award programs due to its rigorous application and judging process. “Our awardees must demonstrate their environmental commitment and achievements through a careful vetting process,” states Committee Chair Laura Teksler. “In addition to a thorough written application, the top contenders must demonstrate their programs’ merits firsthand to the judges during a visit to the applicants’ facilities. By the time they are selected to receive our award, they have truly proven that their programs are “setting the bar” in corporate environmental leadership.”


As the host of the ceremony, L. Hunter Lovins, co-author of Natural Capitalism and promoter of sustainable development for over 30 years, ended her speech with an allegory that we feel here at Alter Eco was a very appropriate depiction of our small beginnings. 

As narrated by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, the story tells of a little hummingbird that was trying to save the forest from a great fire. All the animals gathered around in fear, feeling helpless. Noticing this, a little hummingbird flew overhead to the nearest lake to take a single drop of water and released it on the fire. The rest of the animals tried to discourage the hummingbird from trying. Even the elephant, with his long trunk which could carry much more water, did nothing. The hummingbird just kept working, going back and forth from the lake to the fire. Finally, one of the animals confronted the little bird: “What are you doing? You are crazy to think that as tiny as you are you can put this fire out!” The hummingbird replied: “I’m doing the best I can.”

If you want to see how Alter Eco contributes to put out the fire, please visit our sustainability page.

Thanks again Acterra, Ariane and her team, for this award. It means a lot to us.

Watch here the story told by Wangari Maathai herself.


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