Top Sustainable Companies
Maryland is a vibrant state that is rich in culture, history and innovation. From the ever expanding Inner Harbor of Baltimore that houses The National Aquarium, Maryland is full of sustainable development. The list of our Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland brings optimism and fresh ideas on how to revive and protect the environment. Here are our Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland that we had the joy of discovering, and we hope you will too!
There are many more sustainable companies that we may have missed, so if you believe you should be in the Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland, feel free to contact us and we will evaluate your sustainable initiative. We did not receive any funding or incentives to feature these companies. Our goal is to create awareness on sustainable development and encourage others to participate. Companies listed in this article are also welcome to add our eco-badge to their website, located at the bottom of this article.
Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland
Since 2004, Standard Solar has partnered with forward-thinking companies to speed up the solar industry. In the solar century that we live in, Standard Solar is a trusted partner in solar project-development processes. Until now, they have implemented more than 100 MW of Distributed Generation across the United States.
They have brought ground-breaking projects to life. Including commercial, utilities, public sector, education and agriculture projects. We consider them to be one of the Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland for their involvement in not only launching solar projects but also finding finance solutions that deliver projects from start to finish.
Another fun fact is that they partnered with Gaz Métro – a Montreal-based company! Gaz Métro has transformed itself in an international energy stalwart. They provided Standard Solar with $300 million in low-cost capital and told them make the projects happen—to do their part to bring projects from all around the U.S. to completion.
Based in Bethesda, Neighborhood Sun is another important player in the development of the solar century. Their mission is to empower communities to gain access to the clean-energy revolution sweeping the nation.
They primarily focus on providing solar energy to nonprofits, faith and neighborhood groups. Solar energy is used as a vehicle to create valuable assets for the communities most in need. It provides a local revenue, creates jobs and supplies clean renewable energy.
What exactly is urban community solar?
It’s a way for the rest of the market that can’t get rooftop solar to still access solar power. Consumers, residents or small businesses can sign up for subscriptions from larger scale solar projects that are built in their area. There’s no physical connection or equipment for the consumers to install. You can simply get a piece of the production from the project, which is reflected on your utility bill.
Greenbuilders, Inc. was established in 2004 and now has more than 50 highly specialized subcontractors. Ranging from lathe turners to drywall finishers to stone masons, Greenbuilders, Inc. helps people realize their dreams of beautiful, unique, affordable and sustainable construction projects.
Their definition of GREEN comes from the international LEED rating system. The LEED certification includes five major elements: the site, water, energy, materials, and indoor air quality.
Their work includes:
- Contemporary interior
- Green roofs
- Outdoor living spaces
- Tiny houses
- Whole house renovation
- One-of-a-kind kitchens
- Small spaces
- Strawbale construction
- Land restoration
Read more on the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency.
Sustainable Design Group
As their name indicates it, Sustainable Design Group‘s philosophy to do their utmost to enhance the environment with each one of their projects. Located in Gaithersburg, SDG is a design-build firm that specializes in the new construction of custom, responsible single-family homes.
Passionate about designing responsible buildings for both people and the planet, each one of SDG’s design is always comprehensive. They start their design by looking at the impact on an individual community scale and soar to a global and universal scale.
The advantages of sustainable design include:
- Grid independence
- Energy efficiency
- Home Security
- Economic benefit
SDG offers the installation of solar power, battery back-up, energy recovery ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, wind power, passive solar, rainwater collection, off-grid solar, and superior insulation.
The National Aquarium
The National Aquarium opened in 1981. It is a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization. As mentioned, you will find it in the very heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
They have made our list of the Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland for their work in marine conservation and education. For generations, families have been inspired to appreciate and protect the ocean.
Their team takes care of more than 20,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals that live in award-winning habitats. At the moment, they focus on urban conservation, climate change, coastal resiliency, and ocean and human health. What else? Their team has rescued, rehabilitated and released hundreds of marine mammals and endangered sea turtles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
With education, research, conservation and advocacy, the National Aquarium is pursuing a vision to change the way humanity cares for our ocean planet.
Every day, they inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. The National Aquarium has more than a handful of conservation activities locals can take part in. We strongly encourage local Marylanders to get involved with them!
Suggested marine life documentary: Mission Blue
This restaurant boasts more than local farm-to-table ingredients. Woodberry Kitchen helps regenerate oyster beds by returning shells to the Chesapeake Bay. Their food waste is grounded and extracted, and ash from the wood-burning oven is given to small farmers.
That initiative is part of a project by the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s Shell Recycling Alliance. In whole, they take the shells to a hatchery run by the University of Maryland. Then, their spat, or microscopic baby oysters, are produced on the shells. After, the alliance places them in the Chesapeake to grow.
At Woodberry Kitchen, we dine on tables made from salvaged wood. Displayed are glass-blown light fixtures and candle holders, and handcrafted metal work – all done by local artisans.
Food Recovery Network
Food Recovery Network is a national nonprofit that unites and supports college students to fight food waste and hunger. It is one of the largest student movement against food waste and hunger in America. To do this, they recover surplus food from their campuses and local restaurants that would otherwise go to waste. Recovered food is then donated to hungry Americans.
The FRN National HQ is located in College Park, Maryland. Each official FRN chapter runs autonomously by student leaders on that campus.
Impressively, in its first year of operations in 2011, FRN had recovered 30,000 meals to DC-area hunger-fighting nonprofits.
Why do we think they are one of the Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland?
Food waste contributes to pollution. Think of the energy needed to produce food. Then think of the fuel needed for tractors and lorries. There’s also the fertilizer production that releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And the amount of water squandered on unwanted food is enormous. What else? Consider the distance food travels to get to our plates.
This next one on our list is another important player in the fight against food waste. Hungry Harvest supports an efficient agricultural food system that generates zero waste. They do this by supplying gleaned and recovered produce that is inexpensive and healthy to fight hunger in food deserts.
Their team delivers surplus fruits and vegetables to subscriber’s homes every week, year round. For every bag they deliver to a subscriber, they also donate a healthy meal to someone in need.
To date, they have delivered over 3,000,000 pounds, provided access to 50,000 pounds of reduced-cost produce and donated over 500,000 pounds more to their partner organizations! Some of the food pantries and food banks they donate to are Maryland Food Bank, DC Central Kitchen, Nourish Now, Rainbow Community Development Center, Philabundance and Manna Food Center.
They also have a partnership with the Baltimore Police Department, who comes and picks up between 70 boxes of produce each week (an additional 700 pounds) and delivers them to needy families throughout the city. The Western District, for example, delivers to low-income seniors who have a limited food budget and low mobility.
BannerBee Company started as a family beekeeping hobby two generations ago. Their apiaries are located on various farms in the beautiful countryside of the Mid-Atlantic region. BannerBee provides their bees with plenty of tasty nectar.
They also practice organic and sustainable apiary management. This means they are antibiotic-free, chemical-free and managed on certified organic and organically managed farms and estates through the Mid-Atlantic for pollination and nectar variety. Their products are 100% biodegradable, cruelty-free, and do not contain harmful phlatates, parabens, petroleum products, synthetic fragrance oils, preservatives, FD&C colorants or dyes, or other toxic chemicals.
BannerBee employs sustainable beekeeping practices through:
- Non-migratory management. Following a thorough site inspection, they place their hives on a single property for the entire season.
- Working with locally raised hygienic queens versus ordering from southern states. This improves the strength of the stock of their bees as they are acclimated to this specific climate, thus increasing survival rates.
- Employing non-chemical practices by treating with essential oils and other natural means. They do not use antibiotics in treating their hives.
- Ensuring each hive in every one of their apiaries is winterized with 100+ pounds of honey and pollen to better the odds of the hive surviving through the winter season. This practice, as opposed to harvesting everything produced by the bees during the season and then feeding the hives sugar water or high fructose corn syrup, has proven in their experience, to be much more successful in maintaining the honey bee’s health. Sugar water and/or high fructose corn syrup is much more difficult for the honeybees to digest.
- Making every effort to place their hives as far away from toxic environment as possible (i.e. residential areas, corn & soy crops)
BannerBee also strives to promote a culture of environmental responsibility through the following:
- Reusing shipping materials whenever possible and recycling what cannot be reused. They also use dissolving starch shipping peanuts and biodegradable packaging whenever possible.
- Providing incentives for customers to return empty glass containers to encourage recycling. These glass jars are sterilized and reused for ‘little thing’ storage, candle jars or other purposes.
- Working toward an energy source conversion to 100% solar and wind combination by the end of 2018.
Veteran Compost has made our list of the Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland. This unique business is veteran-owned and focused on turning food scraps into high-quality organic compost in Maryland, DC and Virginia.
For Veteran Compost, two things matter most:
1. Employing veterans and their family members
2. Turning food scraps into high-quality compost
Their team provides food scrap collection, finished compost, and a host of other great products. They own and operate their own permitted composting facilities and have a large scale worm composting operation. It’s chemical free, which creates compost that is 100% Organic and approved for Organic Farming. What else makes them sustainable? They use 100% wind power to make their compost!
Founded in the back of a bus back in 1977, Ecoprint has been one of the first in-house print shop of various grassroots environmental organizations. From the very beginning, these pioneers searched for ways to avoid toxic chemicals and find papers that preserved forests. Since then, they have private-labeled their own line of environmentally sound Ecoprint papers. This along with their own vegetable-oil based and metal-free Eco-inks.
They’re also one of the first printer to buy 100% of their electricity from wind farms. What’s more, they are a Carbon Neutral printer. Ecoprint commits to managing, measuring and improving the environmental performance of each one of their products.
Their project managers are experts in assisting customers in making environmentally sound choices. They help with specifying new projects, with a focus on paper stocks, paper weights, trim sizes, ink coverage, coatings and production methods.
One more thing. Ecoprint is dedicated to social and corporate responsibility. They support the following groups:
- Pandas International
- World Resource Institute
- Tiny House Expo
- Sustainable UMD
- Amazon Rainforest Workshop
Altenera is on a mission to rethink energy generation technology and business models as they exist today. They provide innovative alternatives to resolve challenges to current clean energy solutions on the market.
For example, they have innovated BREEZBEE®. The latter is a wind harvesting solution that uses a patented, technically sound and highly efficient technology. It incorporates vibrating reeds to produce energy under virtually all wind conditions. The reeds are organized in lightweight, modular and easily mountable panels. Like LEGOs, it can be combined in arrays to scale to any size. It is customizable for various situations such as:
- Energy producing screens for homes and buildings
- Repurpose existing structures as wind energy generators
- Mobile, field-ready generator units for remote locations and structures
Manta Biofuel is a biotechnology firm that has developed a three-step method for producing renewable crude oil from algae. They grow algae, harvest it and then convert it into a renewable crude oil.
- Growing algae is relatively simple. As long as there is enough nutrients and sunlight, algae will grow rapidly. Since their technology allows them to harvest any algae, they can use the native colonies and natural blooms.
- When the algae are ready to collect, they use portable, floating harvesters. Impressively, these rely on solar power and autonomously navigate through the waters to harvest algae.
- The collected algal biomass is converted to crude oil by being subjected to high temperature and pressure.
The oil produced is equal to petroleum and can be used as a drop in replacement at the refinery level. Meaning the fuels produced from this product are renewable and carbon neutral.
Suggested reading: Benefits of Algae Biomass
Fair Farms Maryland
Fair Farms Maryland is a movement committed to a sustainable food system. It engages environmental and public health groups, businesses, consumers, and farmers to take part. They create awareness about the relationship between agriculture, water, food and public health. Here are some of the issues affecting Maryland’s food system: farmer support, manure solutions, healthy soils and more.
Prompting Marylanders to reduce agricultural pollution, Fair Farms Maryland promotes healthy, sustainable practices. Practices that are fair to farmers, that invest in homegrown foods and restore the State’s waterways.
They have established impressive collaborations with an exhaustive list of partners. As there are too many to list, here is a glimpse at some of their notable partners:
- Waterkeeper Alliance
- Healthy Food Maryland
- Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association
- Maryland Environmental Health Network
- Healthy School Food Maryland
Annapolis Compost is a young company that was founded in 2016 by Karl Schrass and Anna Kramer. Before moving to Maryland in 2015, they spent four years in Germany where separating food waste is a part of daily life.
Yet, in Annapolis, they faced a lack of options and struggled to find a way to recycle their scraps. Their search to find a solution sprouted the idea for creating Annapolis Compost.
They believe that real change begins at the level of the individual and are thrilled to offer their service to their community. For Annapolis residents that are interested in reducing food waste, consider contacting them here.
We hope you enjoyed L’Autre Couleur’s Top Sustainable Companies in Maryland!
L’Autre Couleur is a responsible content marketing & design agency that represents companies making a difference in positive impact & sustainability. We offer end-to-end full service in digital marketing services, ranging from content writing & web design, to social media and campaign management.
To work with us on content writing or digital marketing projects, feel free to contact us.
This was the 11th post in the Top Sustainable Companies series; one for every State in the United States. By the end of 2017, you can expect a Top Sustainable Companies article for every State in the United States! To stay updated on the up and coming initiatives, subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Facebook. Also please comment if we have left out any important sustainable companies in Maryland that you believe should be part of our list of top sustainable companies, or if you have any thoughts/comments on the article.
Check out some of the sustainable companies happening in your neighbouring country.
- Top Sustainable Companies in New York
- Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania
- Top Sustainable Companies in Delaware
Use this code to embed the badge on your site: