Larry’s Beans, Raleigh, North Carolina’s Fair Trade, Organic coffee roaster, has been named the recipient of the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award (RESA) for 2010. The RESA is the city’s top overall award given to a business or individual for a commitment to social, economic, and environmental stewardship. Partners Larry Larson and Kevin Bobal were presented the award by Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker at a special event on April 22 (Earth Day).

“Since Larry’s Beans’ mission is to be a leader in sustainability, it means a lot to be recognized by the City of Raleigh,” Larson says. “We try to do the right thing for people and the environment by making responsible choices like using biodegradable packaging, green-o-vating our roasting facility, and only roasting Fair Trade, Shade Grown, Organic coffee. To be recognized among so many other top-notch companies who support the environment is quite an honor.”

The City of Raleigh created the award program in an effort to recognize outstanding work in sustainable development and environmental stewardship. Larry’s Beans was selected by a jury of judges from among numerous nominations.

Larry’s Beans uses sustainable techniques throughout its roasting facility. Striking examples include solar hot water tubes on the roof that heat the radiant floors and a built-in “clearstory” that saves energy by letting natural sunlight indoors. Larry’s Beans uses reflective floor paint to maximize this natural light. Zone heating is used to save energy by using it only where people are working. State-of-the-art spray foam insulation keeps the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The conference room and staircase are made of wood salvaged from an old store.

Outside, five cisterns collect 2,500 gallons of harvested rainwater which is used to run the building’s water-saving dual-flush toilets and to water the courtyard garden. Visitors are also quick to notice the fuel pump outside the front door that dispenses B100 fuel. It’s Raleigh’s only biodiesel fueling station, and the fuel is produced by Piedmont Biofuels.

In addition, all local coffee deliveries are made by Larry’s Beans’ famous Veggie Bus that runs off of waste vegetable oil, which saves gasoline and helps keep the air clean. Even the gate of the building’s courtyard is made of reclaimed materials.

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