4 Colorado Companies Awarded For Slashing Pollution

For companies across the private sector, the pressure is on to achieve sustainable operations. Consumers and shareholders alike continue to express concern for wasteful practices. Purchasing carbon emissions offsets is a popular route for business executives looking for a short-term fix. However, one of the strongest approaches to lowering pollution rates is to prevent it from happening at all. Every year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honors companies nationwide for significant progress in pollution prevention This year, the EPA awarded four Colorado-based companies for their contributions to the state’s sustainability efforts.

“I’m happy to recognize the leadership and accomplishments of businesses that are actively working to prevent pollution and make a positive impact in their communities. The work done by this year’s awardees supports EPA’s goals of reducing pollution and addressing climate change,” said KC Becker, EPA regional administrator, in a statement. 

Colorado’s 2021 winners represent several high-polluting sectors: agriculture, electronics and commercial real estate. Last year, they reduced a combined 3,900,000 gallons of water use and 5,570 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. They also saved roughly $213,400 in business expenses. Check out a brief snapshot of each Colorado business recognized.

READ: How Denver Has and Hasn’t Progressed on Sustainability Goals In The Past Decade

PCs for People


Photo courtesy of PCs For People

PCs for People is a national nonprofit specializing in recycling and re-purposing electronic equipment. They primarily serve low-income consumers and nonprofits by equipping them with high-quality and affordable refurbished computers and low-cost internet.

Each year, the company saves over one million pounds of waste from ending up in Colorado landfills by properly recycling and refurbishing donated computers. Over three years, PCs for People refurbished over 24,800 computers across the state — a significant contribution to Colorado’s sustainability work. When electronics are thrown away, hazardous waste and chemicals damage threaten to damage Colorado’s water supply. Additionally, refurbishing computers lowers the demand for new ones, reducing manufacturing emissions.

“Every time a business recycles their technology with us, we feel excited about the opportunity to give it a second life as a valuable device for a family while also keeping it out of a landfill. We are grateful to the many partners who make our work possible, from businesses to community organizations to our customers,” said Alejandro Dopico, PCs for People Denver executive director, in a statement.

Taco Star


Photo by Jeswin Thomas via Unsplash

A Longmont staple, family-owned Taco Star now has four locations in the Denver Metro Area. The Colorado fast-food chain updated its infrastructure to feature LED lighting, low-flow sink aerators and sustainable commercial refrigerators. Refrigeration is the leading source of energy misuse, making Taco Star’s transition a vital step towards energy conservation within Colorado’s sustainability work.

Overall, Taco Star’s activities have contributed to an annual cost savings of $4,695, 32 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent avoided and 13,000 gallons of water conserved. 


Leprino Foods Company


Photo courtesy of Leprino Foods Company

Based in Fort Morgan, Leprino Foods Company is a leading dairy manufacturer. With over 5,000 employees in multiple locations, they specialize in producing mozzarella cheese and popular dairy products. Conventional dairy production is a leading polluter industry.

To reduce the company’s footprint, Leprino Foods installed sustainable equipment to limit greenhouse gas and water use. They also implemented cleaning and production process improvements to lower waste brine.

“The company views pollution prevention efforts as a critical factor in manufacturing products for the overall benefit of the consumer and play an important part in meeting climate action commitments,” said Leprino Foods Fort Morgan Plant Manager David Merriam in a statement. 

By overhauling its equipment and systems, the company modeled water conservation processes for others in the industry to follow.

Management and Engineering Services


Photo by Portuguese Gravity via Unsplash

Headquartered in Longmont, Management and Engineering Services LLC provides business consulting services. They specialize in consulting with government agencies and private companies that operate on public lands. Over a three-year span, the company installed water reduction equipment, stopped stocking disposable office products and implemented renewable energy throughout the building. They also promoted a bike-to-work program and provided bicycles for employees. 

Through their efforts to improve Colorado’s sustainability, Management and Engineering Services embodies the purpose of their own work in environmental business solutions. 

Learn more about the 2021 EPA Region 8 Pollution Prevention (P2) Award Program here