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Bowser Administration Honors 8 DC Leaders with 2024 Sustainability Awards

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Contact: Nicole Goines (DOEE) – (202) 5367666; [email protected].

WASHINGTON, DC – The Bowser Administration, through the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), recently presented six awards to eight individuals for the 2024 District Sustainability Awards and Clean Energy DC Award for their outstanding environmental leadership.

The 2024 awards mark the 15th year the District has celebrated businesses, organizations, and individuals on the cutting edge of sustainability. This year, DOEE partnered with DestinationDC (DDC) to present the awards at DDC’s first annual Sustainability Summit. This partnership aligns with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s $400 million RevitalizeDC plan to re-energize the local economy by attracting new residents and businesses to downtown DC.

“The partnership between DOEE and DestinationDC highlights the vital, but often overlooked, link between sustainability, tourism, and economic growth,” said DOEE Director Richard Jackson.

The Summit represented the first live Sustainability Awards celebration in more than five years. The awards recognize the individuals, businesses, and organizations that have committed to making the District their home and have made a real difference in our city.

“Coupled with our partnership with DestinationDC, the efforts of our eight Sustainability Award winners demonstrate our commitment to helping make the District a healthy, green, and livable city for all,” Jackson added.

The awardees support Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC plan in the areas of healthy food access, clean energy, stormwater retention, green building construction and management, environmental education, and sustainable waste management. The judges consider not only the creativity and sustainability of the awardees’ practices but also how their efforts reduce inequity in the District. 

Winners of the District Sustainability Award

  • Oyster Oyster: A restaurant that opened during the COVID-19 pandemic, and whose chef, Rob Rubba took home the 2023 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award. This restaurant focuses on supporting organic farms with closed loop packaging solutions and has omitted all single-use cans, bottles, and plastics from their menu. Rubba is the co-founder of “Bakers Against Racism.”
  • Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co: Rocklands is a family restaurant with a 40-year history in the District. It supports other District food vendors by showcasing their products on the menu. The restaurant has installed a solar array and composts at all locations. Rocklands coordinates fundraising events for the community, averaging $20,000 a year in donations.
  • Sistained8, LLC: This Ward 7 woman and minority-owned small business offers creative community compost education. Sistained8 works with youth, adults, and seniors to advocate for aerobic composting and teaches people to “think like a boss. Watch what your toss.” Founder Najwa Womack is a native Washingtonian and a certified master urban composter.
  • The Festival Center:A mainstay in their Adams Morgan community for more than 30 years. Their newly renovated, energy-efficient center offers affordable office and kitchen space for area nonprofits. The center collaborates with more than 25 advocacy organizations of which 90% are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color led.
  • District students Zoe Fisher, Anna Mayer, and Maia Riggs: These young scholars mobilized students across the District to advocate for the state board of education to pass a resolution for a green new deal of schools. These students are being recognized for their exemplary environmental leadership and commitment to a more sustainable future.

Winner of the Clean Energy DC Award: The Catholic University of America

The Clean Energy DC Award recognizes new and innovative energy technology or a strategy or model that has significant replication potential. Starting in 2009, Catholic University installed 2,600 solar panels and in 2022, enlarged the array through a partnership with standard solar. Catholic University’s west campus solar array will be the one of the largest arrays in the region. This community solar project will provide locally generated, clean energy to District households, small businesses, nonprofits, and seniors in Ward 5.

For more information on the awards, go to District Sustainability Awards.