2024 Sustain Charlotte Award Nominees

2024 Sustain Charlotte Award Nominees


Michael Eastwood

Michael Eastwood serves as Mecklenburg County's Safe Routes to School Coordinator. Michael has been instrumental in enhancing opportunities for children to walk, bike, roll and stroll to and from school. He also managed the installation of three traffic gardens at elementary schools in 2023.

John Holmes

John Holmes is an active advocate for safe multi-modal transit across the City of Charlotte, particularly in East Charlotte. John is a board member for CharlotteEAST and a member of the Bicycle Advisory Committee. Both strive to serve the broader community in a variety of ways.

CT Anderson

While leading sustainability efforts on the corporate side (Belk, Bank of America), CT Anderson is also the founder of Springclean, an organization dedicated to the circular economy of textiles, and former host of Creation Care Podcast. Through her guest speaking at community events, creative programs and partnerships and events, CT is able to reach a wide audience & educate them on not only sustainability issues, but how to make an impact.

Vickie Breemes

Vickie Breemes directs the talented professionals on Little’s Advanced Building Technologies team, whose sole focus is furthering the firm’s progress in the areas of specifications, quality assurance and sustainability. She is an industry leader driving regenerative design and sustainability forward. With over 26 years of experience, she spearheads initiatives, educates, and innovates to create a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

Elaine Powell

Elaine Powell is serving in her third term as a Mecklenburg County Commissioner. As chair of the Environmental Stewardship Committee, Powell vigorously works to preserve open and green space for the County. Under her leadership, Mecklenburg County has acquired over 1,553 acres of protected, green and open space.

Jane Myers

Jane Myers is the dynamic leader of TreesCharlotte, a small but mighty non-profit making a big impact on the canopy of Charlotte. Jane is on a mission to keep Charlotte "The City of Trees," by creating initiatives and programs to address canopy loss. Jane has made it her intention to not just grow Charlotte's canopy, but to grow it equitably through new programming in underserved and disadvantaged areas of the city, as well as historically black neighborhoods.

Casey Verburg

Casey Verburg is a Senior Economic Developer with ElectriCities of North Carolina. She works with 19 communities to recruit new commercial/retail development through sustainability programs and feasibility studies to identify sites for development.

Katie Lloyd

Katie is a landscape architect and senior planner for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, specializing in the creation of greenways. Katie’s technical mastery includes site selection; design; managing pre-construction nuances; working with project managers; and engaging with the public, community leaders and private companies. In addition to creating fun, healthy environments to recreate, Katie’s work is crucial in meeting two of the primary goals of the Charlotte 2040 Comprehensive Plan and Strategic Mobility Plan: the 50/50 rideshare goal and bringing more residents within walking distance of a park.

Dr. Stephen Moore

Dr. Stephen Moore is a professor in the Belk College of Business and UNC Charlotte. He is an avid supporter of Sustain Charlotte and its mission and inspires his students to get involved with sustainability practices, both with the organization and in their communities. Dr. Moore is committed to teaching about sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and community citizenship opportunities and works to advocate for safe biking infrastructure.

Ramez Tadros

Ramez Tadros lives in Plaza Midwood with his wife, daughter, two cats, and three bikes. With a passion for cycling and a desire to help others, Ramez gathered community support from a variety of sources (individuals, groups, non-profits, and businesses) to fund the People Powered Bike Lane Sweeper, which engages and empowers the cycling community while at the same time developing stakeholders in the quality of our cycling infrastructure.

Hasheem Halim

Hasheem is a Citizen Architect. His makerspace, Derita Design, invites locals to learn about design. He has worked on placemaking grants, building benches from recycled plastic, and on the Corridors Connect program via Charlotte is Creative. Hasheem provides opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to access equipment and resources necessary to start their design journey and collaborates with local minority-owned businesses like Afro Space to amplify voices in the community.

Joel Olsen

Joel Olsen is is committed to pursuing projects that further solar infrastructure in NC and will help secure a brighter and better future for our future generations. He is also founder of Sun Raised Foods, a company that introduces people to sustainable agriculture, clean energy, and various delicious lamb dishes. Joel’s projects always involve a teaching element that the community can learn from.

Ryan Carter

Ryan Carter is a policy manager at Catawba Riverkeeper. He is a leader in stormwater policy and advocated for the introduction of a bipartisan stormwater bill in the NC House in 2023. He was appointed by Gov. Cooper to serve on the Sedimentation Control Commission and works to educate residents about how they can advocate for water quality protections by engaging with their elected officials.


UNC Charlotte Building Environmental Services

The Building Environmental Services group at UNC Charlotte cleans and maintains all the academic and administrative and auxiliary buildings that support the campus of 30,000 students and 5,500 employees. The team is focused on improving indoor air quality and managing recycling programs for many materials throughout the buildings.

New Normal X

New Normal X is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and inviting students to join the climate activist community. Students partake in daily challenges, such as taking shorter showers and using reusable straws for volunteer hours. Through community outreach events and a strong following on social media, NNX involves high- and middle-schoolers throughout the area so that they feel included in this mission and feel a sense of personal responsibility when concerning climate change.

Business 911 Small Business Center

Business 911 Small Business Center is a local community non-profit that helps small business owners register their business and provides classes, workshops and support. They have assisted more than 3,000 businesses since their founding.

Life For the Hopeless

Life For The Hopeless Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses on raising mental health awareness in minority and underserved communities. They have created a safe space in the First Ward community by bringing people from all walks of life together by hosting community events, creating wellness programs, mentoring groups, and more.

Queens University of Charlotte

Queens University of Charlotte is a not-for-profit higher education institution. Through their comprehensive sustainability plan, they endeavor to change their own institutional behaviors, educate and empower their constituents and directly impact the community with resources.

Upcycle Arts

Upcycle Arts is Charlotte's first creative reuse center, whose mission is to foster creativity, learning, and sustainable behaviors in our community by providing access to affordable reclaimed materials. Upcycle provides community workshops and make-and-takes to provide engagement and education, and diverts materials from landfill.


Mindful & Good

Mindful & Good is a B Corp Certified design studio dedicated to creating impactful brands that ignite positive change. From start-ups to Fortune 500s, they design compelling brands that benefit the community through environmentally friendly practices, social responsibility, education, partnerships, and economic growth.

Trash and Stash Junk Removal

Trash & Stash is an independent junk removal service that provides environmentally responsible disposal options to Charlotte area businesses and homes. With a donate, resell, recycle first policy, they diverted nearly 250,000 pounds of trash from the landfill in 2023.

Natural Awakenings

Natural Awakenings is the No. 1  healthy-living, healthy-planet magazine in Charlotte that helps to educate, empower, and connect our community every month to matters of green and sustainable living, natural health, wellness and more.


Ekologicall is a zero-waste and refill shop, serving the Charlotte area since 2019. The store empowers a healthier, simpler, more sustainable lifestyle by offering curated non-toxic, eco-friendly alternatives for home & body and changing consumer consumption habits.

Small City Farm

Small City Farm is located just 5 miles from Uptown Charlotte on three acres. They are a resource for new farmers in our community and provide local food at a reasonable price.

Sun Raised Foods

Sun Raised Foods strives to amplify the greater good including sustainability and regenerative energy. From that philosophy comes a network of qualified farmers who use sustainable practices to support a better environment.

Piercing Sun Consulting

Piercing Sun Consulting is a management consulting company specializing in helping small and midsize companies improve their Environmental, Social, and Governance capabilities, outcomes, and thrive as a force for good. They propel business growth and value creation by advancing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Oh My Soul

Oh My Soul is a South African restaurant with delicious cruelty-free vegan food. Oh My Soul provides a Community Food Pantry (take one / leave one) open to the public outside their establishment. Local musicians perform in their outdoor patio where they maintain a 100 year old oak tree.

Organic Salon LKN

Organic Salon LKN is committed to the health and well-being of their clients and our planet. They promote a healthy lifestyle behind the chair and beyond by adopting products and practices aligned with the values of holistic health, non-toxic beauty, sustainability, transparency, and altruism.

Claudia Josephine Design

Claudia Josephine Design provides full-service interior design services with a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly furnishings and décor. Their approach encourages reuse, upcycle, and eco-friendly, high-quality furnishings and décor.

The Patio Farmer

The Patio Farmer is a woman-owned business that helps people grow food at home and reduce their carbon footprint, no matter how much (or little) space one has. They operate a 1-acre homestead in northwest Charlotte with chickens, honey bees, a vermicomposting system, a healthy compost pile, ten raised beds, a massive container garden, and a hobby greenhouse for overwintering all the tropical fruits.

Organic Marketplace

Organic Marketplace offers high-quality nutritional supplements, bulk foods, home goods, beauty products, pet products, wine, and beer, with many of them locally sourced. Protecting the environment has been a focus as they have been bag-free for eight years, strive for minimal packaging, and have a staff member serve on the board of Keep Gastonia Beautiful.

Queen's Orders Honey

Queens Orders Honey is making beekeeping accessible to our region, growing the community with locally-sourced bees and hives, and strengthening our growing capacity by introducing more pollinators. They set up hives and maintain them throughout the Charlotte region and provide beekeeper training. They also sell honey produced by the bees of the 30+ hives they keep.


Novant Health Green Teams

Novant Health Green Teams are a set of like-minded individuals who, through grassroots efforts, chose to organize in teams to integrate and advance various sustainability efforts within the organization and our community. Their intent is to integrate sustainability into business decisions wherever possible to drive innovation and resource efficiency, thereby advancing health-supporting solutions within our communities and make us more capable of improving human health.

Renu Energy Solutions

Renu is one of NC's top solar and battery storage contractors, installing facilities for both residential and commercial customers both in NC and throughout much of the Southeast. Renu's business represents direct investment into our local communities while helping to fight climate change. With their EV charging and battery storage efforts, they are also contributing to building and transportation electrification efforts.


Stantec is a global leader in sustainable design, architecture, engineering, planning, digital technology, project management, and scientific consulting services. Stantec’s SocioEco-Equity Network (SEEN) promotes equity in the built environment to improve quality of life in communities historically subjected to environmental justice discriminatory practices.

Birdsong Brewing Co.

Birdsong Brewing Co. demonstrates its commitment to sustainability by partnering with local farmers, using an in-house baler to compact cardboard and soft plastics for efficient recycling, tracking and maintaining efficient water consumption levels, conducting twice-yearly stream cleans, installing a 75 kilowatt solar array on their roof, and participating in Bicycle Benefits program to reward guest who ride a bicycle to the brewery.


City of Charlotte's Office of Sustainability & Resilience

The City of Charlotte recognizes that protecting our natural resources, promoting conservation and improving the environment is fundamentally important to quality of life and essential to maintaining a vibrant economy. Through adoption and implementation of the Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP) the city is working towards its goals of being a low-carbon community by 2050 and powering its buildings and fleet with 100% zero carbon sources by 2030.

Long Range Planning Division of Charlotte’s Planning, Design and Development Department

The Long Range Planning Division of Charlotte’s Planning, Design and Development Department is a dynamic group of professionals that ensures the public are co-creators in developing the 2040 Policy Map, a land use tool informing sustainable land use. The staff developed the Equitable Growth Framework Manual that features a methodology for measuring access to housing, jobs, and necessities, environmental justice, and promoting equity.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission (CMPC) serves as an advisory board to Charlotte City Council. They make recommendations and provide input on land use policies, land development plans and rezonings, as well as long-term comprehensive planning initiatives, ensuring that equity, environmental impacts and sustainability matters are kept at the forefront of city's development and land use plans and policy.

Charlotte Water

Charlotte Water is the largest water and sewer services provider in the Carolinas, distributing more than 116 million gallons of drinking water a day to over 1.1 million customers. Charlotte Water has partnered with Town Brewing, Xylem Inc. and Yellow Duck Marketing to create the first beer in the Carolinas made with recycled water, a demonstration project designed to spark the local conversation about the potential of recycled water.

Keep Charlotte Beautiful

Since 1974, Keep Charlotte Beautiful has engaged residents in preventing litter, reducing waste, and beautifying the Queen City. Keep Charlotte Beautiful coordinates with the City's Corridors of Opportunity team to engage and organize residents in underserved areas through community cleanups, and  offers programs citywide and collaborates with dozens of partners on various projects. From Adopt-a-Street to Pick up with Pups, there are countless ways the community engages with and benefits from the program's work.

Mecklenburg County Soil & Water Conservation Board

The Mecklenburg County Soil & Water Conservation Board, under the leadership of Barbara Bleiweis, has created a Farmland Preservation Fund. The fund will be to support new farmers in Mecklenburg County and to identify land that might be subject to development and held in trust for farming and preservation. They are also working on a Climate Smart Grant to support farmers with helpful soil amendments.

Charlotte Urban Design Center

The Urban Design Center's mission is to advance the quality of Charlotte's built environment and bring public awareness to the importance of urban design. The center reveals how design influences quality of life and economic and environmental resilience.


Insight Architects

Insight Architects has worked on six Passive House certifications for six single family homes in the Charlotte area. Some of them are built, some of them are pre-certified and some are in the pre-certification and design process. Designing passive houses benefits the broader community by promoting sustainability, improving residents' quality of life, and fostering economic development while reducing environmental impact.

NOVEL University Place by Crescent Communities

NOVEL University Place by Crescent Communities was built on many hours of planning, design, construction, and ongoing operation that directly promotes both environmental and social sustainability. In partnership with University City Partners and local establishments, NOVEL is playing a critical role in developing a vibrant town center for the greater University City.

Carillon Tower

Carillon Tower is a 24-story office building that achieved LEED Silver certification in 2017 and Leed Gold in 2022 for lowering their environmental impact. That means lower levels of energy, water, waste, and an improved occupant environment. The property is situated in a thriving 24/7, mixed-use environment and is a LEED example for other owners in Charlotte to emulate.

Zywicki home

Victoria and Dan Zywicki have built a Victorian-style Passive House that serves as an example of environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, innovation, and creating a healthy, comfortable home for themselves and future generations. It also serves to inspire others to adopt sustainable building practices and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient built environment.


Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly manages his family’s nonprofit, Kelly’s Community Kitchen. He has pushed the use of data to make better choices for the organization, reorganized operations to be more efficient, and has struck up new partnerships to diversify their donor base. The equivalent of nearly 5600 meals were provided free of charge by Kelly’s Community Kitchen last year.

Kate Brodie

Kate is a dedicated young TreeMaster with us at TreesCharlotte. She is passionate about sustainability, especially through expanding the City's tree canopy. She goes above and beyond to lead planting demos, adoptions and educational sessions with Charlotteans.

Mila Held

Mila Held is a high school junior at Gaston Day School. She participated two times as a volunteer in the Sustain Charlotte Biketoberfest Event. Mila has also volunteered to pick up trash in the McMullen Greenway, alone and with friends.

Shruti Agrawal

Shruti is a dedicated environmentalist with a passion for improving communities. She has been working toward mitigating the effects of climate change since 2019 when, as an eighth grader, she founded her nonprofit organization, New Normal X, which works to inspire young people to make sustainability-minded choices.

People-Powered Pirates

The People-Powered Pirates are a group of 7th grade Piedmont Middle School students who gather every school day (weather permitting) to ride two miles to and from school. By choosing to ride their bikes, these students serve as examples to the community, living into a commitment to reduce carbon emissions, exemplifying how to use pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, and promoting the social benefits of riding bikes.

Global Conservation Club (GCC)

The Global Conservation Club is an environmental club at Charlotte Lab School. They work vigorously to conserve their community's biodiversity and environment. They plant new plants and create a greener environment around campus every day.


PNC Music Pavilion

PNC Music Pavilion is one of Live Nation's outdoor amphitheaters, located in Charlotte.. Since the inception of their sustainability program, their focus has been on fostering a culture of environmental responsibility within the company. They actively promote sustainable practices by incentivizing employees to embrace eco-friendly alternatives and have expanded their zero-waste initiatives to encompass our parking lots.

Spectrum Center

Spectrum Center, managed by Charlotte Regional Visitor Authority, has partnered with Innovation Barn and Coke Consolidated to recycle plastic, aluminum and glass. They also compost an average of 11,000 pounds of food per month and hold an annual carmon-neutral Sustainability luncheon to educate staff about efforts to reduce waste going on in the building.

Lily Brechlin

Lily Brechlin is a high school intern at the South End Farmers Market. She is integral in their #5 recycling. She manages the #5 recycling collection every Saturday, educating the community and delivering the recyclables to the Innovation Barn for processing.