2016 Community Impact Awards: Sustainability in Business Operations

Winner: Theo Chocolate, Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort

Gold Award:
Theo Chocolate
Location: Seattle | Employees: 100  |  Top Exec: Joe Whinney, founder/CEO | theochocolate.com

Theo Chocolate’s products are more than just candy bars. The company’s creations start with cocoa farmers in the eastern Congo. “Recognizing that our individual daily actions will have an impact on generations to come has the potential to create a lasting positive effect on our world,” says founder and CEO Joe Whinney. “That means caring for the entire supply chain — from cocoa bean to chocolate bar — and understanding that everyone from the cocoa farmers we partner with in eastern Congo to our team here in Seattle play vital roles in creating a more sustainable world.” In 2006, Whinney combined his interest in chocolate, sustainability and economic justice to launch Theo Chocolate — the first bean-to-bar maker of organic, fair trade, non-GMO chocolate in North America. Theo has grown from a five-person team to a staff of 100 employees at the company’s factory in Fremont, producing more than six million pounds of chocolate annually. Theo’s products are available to consumers online and in all 50 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. 

Silver Award:
Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort
Location: Leavenworth  |  Employees: 120  |  Top Exec: Paula Helsel, general manager  |  sleepinglady.com

Situated on the outskirts of Leavenworth, Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort is known for its sustain-able and ecologically minded practices since opening in 1995 — from composting food, to using the Earth’s natural warmth to heat buildings, to growing produce in its own certified organic garden. When Harriet Bullitt purchased the land in 1991, she and the team saved 18 of the camp buildings, remodeling them to meet or exceed current building and energy codes. 

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