SANTA MONICA—On Thursday, April 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the 22nd Annual Santa Monica Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) will be held at the Le Meridien Delfina Hotel, in the Penthouse Ballroom.

The awards, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Santa Monica, and Sustainable Works, will recognize local businesses that are practicing sustainable development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the environment. Launched in 1995, the SQAs have honored 143 Santa Monica businesses with over 175 awards in a range of areas.

Green architecture and construction advocate John Picard will be featured as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. Picard helped establish the foundation for the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability in building designs, construction, and operation. Picard has also worked with major companies such as Microsoft, BP, Sony, and eBay, and guided them toward more sustainable practices.

The Sustainable Quality Awards are given to businesses for excellence in Sustainable Economic Development, Social Responsibility, and Stewardship of the Natural Environment, according to the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce website. Grand prize awards are given to businesses who have achieved excellence in all three categories.

This year, American Cancer Society Discovery Shop will receive the Excellence in Economic Development Award, and Le Meridien Delfina Hotel will receive the Excellence in Social Responsibility Award. Awards in Excellence in Stewardship of the Environment will go to Back on the Beach Café, Beautycounter, Red Bull North America, Uplifters Kitchen, and Water Garden.

Grand prize awards will be given to The Albright, a family-run seafood restaurant on the Pier that has modeled green practices; Apogee Electronics Corporation, an eco-friendly manufacturer of digital audio interfaces; LivingHomes, designer and developer of modern homes with a commitment to sustainability; and Santa Monica Place, owned by Macerich, a LEED® Gold-certified shopping venue.

Winning businesses will receive recognition by the community and local publications and gain access to the SQA logo and promotional material, according to the SQA website. The awards are open to businesses that have been in operation for at least two years and employ at least two Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees, while located within the City of Santa Monica or a Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce member. They must comply with all local, state, and federal regulations.

The Le Meridien Delfina Hotel is located at 530 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. A sustainable lunch will be served, and free bike valet will be available. For more information, visit www.smsqa.com.

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