Champion for the Environment Award

Award Criteria

  • Awarded to an individual and a business whose actions and achievements have shown outstanding environmental leadership or innovative environmental contributions, having a direct benefit on the city of Kelowna.
  • Selections are based on environmental contributions for the year 2017.
  • Past information and history of environmental contributions may be included, but should primarily be regarding the current award year.
  • Selections are based solely on the information in the completed nomination package. 

2016 Champion of the Environment Recipients

Nancy Mora Castro

As the Regional District of the Central Okanagan’s Regional Air Quality Coordinator, it is Nancy’s job to care about improving our air quality. But Nancy’s passion and work go far beyond her official job description as she works to snuff out the Okanagan’s nickname of Smokanagan.

As a resident of Kelowna, Nancy provided important comments during the 2016 public consultation for the Solid Fuel Burning Domestic Appliance Regulation. She is the coordinator for the Woodstove Exchange Program, and in 2016, Nancy provided guidance to Coldstr eam and Kamloops for their funding applications to start their own Woodstove Exchange programs – all done on her own time. She also worked with the District of Peachland to find a more environmentally friendly way to deal with large quantities of land clea ring and yard waste that was being burnt.

Nancy has been involved in the Spatiotemporal Variation of PM2.5 study in the Okanagan as part of the Air Quality Technical Committee. Data obtained from this study is now being used to support new air quality ini tiatives to implement for the City of Kelowna.

Nancy has delivered presentations on Air Quality to the Rotary club. She practices what she preaches by riding her bike to work and is constantly educating to bring awareness on our city’s local air challenges and opportunities, all in an effort let us all breathe a little easier.

Spider Agile Technology

While many companies treat sustainability, as an add-on, for Spider Agile Technology, their desire to create an environmentally friendly product was a major influence in the design of their prefabricated, modular, plug-and-play wiring system that is endlessly reusable and reconfigurable.

Spider recently unveiled their single Passive Optical Network cable that can carry as much dat a as 96 standard copper cables, drastically reducing the amount of cabling needed for a project that could eventually find its way into our landfill.

Spider encourages their employees to reduce individual carbon footprints by offering a hybrid vehicle incentive program as well as a carpool/bike/transit program where two winners drawn randomly each month receive $100 bonuses.

The Green Learning Centre and manufacturing facility at Spider has one of the largest solar arrays in the city, providing the building with solar heated hot water. The grounds are xeriscaped and the wooden pallets that their supplies get delivered on get recy cled by wood furniture makers.

As environmental responsibility and stewardship is one of their core values, Spider sponsors the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society that fosters hundreds of salmon before they’re released back into the Shuswap.

Past Recipients of the Award
  • 2015 - Hugh Westheuser (Individual) 
  • 2015 - Unless Market (Business)
  • 2014 - Casey Hamilton (Individual) 
  • 2014 - 1-800-GOT-JUNK (Business)
  • 2013 - Judie Steeves (Individual)
  • 2013 - House of Rose Winery (Business)
  • 2012 - Michael Ross (Individual)
  • 2012 - Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites (Business)


Award sponsored by: