Company: Citigate Cunningham, San Francisco, CA
Company Description: In business for more than 20 years, Citigate Cunningham is a pioneer in high-tech public relations. We’re steeped in the innovative, fast-paced, competitive Silicon Valley tradition and have translated this tradition into a media results-driven culture that combines the depth of a specialty firm with the reach of a global firm.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Environmental Stewardship Program of the Year
Nomination Title: It's Easy Being Green—One Office Building at a Time
1. Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominee during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):
Christine Pfendt is a CEO with her dial set on "green," as in conserving energy for
a healthier future of the planet. Her specialty is converting the often most
elusive species of workspace in the green conversion movement: the corporate office.
This past year Christine led the efforts to help her company's San Francisco office
pass a rigorous series of audits by The San Francisco Green Business Program —
which included an evaluation of the company's water and energy use, equipment,
lighting, and cleaning supplies. She also successfully encouraged the 25-floor
building to adopt Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) Demand Response Program,
which offers incentives for business owners who voluntary curtail their facility's
energy use during times of peak demand.
In August, The New York Times ran an article entitled, "The New Workplace Perk:
Gas," that led off with a mention of Citigate's efforts to curtail employees'
use of their cars. This was a part of a larger string of greening efforts that in May
2008, had earned the agency a GoGreen Award from the City of Cambridge in the
transportation category, which lauded the agency's provision of public
transportation subsidies, a covered bike storage facility and telecommuting
options to all of its employees.
Energized by the above milestones, Christine put the pressure on Equity Office
Properties Trust, Cambridge's largest property owner, to go green. This past
August, Citigate's home office building, along with several other properties in
downtown Cambridge, achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) recognition for the existing buildings green certification program.
Christine received a letter from the mayor of Boston thanking her for her efforts in
encouraging the property giant to adopt green facility practices. Christine is also
an active member of Cambridge Climate Leader, Cambridge's current Green
Citigate Cunningham’s executive staff recognizes the economic benefits of
reducing the company's energy consumption by fifty percent and anticipates an
increased reduction in years to come. To maintain compliance on the day-to-day
operational level, Citigate Cunningham authored a checklist distributed to all
employees about green habits and sends out daily/weekly calendar notices
reminding employees to shut off their power strips which powers employees’
equipment and empty their paper recycle bins into the larger recycle bins.
Citigate Cunningham uses the company's green status as a way to attract like-
minded employees. The buzz seems to be catching on in the online job search
community. "They're also an entirely GREEN office, which is kharmically good,"
writes job blogger Peter Shankman, who profiled Citigate on his 30,000+-
subscriber based blog, www.shankman.com. Citigate Cunningham recognizes that
employees regard the fact that the company "walks the talk" in green awareness
as a perk to working there.
Numerous contacts from Citigate Cunningham’s professional networks, from office
coordinators to other CEOs, have contacted Christine to obtain information on
achieving green certification for their businesses. It's a good thing that
Citigate is part of a global communications network—the Huntsworth Group, who
along with clients, vendors and neighboring businesses, stand to benefit from
Citigate Cunningham’s green leadership.
2. List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
Cambridge GoGreen Awards Press Release
City of Cambridge GoGreen Award
Citigate Cunningham's Building Acknowledged for Going Green in Boston Globe
Life's Work: The New Workplace Perk: Gas by Lisa Belkin
For Press Releases: "Citigate Cunningham Earns GoGreen Business Award From
City of Cambridge" and "Citigate Cunningham Is Now Certified As a Green
Office of the Mayor Cambridge - Proclamation for Green Certification
3. Provide a brief biography of the nominee or the person or persons who lead the nominated organization (up to 100 words):
Christine has over 15 years of executive-level finance, technology, and strategic
operations experience. At Citigate Cunningham, she oversees finance, operations,
HR and IT. Christine previously held executive positions within Ziff Davis and
Stanford University, where she currently serves as an academic advisor. Christine
is a member of the Board of Directors for the Santa Clara County YMCA.
Numerous contacts from her various professional networks, have contacted
Christine to obtain information on achieving green certification for their
The word is spreading about Christine's success in converting Citigate
Cunningham’s offices in less than a year's time to be more environmentally