Apple has announced this morning that it has selected 15 Black- and Brown-owned businesses for a “first-of-its-kind Impact Accelerator.” This program is part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, and it will help “combat systemic barriers to opportunity, while also advancing innovative solutions for communities most impacted by climate change.”
Apple says the 15 businesses chosen for the program are all based in the United States. They are all focused on innovation in energy efficiency, solar, green chemistry, recycling, and other environmental areas.
Selected companies will participate in customized training, and have access to Apple experts and an alumni community. The Impact Accelerator is tailored to support Black-, Brown-, and Native American and Indigenous-owned businesses that share Apple’s focus on innovation and commitment to the environment as they achieve their next stage of development. Following the three-month virtual program, the companies will be considered for opportunities to act as suppliers to Apple as it works to become carbon neutral for its supply chain and products by 2030.
Here are the chosen businesses:
Founder and CEO: Donnel Baird
Climate Technology Company in Brooklyn, NY
BlocPower aims to make American cities greener, smarter, and healthier by turning aging, inefficient buildings into state-of-the-art structures. Since its founding in 2014, BlocPower has retrofitted more than 1,200 buildings in disadvantaged communities across 26 cities with smart, eco-friendly, electric heating and cooling systems.
Mosaic Global Transportation
Founder, president, and CEO: Maurice H. Brewster
Transportation Firm in San Jose, CA
Mosaic Global Transportation is a minority-owned, multimillion-dollar international ground transportation company that specializes in employee shuttles, commuter services, and meeting and events businesses. Aiming to replace gasoline-operated vehicles that are used for these programs with electric vehicles, the company is deeply committed to giving back to the community.
Volt Energy Utility
Cofounder and CEO: Gilbert Campbell III
Utility-Solar Energy Development Firm in Washington, DC
Volt Energy Utility develops, finances, and operates utility-scale solar projects for private and public clients. One of the firm’s unique offerings is the Environmental Justice Power Purchase Agreement that serves as a funding source for various programs dedicated to expanding the benefits of clean energy to underserved communities and constituencies. Campbell cofounded Volt Energy over 10 years ago, which developed several distributed generation projects. He founded Volt Energy Utility with the clear intent to provide services and expertise to satisfy the increased demands for utility-scale solar.
Founder and CEO: Maria Castellon
Manufacturing and Automation Company in Santa Clara, CA
Bench-Tek Solutions is a Silicon Valley-based manufacturing company that specializes in making laboratory and industrial workbenches. They focus on building ergonomic and environmentally friendly furniture for different types of workspaces. Maria Castellon founded the company in 2002 after immigrating to the US from Mexico for college. She found work as a janitor at IBM, which led her to launch her career at a workbench manufacturing company and ultimately start her own business. Today, Bench-Tek operates with a diverse workforce, serves a vast clientele, and maintains a strong standing in the manufacturing industry.
Founder and CEO: Anuar Garcia
Recycling and Reuse Company in Houston
GreenTek Solutions is committed to repurposing, refurbishing, recycling, and reusing technology products and offering extensive IT asset services for buying, selling, and liquidating equipment. The company is consistently finding ways to anticipate future tech trends, environmental concerns, and client needs.
Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc.
Founder and CEO: George Hill
Chemical Safety Firm in Detroit
Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc. is a technology, specialty chemicals, and services company with manufactured product lines in adhesives, process chemicals, CIP/COP cleaners, facility cleaners, metal working fluids and lubricants, and MRO service solutions. The company operates on the Diversified 1 Systems model to promote excellence, stewardship, and sustainability in their leadership and throughout the company, believing it creates value for their stakeholders, reduces their carbon footprint, and keeps them socially responsible. The company started by Hill in 1971 began as a manufacturer of janitorial chemicals and has evolved to supplying the largest consumer products, healthcare, automotive, and general manufacturing companies with a broad spectrum of custom-developed product solutions.
Oceti Sakowin Power Authority
Chairman and head of the board of directors: Lyle Jack
Clean Energy Developer in Tribal Regions Across the Dakotas
The Oceti Sakowin Power Authority is an independent, nonprofit governmental entity formed by six Sioux tribes to jointly develop tribal renewable energy resources by financing, developing, constructing, and operating power generation and transmission facilities for the wholesale market. Their mission is to work together to deliver power and sustainable development, bringing jobs and economic development to their reservation communities, and preserving the earth for future generations. This power project is on track to create large-scale wind and solar power developments in the country with plans to produce up to 2 gigawatt hours of emissions-free electricity in the Midwest.
Founder and CEO: Darrell Jobe
Packaging and Shipment Company in Livermore, CA
Vericool is a company focused on making sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging that can replace expanded polystyrene (EPS) and other petroleum-based foam packaging for shipments that need to stay protected. Vericool produces patented, high-performing packaging solutions made from natural ingredients that revolutionize the way cold chain products are shipped. Vericool is committed to a diverse workforce and reducing prison recidivism by providing equal employment opportunities to those in need of a second chance.
Dunamis Clean Energy Partners
Founder and CEO: Natalie King
Environmental Solutions Company in Southfield, MI
Dunamis Clean Energy Partners is a technology, manufacturing, and engineering firm focused on energy efficiency and environmental service solutions. Dunamis’s founder and CEO, Natalie King, led the company to become a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 150 employees throughout Southeastern Michigan.
Founder, President, and CEO: Vickie Lewis
Environmental Services Company in Detroit
As an environmental services company, VMX International provides solid waste collection, recycling, regulatory, and project management services to government, commercial, industrial, and construction customers across the US and Canada. Since it was founded in 2001, VMX International has grown and diversified to a staff of over 50 full-time employees stationed across the nation.
Founder, President, and CEO: Beatriz Manetta
Technology Consultancy in Plano, TX
Founded in 1998, Argent Associates has built its legacy by creating innovative supply chain solutions while keeping its commitment to environmental protection. Manetta immigrated to the US from Argentina as a young girl and worked for 20 years in corporate America. She used her learnings to launch her own business where she is now president and CEO. Today, Argent’s emphasis on a diverse technology-driven ecosystem has won the company numerous awards for their work, leadership, and diversity in the workforce.
Cofounder and CEO: Carlos Moncayo
Supply Chain Solutions Firm in Minneapolis
Inspectorio is a cloud-based SaaS solution focused on creating dynamic and risk-based quality and compliance programs with the goal of building an interconnected, sustainable, and transparent supply chain. Today it is used by over 15,000 network participants across the globe, including some of the largest brands and retailers in the world. Moncayo was the youngest Latin American CEO to join the Group of Fifty and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Founder: Bob Ontiveros
Supply Chain Solutions Firm in Milan, Illinois
Founded in 1974 as a small Midwest packaging distributor, Group O has grown into one of the largest Latino-owned businesses in the United States. As an end-to-end business process outsourcer serving some of the world’s largest brands, Group O specializes in integrated supply chain solutions designed to optimize operations while reducing waste. They are committed to environmental stewardship through several programs and policies that reduce not only their own carbon footprint, but that of their clients. As a certified MBE, Group O is dedicated to building a diverse workforce in addition to working with and mentoring other minority-owned businesses and suppliers.
RFG-MPW Environmental & Facility Services
Chairman and CEO: Roderick Rickman
Industrial Cleaning and Environmental Service Firm in Detroit
RFG-MPW is the leading provider of integrated, technology-based industrial cleaning, facility management, water purification, container management, and environmental services in North America. The company assists in enhancing operational efficiencies, improving reliability, and minimizing costs to ensure their clients have a safer and cleaner work environment to deliver high-quality products.
L2S Engineering, LLC
Founder: Laurie Ann Sibani
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering Design Firm in Leesburg, VA, and Apollo Beach, FL
L2S Engineering, LLC is a Native American-, woman-owned mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design firm that provides services in multiple states. Its mission is to achieve new heights in engineering excellence by providing services that will help their clients achieve their sustainable environmental goals and reduce their carbon footprint. Sibani is an electrical engineer with extensive design and project management experience, and prides herself on developing efficient solutions for her clients.
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