Brown Bear Car Wash
has been honored for over two decades of environmental stewardship by the Puget Sound Business Journal in the annual “Healthy Community Corporate Champion Awards” program.
For its best practices and community outreach efforts, including the pioneering Brown Bear Charity Car Wash Program, Seattle-based Brown Bear Car Wash received the 2016 “Environment Corporate Champion” award. Operating 43 car wash locations in Washington State, Brown Bear joined Seattle area recipients in other categories, including the Boeing Co. and Expedia.
“Though we’re honored to be recognized with this award, seeking ways to safeguard the environment has been part of our mission for many years,” said Brown Bear founder and CEO Victor Odermat. “Helping to protect Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and other local waters is a way for us to give back to the communities we live in.”
Brown Bear locations separate and remove road pollutants including oils, heavy metals and antifreeze from car wash wastewater. Once these are removed, wastewater is then safely released into the sewer treatment system, not storm water systems, for further cleaning. In a single year, Brown Bear Car Wash pays to dispose of more than 500 tons of potentially hazardous sludge – an average of almost a ½ pound for every car washed by the chain.
The “Brown Bear Car Wash Charity Car Wash Program” spotlights the company’s community engagement at the grassroots level. An alternative to traditional car wash fundraisers where run-off frequently enters storm water systems, non-profit organizations can purchase car wash tickets from Brown Bear for $1.50 each, then re-sell them for $6-$8 each and keep the entire profit.
Since 2007, booster clubs, church groups and others participating in the program have raised more than $4 million for their organizations. Over 150,000 tickets were sold in 2015 and a record 27,000 tickets were sold this past March.
“‘Wash Green’” is much more than a corporate slogan,” said Odermat. “They are words reflecting our corporate commitment, which is a win for the organization, community, and the environment.”
About Brown Bear Car Wash
The family-owned company, through its parent company, Car Wash Enterprises, Inc., owns and operates a total of 43 car wash facilities in Washington State as well as a large network of gas stations and convenience stores.
Founded in 1957 by Victor Odermat, it is one of the largest privately held car wash chains in the U.S. and is widely recognized within the industry as being a leader in the environmental movement.
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