SEATTLE — The Puget Sound Business Journal has honored Brown Bear Car Wash for more than two decades of environmental stewardship in its annual “Healthy Community Corporate Champion Awards” program, according to a press release.

The carwash received the 2016 “Environment Corporate Champion award” for its best practices and community outreach efforts, stated the release, including its Brown Bear Charity Car Wash program.

Brown Bear joined Seattle area recipients, including the Boeing Co. and Expedia, in other award categories as well, reported the release.

“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 Victor Odermat, founder and CEO of Brown Bear, in the release. “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.”

The carwash chain’s locations separate and remove road pollutants including oils, heavy metals and antifreeze from carwash wastewater, continued the release, and once these pollutants are removed, wastewater is then safely released into the sewer treatment system, not stormwater systems, for further cleaning.

In a single year, informed the release, Brown Bear pays to dispose of over 500 tons of potentially hazardous sludge, which is an average of almost a ½ pound for every car washed by the chain.

Furthermore, stated the release, the Brown Bear Car Wash Charity Car Wash Program spotlights the company’s community engagement at the grassroots level, for which nonprofit organizations can purchase carwash tickets for $1.50 each, resell them for $6 to $8 each and then keep the entire profit.

Since 2007, added the release, booster clubs, church groups and other organizations participating in the program have raised over $4 million for their causes.

More than 150,000 tickets were sold in 2015, reported the release, and a record 27,000 tickets were sold this past March.

“‘Wash Green’ is much more than a corporate slogan,” said Odermat in the release. “They are words reflecting our corporate commitment, which is a win for the organization, community and the environment.”

Through its parent company Car Wash Enterprises Inc., the family-owned Brown Bear operates 43 carwash locations in Washington as well as a large network of gas stations and convenience stores, noted the release.

You can learn more about Brown Bear by visiting its website, www.brownbear.com.