The 2014 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence were recognized May 14 at a ceremony in Burlington. Environmental excellence awards have been given since 1993 to recognize efforts and actions of Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability. To date, more than 200 efforts have been recognized. Thsi year's awards were presented by Justin Johnson, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources.
“These projects contribute significantly to Vermont’s environmental quality and encourage others to take similar actions to protect our resources,” said ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz when she announced the recipients earlier this year. “They demonstrate the importance of innovation and partnerships in enhancing and sustaining Vermont’s environmental quality.
Award winners were recognized at the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Annual Spring Conference on May 14 at the Davis Center on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington.
This year’s recipients include:
AllEarth Renewables (Williston) – Innovative employee incentive program to reduce fossil fuels and carbon emissions
CxAssociates (Burlington) – Green incentive employee commuting program to encourage alternate forms of transportation
IBM (Essex Junction) – Photochemical waste reduction in the semiconductor manufacturing process
Lamoille Valley/Twin State Ford (Hardwick and St. Johnsbury)- Campaign to promote the sale of plug-in electric hybrid vehicles and was the second Ford dealership in the country in sales of hybrid electric vehicles in 2013.
SunCommon (Waterbury Center) – Residential solar business with an innovative financing model that has made solar renewable energy affordable and has substantially increased solar residential installations in the state.
Highfields Center for Composting (Hardwick) – Leading statewide efforts in providing composting technical assistance to farmers, businesses and municipal entities, as well as developing acceptable management practices and training/certification programs for composters.
NorthWoods Stewardship Center (East Charleston) – For the past 20 years, the NorthWoods Conservation Corps program has provided hands-on conservation-based education, employment, and job skills to Northeast Kingdom youth, ages 14-21.
Waterbury LEAP (Local Energy Action Partnership) - Since 2007 has been a leader in energy conservation and renewable energy projects and educational efforts at the local level. A recent project, Waterbury/Duxbury Solar Years, has quadrupled solar renewable energy installations in a two-year period.
Sustainable Energy Resource Group (Thetford) – Has pioneered the concept of town energy committees, networking with over 180 town energy committees in Vermont and New Hampshire and leading innovative pilot projects such as Thetford HEAT (Home Energy Action Team) to promote home weatherization.
Brandon Fire District No. 1 (Brandon) – Comprehensive Groundwater Source Protection Plan and first municipality to receive Class II reclassification of its drinking water sources
Chittenden Solid Waste District (Williston) – Comprehensive and multi-faceted waste reduction education programs serving a quarter of the state’s population, and achieving solid waste diversion and reduction numbers that lead state efforts.
Marshfield Energy and Climate Change Committee (Marshfield) – Comprehensive energy retrofit to Marshfield’s community center, energy conservation assistance to the town’s school, and a home weatherization campaign, including door-to-door visits, workshops, and energy fairs.
Weybridge Energy Committee (Weybridge) – Comprehensive home weatherization program in 2013 that was part of a statewide Vermont Home Energy Challenge to weatherize 3% of homes. Weybridge exceeded the goal and led the state in this effort.
Burr and Burton Academy (Manchester) – Created an innovative place-based environmental education model with integrated curriculum at its Mountain Campus in Peru, VT. The facility received LEED (Leadership in energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certification.
Vermont Schools Achieving EnergyStar Building Certification
The following schools are among some of the first in Vermont to achieve EPA EnergyStar Building Certification for Schools. These schools are in the top 25% of schools nationwide in energy efficiency, while also meeting standards for health, ventilation, comfort and lighting quality. These schools are part of Project Green School, a collaboration led by Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Superintendents Association’s School Energy Management Program.
Brattleboro Union High School (Brattleboro)
Camel’s Hump Middle School (Richmond)
Clarendon Elementary School (North Clarendon)
Harwood Union High School (Duxbury)
Mount Mansfield Union High School (Jericho)
Shelburne Community School (Shelburne) NO PHOTO
Waits River Valley School (East Corinth)
VIDEO: Katie Kittell. PHOTOS: Tim McQuiston. Vermont Business Magazine. VERY TOP PHOTO:Michele Morris CSWD and Jill Hoppenjans UVM