May 01, 2012
Today, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources announced the winners of The Vermont Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence. Secretary Deb Markowitz said, “We were pleased with the number of great applications we received for the Governor’s Awards this year. Vermont’s businesses, schools and individuals see that good environmental practices are not just good for Vermont but they also benefit the bottom line.”
The Vermont Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence were established in 1993 to recognize the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability. To date, more than 170 efforts of Vermont organizations, institutions, public agencies, businesses, and individuals have been recognized. These projects contribute significantly to Vermont’s environmental quality and encourage others to take action.
The 2012 recipients of the Governor’s Awards will be recognized by Governor Peter Shumlin and Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz on May 15, at the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility’s annual spring conference at the University of Vermont Davis Center.
This year’s recipients by category are:
Small Business Category
Foley Distributing/Casella Waste Systems (Rutland) - Partnership with a Glens Falls paper mill to provide closed-loop recycling of paper and cardboard collected from Vermont businesses, schools, and institutions and returning them as paper products – reducing the environmental footprint of recycling by supporting local markets.
Northshire Book Store and Alan Benoit (Manchester Center) - A community bookstore that has implemented renewable energy projects, installed a solar interactive education kiosk, and partnered with local architect Alan Benoit, who has provided over 30 workshops on various sustainable living topics at the bookstore for the general public.
Large Business Category
IBM (Essex Junction) - The first semiconductor manufacturer to eliminate the use of two persistent chemicals that accumulate in the environment (Perfluoro Octane Sulfate and Perfluoro Octanoic Acid), through an innovative collaboration with chemical suppliers to find less harmful substitutes, with these safer substitutes now generally available to the entire semiconductor industry.
Sugarbush Resort and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (Warren) - Developed and implemented one of the first successful water quality remediation plans to correct stormwater runoff problems that impaired a mountain stream, Rice Brook, from meeting Vermont’s water quality standards.
Wake Robin (Shelburne) - Comprehensive energy and natural resource conservation initiative that included building weatherization, lighting retrofits, ozone laundry system, solid waste reduction and composting, environmental education, and partnerships with others to assist in their sustainability efforts.
Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op (Middlebury) - The first large scale solar photovoltaic project between two community cooperatives and a municipality, utilizing the former Middlebury wastewater treatment facility site for the 528 panel, 148 KW photovoltaic array.
Gossens Bachman Architects/Housing Vermont/Rockingham Area Community Land Trust (Windsor) - NAMCO Block, a large, energy inefficient, run-down apartment building in Windsor was renovated to reinvent its role in the community as a mixed income, community-oriented facility that retains its historical character while serving as a model of social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
White River Partnership (South Royalton) - Particularly hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene in the White River Watershed, the White River Partnership immediately mobilized to assist municipalities, private residents, state and federal agencies and served as local liaison in a coordinated flood response – organizing debris cleanup, answering homeowner questions, and overseeing in-stream restoration and construction projects.
Melissa Pierce (Montpelier) - A Service Learning Sustainability and Resource Conservation Project has been implemented by 4th and 5th grade teacher Melissa Pierce to create a rich environmental education supplement to the curriculum – involving field trips, source reduction projects for water bottles and plastic bags, waste audits, and a school-wide recycling and composting program where none existed.
Educational Institution Category
Milton School District (Milton) - The junior/senior high school corrected a major erosion problem caused by stormwater discharges and constructed an innovative stormwater storage and groundwater recharge system that will also conserve water by reusing the water for irrigation.
Champlain College (Burlington) - Campus-wide sustainability initiative that has resulted in a 26 reduction in energy use, 2 reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and advances in environmental curriculum at the college.
Burlington International Airport (South Burlington) - The airport has reduced its energy consumption 20 by implementing a comprehensive energy conservation project that included the terminal building, roadway, parking garage, and airfield lighting.
Middlebury College (Middlebury) - A team of 85 Middlebury College students across 25 academic disciplines designed and built an all-solar powered home, taking fourth place in the 2011 Solar Decathlon International Competition sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Vermont Fuel Dealers Association (Montpelier) - In 2011, the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association launched their clean and Green Oil Heat Initiative to improve greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and support local family farms – by writing draft legislation (signed into law in 2011) which sets a timeline and trigger for using ultra low sulfur heating oil blended with biodiesel.
Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: May 01, 2012 14:23:03