ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATiVE AWARDS: 2013 Finalists & WINNERS

Congratulations to the finalists and winners of the 2013 Environmental Initiative Awards. Read more about them below.

Business and Environment

Winner

General Mills Fridley Oat Hull Biomass Boiler
General Mills constructed and now operates a biomass boiler to burn leftover oat hulls from the flour that is milled to produce cereal products, like Cheerios®. The boiler allows the General Mills Fridley plant to replace most of its natural gas use with renewable energy, reduce its carbon footprint by 21%, and provide a high quality natural fertilizing agent to local farmers.

Finalists

Garden Fresh Farms Indoor Agriculture
Garden Fresh Farms in Maplewood, Minnesota has made progress developing indoor urban farming agricultural systems. Their goal is a financially stable operation that produces high quality produce year round and efficiently uses energy resources. Garden Fresh Farms is currently selling products to consumers through community-supported agriculture, as well as to restaurants, co-op markets, and corporate contract dining.

Green Cooler Project
Fairview Health Services sought a sustainable alternative to the Styrofoam coolers used in its pharmacy services division for shipping temperature-sensitive medications. With the help of Fairview’s Green Committee and their partners, coolers are now made with compostable starch-based foam produced from renewable sources. This initiative eliminates more than 44,000 Styrofoam coolers from the waste stream each year.

Energy and Climate Protection

Winner

Energy Innovation Corridor
More than 20 businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies have partnered to create a sustainable energy and transportation showcase along the eleven-mile Central Corridor light rail transit line. The partnership is focused on implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, and smart energy technologies. To date, the group has reduced more than 475 million pounds of CO2, which is equivalent to taking almost 45,000 cars off the road.

Finalists

Duluth Energy Efficiency Program
The Duluth Energy Efficiency Program is a partnership between dozens of organizations and contractors to help Duluth residents reduce their energy bills, keep energy dollars in the local economy, and protect the environment. In its first two years, the program has resulted in energy cost savings to the community of $295,000, or an average household savings of $646 per year.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Sustainable Operations Project
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been working to transform the way it manages and uses energy in every aspect of its operations, with the goal of reducing total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. To date, the program has brought a 3.8% reduction in total energy use since 2010. The DNR expects that 8% of its facilities’ energy consumption will come from on-site renewable energy sources by 2015.

Environmental Education

Winner

YES! Expansion into West-Central Minnesota
The Youth Energy Summit (YES!) provides a unique opportunity for students to learn by engaging directly in community efforts that demonstrate renewable energy technology and conservation practices. The program has expanded into west-central Minnesota with funding from the Environment and Natural Trust Fund. Since 2007, YES! has engaged more than 1,000 Minnesota youth and implemented more than 100 energy action projects.

Finalists

Garlough Environmental Magnet School Partnerships
Garlough Environmental Magnet School is a public school in District 197, which has partnered with Dodge Nature Center over the past eight years to collaborate in developing a nationally recognized model for elementary environmental education. With support from the Jeffers Foundation, the program has successfully provided innovative, engaging, educational environmental opportunities to students and promoted life-long environmentally sustainable habits.

Kilowatt Crackdown
Kilowatt Crackdown is a program that challenges the Twin Cities real estate community to reduce energy, save costs, and position commercial office buildings for the future. Last year’s participants saved the equivalent of powering 715 homes for a year and prevented an estimated 14 million pounds of CO2 emissions from entering the environment, which is equivalent to taking 1,325 cars off the road. 

Natural Resource Protection and Restoration

Winner

Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative
The Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative was developed to assist small communities in 13 southeast Minnesota counties in improving treatment of raw sewage and reducing pollution of state waters. The program has allowed 19 communities to upgrade their sewer systems, preventing approximately 91 million gallons of untreated sewage from entering the Lower Mississippi River and Cedar River basins each year.

Finalists

Mississippi River Northwoods
The goals of the Mississippi River Northwoods project were to protect a large property of nearly 2,000 acres and create a nine-mile stretch of protected shoreline along the Mississippi River near Brainerd. In November 2012, the property was successfully transferred to Crow Wing County. The property also connects to an additional 6,200 contiguous acres of protected lands and is now open to public hunting, fishing, and other outdoor uses.

Weber Stream Restoration Initiative
The Weber Stream Restoration Initiative is a ten-year collaboration of more than 30 local governments, agencies, and citizen groups to restore the integrity of Lake Superior’s tributaries by identifying critical areas, implementing restoration activities, and planning future restoration. The project has included research, citizen monitoring, educational programs, and development of best management practices.

Sustainable Communities

Winner

Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative
The Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative (MAGI) is a grassroots organization made up of residents of Mahtomedi and surrounding communities who are working to promote energy conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability. The organization has established an annual Earth Day event, created an environmental scholarship for high school students, and facilitated the installation of a wind turbine that generates power for the lights and scoreboard at Mahtomedi High School.

Finalists

Hennepin County Fix-it Clinic
At monthly Fix-It Clinics, residents bring in small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices, and other cherished possessions in need of repair. Residents receive free, guided assistance from skilled volunteers to disassemble, troubleshoot, and fix their items. There have been six fix-it events to date, serving over 300 residents and diverting 1,900 pounds of material from the waste stream.

Macalester-Groveland Organics Recycling Project
The Macalester-Groveland Community Council (MGCC) worked in partnership to create a neighborhood Organics Recycling Drop-off Site and an innovative organic waste management program. This community program provides Macalester-Groveland residents with a cost-effective local option for dropping off compostable materials as well as ongoing education on waste reduction. Nearly 200 households now reduce their waste at the program’s drop-off site.

PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR

Winner

Weber Stream Restoration Initiative
The Weber Stream Restoration Initiative is a ten-year collaboration of more than 30 local governments, agencies, and citizen groups to restore the integrity of Lake Superior’s tributaries by identifying critical areas, implementing restoration activities, and planning future restoration. The project has included research, citizen monitoring, educational programs, and development of best management practices.

Past Finalists and Winners

2015 Awards Finalists and Winners »

2014 Awards Finalists and Winners »

2013 Awards Finalists and Winners »

2012 Awards Finalists and Winners »

2011 Awards Finalists and Winners »

2010 Awards Finalists and Winners »

2009 Awards Finalists and Winners »

RELATED INFORMATION

Awards Home »

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About the Awards »

Award Categories »

Awards Guidelines & Eligibility »

Awards Judging »

Awards Sponsorships »

Presenting Sponsors

Environmental Lay Group

Great River Energy

25th Anniversary Sponsor

CATEGORY SPONSORS

Community Action

Critical Collaborator

Stoel Rives LLP

Emerging Leader

Aveda

Energy and Climate

The Weidt Group

Natural Resources

Sustainable Business

Supporting Sponsors


Minnesota Power



partner SPONSORs

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

In-kind sponsor

AFFILIATE SPONSOR

Rochester Public Utilities

Associate Sponsors

G & K Services

Bremer Bank