Environmental Initiative Awards

The annual Environmental Initiative Awards recognizes innovative and impactful achievements in the environmental community. This year, we will honor seven award recipients– five projects and two individuals– with an inspiring night of networking and celebration with more than 500 of Minnesota’s environmental leaders. The evening will include a reception, formal dinner, and awards program.

Environmental Initiative works across differences with numerous partners to create spaces where people can openly exchange ideas and come to a consensus on large issues. We’re working toward a healthy environment, prosperous economy, and equitable society— together.  Join us to celebrate Minnesota’s environmental leaders and successes at the 2018 Environmental Initiative Awards on May 23, 2018.

Nominations are Now Open

Nominate a person or project for one of this year’s seven awards. Please find details about eligibility, categories, judging, and nominations below. Nominations for partnership-based environmental projects and outstanding community leaders will be accepted until Friday, February 23.

Courageous Innovator Nomination Form

Critical Collaborator Nomination Form

Project Award Nomination Form

SPONSORS

About the Awards

2018 Award Categories

Each January, nominations are accepted from across Minnesota to honor collaborative environmental projects and individuals in the following categories:

COURAGEOUS INNOVATOR

The Courageous Innovator recognizes an outstanding young professional working in groundbreaking ways with unlikely allies to solve environmental problems. This is an honor Environmental Initiative confers upon an individual under the age of 30 who has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity and potential to solve environmental problems in partnership.

CRITICAL COLLABORATOR

The Critical Collaborator award recognizes an individual who has dedicated their career to solving environmental problems. This award is an honor Environmental Initiative confers upon any individual who has created a lasting impact on Minnesota’s environment and exemplifies our mission to build partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems.

ENERGY AND CLIMATE

A partnership that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut energy consumption, advance energy efficiency, or improve air quality. Projects may also include collaborative efforts to prepare Minnesota to adapt to a changing global climate.

ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION

This award celebrates collaborative partnerships working on the next environmental breakthrough.  While the impact of their work may not be seen immediately, winners of this future-facing award will be recognized for their creativity in solving an environmental challenge and the potential of their project or plan to ensure a prosperous economy, an equitable society and a healthy environment long into the future.

RURAL VITALITY

The Rural Vitality award recognizes collaborative efforts to solve environmental challenges on a community scale in rural areas of under 10,000 residents. This could include grassroots efforts in revitalization or beautification, alternative land use strategies, or policy initiatives that contribute to economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and improved quality of life.

SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP: LARGE EMPLOYER

For companies larger than 500 employees, this award acknowledges collaborative efforts to pursue sustainable business practices or offer private sector-based solutions to environmental challenges. The project should contribute to environmental stewardship, economic benefit, and social equity.

SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP: SMALL EMPLOYER

This award acknowledges small businesses with less than 500 employees who collaboratively pursue sustainable business practices or offer private sector-based solutions to environmental challenges. The project should contribute to environmental stewardship, economic benefit, and social equity.

Eligibility

GUIDELINES FOR PROJECT AWARDS

  • A partnership-based project refers to any two or more entities working collaboratively on a project with shared goals and outcomes. Entities could include government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private companies, community groups and/or individuals.
  • Projects that have received significant financial resources or staff time from Environmental Initiative are not eligible for an award.
  • The project is either ongoing or the date of project completion is in the last two years.
  • The project, even if ongoing, has demonstrated concrete results and outcomes in relation to the project goals.
  • The project has taken place and has demonstrated outcomes in Minnesota.
  • If two or more nominations for the same project are received, judges will evaluate only the nomination that was received first. It is the nominator’s responsibility to communicate with other project partners to ensure the submission of a single, comprehensive project nomination.
  • Only the information submitted via the nomination form will be used to evaluate project nominations. No supporting material (photos, videos, etc.) will be shared with judges.
  • Contact information will be added to Environmental Initiative’s database and email distribution list. Per our privacy policy, contact information will not be shared with any other organizations.

GUIDELINES FOR INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

  • Individuals nominated for the Courageous Innovator award must be under the age of 30.
  • Individuals nominated for the Critical Collaborator award may be any age.
  • Individuals nominated for either award have demonstrated leadership and environmental outcomes in Minnesota.
  • Only the information submitted via the nomination form will be used to evaluate individual award nominations.
  • Contact information will be added to Environmental Initiative’s database and email distribution list. Per our privacy policy, contact information will not be shared with any other organizations.

Winners in each category will be honored and presented at the dinner and celebration on Wednesday, May 23 at Nicollet Island Pavilion. Registration to attend the event will open in mid-March.

Judging

HOW PROJECT NOMINATIONS ARE EVALUATED

A panel of independent judges selected by Environmental Initiative will evaluate project nominations based on the following criteria:

  • Importance of the goals laid out for the project,
  • Quality of results and environmental outcomes associated with the project,
  • Strength of partnership and degree that partnership was used as a tool to solve environmental problems,
  • Degree of project innovation, uniqueness, and groundbreaking action.
  • Degree to which diverse perspectives were included in or positively impacted by the project results.

Due to the broad nature of the award categories and the diversity of scale and types of projects submitted, each judging team determines the relative weight of the above criteria. The Environmental Initiative Awards seeks to inspire others to adopt collaborative approaches to environmental problem solving, so judges will also consider the degree to which the project can be easily replicated.

Environmental Initiative monitors project nominations for potential conflicts of interests with individuals serving as judges. Conflicts are handled on a case-by-case basis. The judge may be asked to recuse his or her self from evaluation and discussion of that specific project, or may be asked to leave the judging panel entirely, depending on the level of involvement of the judge with the project.

HOW INDIVIDUAL AWARD NOMINATIONS ARE EVALUATED

Starting in 2017, Environmental Initiative began recognizing two individuals who have been influential and effective environmental leaders.

Environmental Initiative staff will review nominations and select winners for the Courageous Innovator and Critical Collaborator awards based on the following criteria:

  • Ability of nominee to collaborate and solve problems,
  • Skill of nominee to lead by influencing those around them,
  • Quality of nominee’s positive impact on our environment, economy, and community,
  • Nominee’s use of collaboration to build bridges between unlikely allies.

Sponsor the Awards

Sponsorships for the 2018 Environmental Initiative Awards are now available. Contact Sacha Seymour-Anderson at 612-334-3388 ext. 8108 with questions or for more information.

PRESENTING SPONSOR

Including 8 Seats At A Table In Front And Center Row: $16,000

  • Premier recognition (two series sponsors only)
  • Opportunity to welcome guests or participate in the program
  • Thanked from the podium and on social networks at the event
  • Premier name and logo recognition on programs, invitations, and event signage
  • Premier name recognition on each award
  • Premier name and logo recognition on Awards webpage with link to sponsor website
  • Sponsor designation on event nametags
  • Recognition in Environmental Initiative e-newsletter and annual report
  • First right of renewal

CATEGORY SPONSOR

Including 8 Seats At A Table In Front And Center Row: $6,000

  • Premier recognition (one sponsor per award category)
  • Thanked from the podium and on social networks at the event
  • Prominent name and logo recognition on program, invitations and event signage
  • Prominent name and logo recognition on event webpage with link to sponsor website
  • Premier name recognition on Award for sponsored category
  • Sponsor designation on event nametags
  • Recognition in Environmental Initiative e-newsletter and annual report
  • First right of renewal

SUPPORTING SPONSOR

Including 8 Seats At A Table In Front And Center Row: $2,000

  • Thanked from the podium and on social networks at the event
  • Name and logo recognition on program, invitations and event signage
  • Name and logo recognition on event webpage with link to sponsor website
  • Sponsor designation on event nametags
  • Recognition in Environmental Initiative e-newsletter and annual report

PARTNER SPONSOR

Including 4 seats at a table in a prominent location ($600 value): $1,250

  • Thanked from the podium and on social networks at the event
  • Name and logo recognition on program, invitations and event signage
  • Name and logo recognition on event webpage with link to sponsor website
  • Sponsor designation on event nametags
  • Recognition in the Environmental Initiative monthly e-Newsletter and annual report

AFFILIATE SPONSOR

Including 2 seats in a prominent location ($300 value): $750

  • Name recognition on program and invitations
  • Name recognition on event webpage with link to sponsor website

ASSOCIATE SPONSOR

Including 1 seat in a prominent location ($150 value): $500

  • Name recognition on program
  • Name recognition on event webpage

BASE SPONSOR

Including 1 seat in a prominent location ($150 value): $250

  • Name recognition on program