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For Release: Thursday, February 22, 2018

DEC Accepting Applications for 15th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards

Annual Award Recognizes New York Businesses, Institutions, Governments, and Organizations for Outstanding Achievements in Innovation and Sustainability

Applications Accepted through April 13, 2018
Instructional Webinar: Tips to Complete Competitive Award Applications Scheduled for March 7, 2018

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Environmental Excellence Awards program, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. This year marks the 15th anniversary of New York's Environmental Excellence Awards that recognize businesses, institutions, governments, and organizations for their outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability.

To date, New York has honored 86 committed organizations that are leading by example and inspiring others within their industry and community.

"Through Governor Andrew Cuomo's leadership, New York State is an international environmental leader, advancing new and exciting programs to reduce energy use, sustain and protect our irreplaceable natural resources, and help communities tackle climate change," said DEC Commissioner Seggos. "DEC's Environmental Excellence Awards showcase the individuals, organizations, and businesses that are key to implementing these priorities and setting the example for others across the state and the country."

Businesses (i.e., small, medium and large businesses, manufacturing, retail, agri-business, renewable energy, hospitality, sports, etc.); not-for-profit organizations; academic, health care and recreational facilities; individual(s) and local, state, federal, and Indian Nation government agencies are all eligible to apply.

DEC is encouraging organizations that are implementing innovative approaches and technologies, advancing sustainable practices, generating economic growth, harnessing the power of creative partnerships, and achieving extraordinary outcomes to apply. Competitive applications will focus on projects or programs resulting in significant environmental benefits by:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Helping adapt to our changing climate;
  • Reducing food waste or encouraging recycling and composting programs;
  • Developing "green tech" solutions;
  • Implementing initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, recreational, sports, health care and hospitality facilities;
  • Supporting clean energy and green infrastructure projects;
  • Developing creative natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts;
  • Improving energy efficiency;
  • Implementing sustainable education and training programs;
  • Improving manufacturing processes; and
  • Supporting creative urban forestry or farming practices, including programs to advance "farm to table" efforts.

A DEC Webinar: "Lead by Example! Be A NYS Environmental Excellence Award Winner" on Wednesday March 7, from 10:00 AM to 11:30AM will provide details about the awards program and how to submit a competitive application. Participants will also hear from previous award recipients about the importance and benefits of receiving statewide recognition and leading by example. Those interested in joining the webinar can do so by using this link https://tinyurl.com/EEA2018.

Completed applications for the 2018 awards must be submitted by Friday, April 13, 2018. Award winners will be honored at a 15th anniversary event in November. At that time, winners will have an opportunity to present and display information about their award-winning project or program.

Benefits of receiving an award include visibility as a sector leader and advancing an organization's mission through networking and marketing opportunities.

Since the program began in 2004, award winners have had positive impacts on New York's economy and have contributed to impressive improvements of New York's environment such as:

  • reducing or eliminating more than 174,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions;
  • producing at least 1.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity from solar installations and saving 214 million kilowatt hours of electricity;
  • reducing the use of petroleum products by more than 12 million gallons;
  • reducing water consumption by more than 90 million gallons;
  • capturing at least 46 million gallons of stormwater;
  • diverting nearly 350,000 tons of waste from landfills, including more than two tons of pharmaceutical waste and six tons of batteries annually;
  • composting nearly 224,000 tons of organic material;
  • preserving thousands of acres of open space, planting thousands of trees, protecting sensitive and critical habitats and improving the health of lakes, ponds and other water resources;
  • engaging millions of adults and students in sustainable practices at home, work, and school while recreating or attending a sporting event; and
  • generating more than $2.5 million in revenue from transforming waste into opportunities by diverting reusable materials from the landfill.

Information about the award program and the 2018 application materials can be found on DEC's website, or email request to awards@dec.ny.gov, or by writing to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Pollution Prevention Unit, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, Albany, New York 12233-7253 or by phone to DEC's Pollution Prevention Unit at (518) 402-8706.

Bob Bechtold, President, Harbec, said, "We were honored to receive NYS Environmental Excellence Award because it acknowledged our longstanding commitment to reduce carbon emissions and culminating in our achievement of Carbon Neutrality. We commend NYSDEC's leadership and the Environmental Excellence Award program for continuing to magnify examples of environmental innovation throughout New York. The pursuit of economic growth and sustainable operations go hand in hand. In our experience, businesses that adopt eco-economic decision tools can achieve sustainable economic growth while dramatically reducing their footprint on the environment."

Chris Hicks, Product Manager, Garlock Sealing Technologies, said, "Winning the Environmental Excellence Award for developing toluene free gaskets has had an impact on how our customers perceive who we are and what we do. Just as important is the lasting impact it has had on our employees. Eliminating toluene from our entire Palmyra campus continues to be a source of pride and a foundation as we continually look for additional ways to implement other 'green' manufacturing options."

Keith Kerman, NYC Chief Fleet Officer, Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), said, "NYC Fleet at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) was proud to have been recognized by New York State DEC for its efforts to clean and green the City's fleet. Since receiving the award in 2015, NYC is working even harder to advance fleet sustainability including working to build the nation's largest electric fleet. We appreciate the partnership of DEC and encourage others to tell their stories and apply to the Environmental Excellence Awards."

Bonnie Webster, Vice President of Monroe Industries, said, "This award has not only helped bring people to our showroom and added to our sales, but it has also opened up doors for additional recognition from our industry. Customers feel better knowing they're working with a company that is environmentally friendly. It's good for our bottom line and good for the environment."

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