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New York State Environmental Excellence Awards

Environmental Excellence Awards 2018

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting applications for the 2019 New York State Environmental Excellence Awards. Completed applications must be submitted no later than Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

2019 Application (PDF, 354 KB) - This application is fillable. Please save to your computer before entering data.

Tips for Applicants (PDF, 397 KB) - Refer to this guide to help develop a competitive application.

The Environmental Excellence Awards are given annually in recognition of outstanding, innovative and sustainable projects or programs and unique partnerships that are contributing to a healthier environment and economy and serving as models of excellence. Award winners are an elite group of committed organizations leading by example as serving as models of excellence within their industry and community.

Eligible applicants include businesses (i.e., small, medium and large businesses, manufacturing, power generation, renewable energy, retail, agri-business, hospitality, sports, etc.); not-for-profit organizations; education, health care and recreational facilities; and local, state, federal and Indian Nation government agencies.

Winners will be honored at an awards ceremony scheduled in November. Those receiving awards will be asked to present and display information about their award-winning project or program. Some benefits of receiving an award include enhanced visibility as a sector leader and furthering your organization's mission through networking and marketing opportunities. For additional information, contact the Pollution Prevention Unit at: awards@dec.ny.gov or call (518) 402-8706.

Get Recognized

Become part of an elite, statewide network of award winners! Since 2004, the program has honored 92 outstanding organizations for significant environmental benefits such as:

  • reducing or eliminating more than 174,000 metric tons of 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 306,000 tons of waste from landfills, including more than 2 tons of pharmaceutical waste and 6 tons of batteries annually;
  • composting nearly 190,000 tons of organic material;
  • eliminating the use of at least 400,000 single-use plastic shopping bags;
  • preserving thousands of acres of open space, planting thousands of trees and protecting sensitive and critical habitats;
  • engaging millions of adults and students in sustainable practices at home, work, school while recreating or attending a sporting event and
  • generating more than $2.5 million in revenue by transforming waste into reusable materials.

Get Inspired

Award-winning projects showcase applicants who are:

  • Implementing innovative approaches and technologies
  • Advancing sustainable practices and generating economic growth
  • Harnessing the power of unique partnerships
  • Achieving extraordinary outcomes
  • Inspiring others to undertake like-minded projects
Gore Mountain, awarded in 2018, has the largest solar array dedicated to a ski area in the nation. About 15,000 ground-mounted solar panels, on 20 acres of otherwise fallow farmland, supply the mountain with 5.3 megawatts of power.
Gore Mountain Ski Resort, honored in 2018,
for making sunshine into snow.

Project topics include but are not limited to:

  • Green infrastructure projects
  • Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Adaptations to climate change
  • Cutting-edge, "clean-tech" and pollution prevention technologies
  • Initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, health-care and recreational facilities, etc.
  • Innovative wind, solar or biomass projects
  • Creative natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts
  • Energy efficiency improvements
  • Innovative education/training programs
  • Innovative waste reduction and recycling efforts
  • Manufacturing process improvements
  • Creative approaches to advance "grown locally" or "farm to table"

For details about award winning projects, read the case studies below. Case studies about award-winning projects in the business and government sectors are being developed and will be posted upon completion. If you would like more information about business and government award winners, contact the Pollution Prevention Unit at awards@dec.ny.gov or call (518) 402-9469.

Being an award winner gives your organization or business more visibility. Read about three award winners showcased in the February 2018 Conservationist magazine (page 14) (PDF, 13.2 MB).

2018 Award Winners:

Awarded in 2018, Stony Brook University Hospital’s 2, 240 sq. ft. rooftop garden supplies about 1,500 lbs. of fresh produce for patient meals..
A rooftop produce garden at Stony Brook
University Hospital, honored in 2018.

Six organizations were recognized at 15th Annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards Celebration. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos presented the awards at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. The slate of honorees set a high bar for others in their sector by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using energy more efficiently and safeguarding New York's natural resources.

To read about them, see our 2018 press release.

Past Award Winners:

2017 press release

2016 press release

2015 press release (link leaves DEC website)

2004 - 2014 "Who's Who" Winners (PDF, 1.2 MB)


More about New York State Environmental Excellence Awards:

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  • NYS DEC
    Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling
    Pollution Prevention Unit
    625 Broadway, 9th Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-7253
    518-402-9469
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