Montpelier, Vt. – The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award winners have been selected. An award ceremony today recognized the winners at a 1 p.m. ceremony at the State House Cedar Creek Room. Since 1993, Environmental Excellence awards have been given to recognize efforts and actions of Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability. To date, more than 200 awards have been presented. “These projects contribute significantly to Vermont’s environmental quality and encourage others to take similar actions to protect our resources,” said Deb Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. “They demonstrate the importance of innovation and partnerships in enhancing and sustaining Vermont’s environmental quality.
Collectively, the award winners represent the best of the best, showcasing organizations who have exceeded regulatory requirements and made meaningful, measurable improvements to Vermont.
This year’s recipients include Global Foundries in Essex Junction (two awards), Lyndon Furniture in Lyndon, WallGoldfinger in Randolph, Addison County Solid Waste District, Boardman Hill Solar in West Rutland, the Stowe Farmer’s Market in Stowe, the Vermont Foodbank, the Vermont Energy Education Program, the St. Johnsbury Academy, and TRY for the Environment.
To learn more about the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence and the Environmental Assistance division, visit http://dec.vermont.gov/environmental-assistance/governors-awards.
2016 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence Winners
Global Foundries (Essex Junction)
Reduced chemical use in semi-conductor chip making processes to save $90K per year in chemicals, saving 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, eliminating 360 tons of chemicals, saving 3.1 million gallons of water, and eliminating 600 tons of waste.
Global Foundries (Essex Junction)
Enhanced the overall energy efficiency of the site and reduced the use of hydrochloroflurocarbons and ethylene glycols by optimizing the chillers. The amount of energy saved was equivalent to 1,400 tons of CO2 emissions.
Lyndon Furniture (Lyndon)
Decreased the use of toxic substances and waste generated by switching to a chemical-free furniture stripper that reduced their waste by over 2000 pounds per year, reducing overall waste generation by over 50%, toxics use by 76% and reducing emissions by 70%.
Waste diversion program diverted more than 23,000 pounds of plywood, fiberboard and veneer scraps from the waste stream to partners around the state, including non-profit ReSOURCE, Green Mountain Drums, the Vermont Woodworking School and Atlantic Plywood.
Municipal, Non-Profit & Educational
Addison County Solid Waste District
Constructed a new residential drop-off facility for recycling to enable implementation of the new Universal Recycling Law (Act 148), including collecting large volumes of food waste in addition to the residential food waste it already accepts.
Boardman Hill Solar Farm (West Rutland)
Implemented an innovated 150kW community solar project that is wholly member-owned, financed and managed.
Stowe Farmers Market (Stowe)
Partnered with Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District (LRSWMD) to separate waste and compost and reduce the weekly volume for 2,500 visitor’s farmer’s market trash going to the landfill by 50%.
Food rescue initiatives have diverted 4,157,711 pounds of waste into consumable food, and the close partnership between the Foodbank and ANR gained national recognition for this work.
Vermont Energy Education Program
Increased awareness and understanding of energy science and the environmental impacts of energy production, reaching more than 1/3 of all Vermont schools with at least one program.
St Johnsbury Academy
Advanced environmental education, reduced the environmental impact and reduced costs and enabling students to install five solar photovoltaic systems in partnership with a donor and a local business.
TRY for the Environment
Partnerships between the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District (LRSWMD) and UVM Extension 4-H Teen & Leadership Program reduced food waste: in six weeks, teams saw the overall amount of trash generated decrease by 20% and recovered 43% of compostable material that had previously been going to the trash.
Youth Honorable Mentions
Harwood Union High School Independent Study
Collected data that show existing conditions in the nearby brook and proposed a plan to minimize stormwater runoff into the brook.
Mad River TV
Received a grant from The Vermont Community Foundation to produce the film, “The Mad River: It’s Our River, and Yours.”
Mater Christi School (Burlington)
Eliminated the use of plastic water bottles by receiving a grant to purchase water bottle refilling stations. Also, installed and implemented a new recycling sorting station and composting system in the cafeteria.