Winners displayed environmental leadership
The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) honored the six recipients of its 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards during an awards luncheon at the Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington.
Through this awards program, the department recognized the efforts and activities of individuals, businesses or organizations that are committed to protecting and improving Kentucky’s environment.
“The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has a mission to protect and enhance Kentucky’s environment. One way this is done is by recognizing some of the environmental leaders in the Commonwealth and highlighting their achievements through this awards program,” said R. Bruce Scott, DEP commissioner. “The recipients’ efforts demonstrate their strong commitment to environmental stewardship.”
The recipients are:
KY EXCEL Champion Award: Kentucky American Water–Lexington
Kentucky American Water was the first utility to join KY EXCEL as a master member and has been involved in numerous environmental projects, such as environmental education, Trout in the Classroom, Reforest the Bluegrass, rain gardens, stream bank restorations, Adopt-a-Highway, recycling, stormwater mitigation and more.
Community Environmental Luminary Award: Bluegrass Greensource–Lexington
The organization provides environmental outreach to 18 counties, and organized 3,000 environmental presentations with approximately 80,000 student interactions. Outreach educators mentored more than 2,500 school administrators and teachers, taking them to coal mines and solar farms to help them teach about energy. They have demonstrated testing water quality of streams; conducted waste analyses, saving a school system $50,000 in waste hauling costs; and assisted in removing 150,000 bags of trash from roads and streams.
Resource Caretaker Award: University of Louisville–Louisville
The university created a strategic plan to focus on creative and responsible stewardship. This commitment led to reclaiming more than 200 acres in grayfield/brownfield areas around the Belknap Campus, resulting in being awarded the national Phoenix Award for brownfield reclamation. The university reduced energy consumption by $4.6 million annually, constructed or renovated six major capital projects at the LEED Gold or Silver levels and partnered with local food vendors and producers to utilize local food sources.
Environmental Pacesetter Award for an Individual/Organization: Chris Tyler–Lexington
As a member of the Kentucky Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Chris Tyler has served as the Advocacy Chair, Green Schools Chair and board chair. His leadership in these roles demonstrated his effectiveness, commitment to and passion for the organization’s mission. During Chris’s chairmanship and leadership, the chapter was successful in establishing the first bipartisan Green Schools Caucus in Kentucky, providing the opportunity to educate legislators, school boards, PTA groups and others about the importance of green schools for children.
Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Small Business: Pull-A-Part–Louisville
Pull-A-Part has transformed what was once perceived as the junkyard into a sustainable recycling business. The company has made exceptional commitments to resource conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention, working to set the standard of excellence in handling and recycling of end-of-life vehicles. To protect the environment, Pull-A-Part utilizes proper materials’ management, minimizing solid waste by removing and recycling all fluids and other potential contaminants, maximizing reuse of all possible parts and materials and maximizing recycling of the rest of the vehicle to decrease the residue disposed of by the automobile shredder.
Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Medium to Large Business: SCA Americas–Bowling Green
SCA Americas-Bowling Green has awarded environmental education grants to schools and implemented a zero landfill program, which diverted more than 7 million pounds of waste materials from local landfills in 2012. SCA team members participated in several community events, such as county parks trash pick-up days, tree plantings and partnering with Western Kentucky University on providing more than 1,000 sustainable tailgating kits at a football game.