Nominations for the 2020 Environmental Initiative Awards closed February 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Contact Lillie Benowitz at 612-334-3388 ext. 8107 for more information or questions.

As with all our work, we approach this nomination process through partnership to curate an exceptional, diverse nominee pool—which means we need your input. Help us recognize exciting work across the state by nominating a project or person you believe embodies this approach to crafting collaborative solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. Are you working on a project that also embodies that approach? Self-nominations are welcome.

What We are Looking for

  • Collaborative projects, including two or more partners, that demonstrate innovative, creative approaches to advancing a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society in Minnesota. Projects can be ongoing or have a project completion date up to two years before January 1, 2020.
  • Individuals who demonstrate leadership in working across difference and collaboratively approaching efforts that advance a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society in Minnesota.
  • Learn more about the project awards process and criteria
  • Learn more about the individual awards process and criteria

Project Awards Categories

Energy & Climate

A partnership working to reduce greenhouse gas or carbon emissions, cut energy consumption, enhance climate resiliency, advance energy efficiency or improve air quality. Projects may also include collaborative efforts to address the changing global climate.

Environmental Innovation

The Environmental Innovation Award recognizes a partnership working on the next environmental breakthrough. This forward-facing award will recognize project with the potential to positively impact their communities by addressing a unique intersection of issues, utilizing a new approach or otherwise creatively tackling environmental challenges.

Rural Vitality

The Rural Vitality Award recognizes a partnership working to solve environmental challenges on a community scale in rural areas. 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.

Large-Scale Sustainability Impacts

The Large-Scale Sustainability Impacts Award recognizes a partnership involving large organizations, such as municipalities or companies, working to improve sector-specific practices by creating replicable, scalable solutions to environmental challenges. Projects may include efforts to achieve a circular economy, pursuits that go beyond regulatory requirements or practices to create more sustainable operations.

Local Sustainability Impacts

The Local Sustainability Impacts Award recognizes a partnership involving small organizations, such as non-profits, community groups or businesses, working on collaborative, replicable efforts to respond to local sustainability challenges. Projects may include neighborhood-scale efforts, community-led practices or environmental stewardship initiatives.

Individual Awards Categories

Courageous Innovator

The Courageous Innovator Award recognizes an individual under the age of 30 working in cutting-edge ways to build partnerships and innovative environmental solutions.

Critical Collaborator

The Critical Collaborator Award recognizes an individual who has dedicated their career to creating a lasting impact on the environment through partnership and addressing environmental challenges.