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 Jan. 1, 2024.
  • 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.

What the award recipients receive  

  • Selected projects and individuals will be celebrated at our in-person ceremony at Mosiac in Downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. A short story about each recipient will be created and published on Environmental Initiative’s website and social media channels. Winners also get to collaborate with BairStories to create a video about their work. Watch a video of a previous Award recipient.   

Nominate a project or person

Nominations for the 30th annual Awards are now closed.

Project Awards Categories

Energy & Climate

The Energy & Climate Award recognizes a partnership working across differences to reduce greenhouse gas or carbon emissions, cut energy consumption, enhance climate resiliency, advance energy efficiency, address the changing climate, or improve air quality.

Environmental Innovation

The Environmental Innovation Award recognizes partnerships dedicated to developing and sharing creative, innovative strategies that can create positive systems change within the environmental field.

Rural Vitality

The Rural Vitality Award recognizes a partnership working to solve community-scale environmental challenges in rural areas. The recognition may include grassroots efforts in revitalization or beautification; alternative land use strategies; convening partners to facilitate community understanding across racial and ethnic difference; or policy initiatives contributing to economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and social justice for an improved quality of rural life.

Community-led Collaboration

The Community-led Collaboration Award recognizes partnerships engaged in collaborative, replicable endeavors aimed at addressing local sustainability challenges, enhancing community environmental health, or furthering environmental justice. Examples of partnerships include neighborhood-scale initiatives, community-led practices, and environmental stewardship endeavors.

Individual Awards Categories

Critical Collaborator

The Critical Collaborator Award recognizes an individual whose career has been devoted to fostering enduring contributions to the environment, environmental health, or environmental justice through collaborative partnerships.

Emerging Leader

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes an individual under the age of 30 working in cutting-edge ways to build partnerships and innovative solutions to address environmental health or environmental justice challenges.