Guidelines for Project Awards

  • Demonstrate work that advances a healthy environment, prosperous economy, and equitable society. 
  • Projects nominated should have a connection to and/or demonstrate impacts in Minnesota. 
  • Identify collaborative, partnership-based work done by two or more entities such as community groups and/or individuals, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies. 
  • Projects nominated can be ongoing or have a project completion date up to two years before Jan. 1, 2024. 
  • The nomination application responses are the primary content for evaluation. 
  • Supplemental materials for nomination applications include publications or supporting media.  
  • If two or more nominations for the same project are received, judges will evaluate only the nomination received first. It is the nominator’s responsibility to communicate with other project partners to ensure the submission of a single, comprehensive project nomination. 
  • Projects that have received significant financial resources or staff time from Environmental Initiative are not eligible for an award. 
  • Contact information will be added to Environmental Initiative’s database and email distribution list. Per our privacy policy, contact information will not be shared with other organizations. 

How Project Award Nominations Are Evaluated

A panel of independent judges selected by Environmental Initiative will evaluate project nominations based on the following criteria.

  • Partnership: Degree to which collaboration across perspectives, power, and systems for social equity and environmental health is catalyzed. 
  • Impact: Degree to which the collaborative project led to environmental health and/or social equity impacts with the potential to generate transformative, long-term systemic outcomes.  
  • Innovation: Degree to which project was innovative, unique, and/or groundbreaking, by learning from each other and developing trust, relationship, and interconnection.  
  • Equity: Degree to which equity was centered in the project development and execution, through the sharing of power and mitigating disproportionate harm done to particular groups or communities. 

Due to the broad nature of the award categories and types of projects submitted, each judging team will determine the relative weight of the above criteria. The Environmental Initiative Awards seeks to inspire others to adopt collaborative and equity-centered approaches to environmental problem solving, so judges will also consider the degree to which the project can be built upon, learned from, and replicated. 

Environmental Initiative monitors project nominations for potential conflicts of interests with individuals serving as judges. Conflicts are handled on a case-by-case basis. Judges may be asked to recuse themselves from evaluation and discussion of that specific project or may be asked to leave the judging panel entirely, depending on the level of involvement of a judge with a project. 

2024 Nominations

Nominations for the 30th annual Environmental Initiative Awards will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Feb. 12. Contact Rachel Geissinger at [email protected] or 612-334-3388 ext. 8122 for more information.