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Washington, U.S.A. — Individuals running a green business or support a company that supports the environment can submit a nomination to the first quarterly “People and Planet Award”, which is sponsored by the nonprofit Green America.
Nominations will be accepted online through July 9, 2012. Green businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are working to benefit their community may be nominated. After the nomination period closes, a panel of Green America judges will narrow the field to 10 finalists. Public voting will begin on August 2, 2012 and close on September 4, 2012. After the votes are tallied, the first group of three quarterly winners will be announced during the week of September 17th.
The new quarterly “People and Planet Awards” will recognize innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. Each quarter, three nominated green businesses will go on to win a $5,000 cash award. Winners must demonstrate excellence in a facet of the green economy as chosen by Green America for that quarter. The awards categories will reflect Green America’s broad definition of a “green economy”: one that works for both people and the planet.
Alisa Gravitz, executive director, Green America, said: “We are pleased to be able to encourage and honor businesses who are working hard to benefit their communities, their workers and the environment. Thanks to the generous donation of a longtime supporter, Green America will be able to award $15,000 each quarter to boost the green economy. In this tough economy, we know that $5,000 can go a long way to help sustain and grow an innovative green company.”
The first round of the Awards will focus on green businesses that also have a community action component. Examples could include a green cafe that donates organic waste to a local composting program, a solar installer with a program giving job-experience to local at-risk youth, or an organic farm that donates produce to the local homeless shelter.
Future rounds of the quarterly Awards will focus on clean energy, workplace innovations, and other sustainability practices.
Judges for Green America’s People and Planet Award include Katie Galloway & Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Elysa Hammond, Clif Bar; Cheryl Newman, Honest Tea; Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Theresa Marquez, Organic Valley; Eric Henry, TS Designs; Reed Doyle, Seventh Generation and Fran Teplitz & Andrew Korfhage, Green America.