The Nature Conservancy - Global Sustainability Award Winner
The Nature Conservancy traces its roots to a group of individuals who, in the early 1900’s, recognized the need to protect and preserve natural areas. Founded in 1951, it has grown into the world’s leading conservation organization helping to bring more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide under protection. Their marine conservation efforts have brought more than 100 projects under their operation.
Much of the Conservancy’s success is attributed to its ability to build coalitions with indigenous communities, governments, businesses and non-profits to develop practical conservation solutions. It is working with companies around the globe, including Dow, Coca-Cola, Caterpillar and Cargill to help them better understand and incorporate nature’s value—like availability of clean water—and to protect some of the most important places on earth. Likewise, the Conservancy is working with Kentucky companies like Brown-Forman, Toyota and Ashland Inc. to conserve important natural assets in our own back yard.
Through a network of chapters and field offices around the globe, The Nature Conservancy relies on over 500 staff scientists conducting cutting-edge conservation research to address the most urgent conservation challenges. By protecting and restoring natural areas, The Conservancy protects and ensures the health and prosperity of every one of us who ultimately depends on nature’s clean air, water, and food for survival.
Corporate Sustainability Award Winners
Large Company - GE Appliances & Lighting
GE Appliances & Lighting, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leader in innovative design and development of energy efficient appliances, approaching 400 products achieving the Energy Star appliance rating. The company was recently recognized as the first appliance manufacturer to partner with the EPA on the Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program, a voluntary program to encourage recovery and recycling of refrigerators and their components. The Company has partnered with Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc, which uses a technology to drastically reduce the disposal of insulating foam in landfills and reduce the release of greenhouse gas and ozone depleting emissions. GE’s is also an innovator in lighting technologies, improving design and operational efficiency to provide a low cost product with reduced energy requirements. As part of ECOMAGINATIONTM, a company initiative to develop and produce more eco-friendly products, GE is taking the lead in developing lighting systems that meet Restriction of Hazardous Substance Directive (RoHS) compliancy, a directive that seeks to ban six hazardous substances in consumer materials.
Small and Medium Company - Florida Tile, Inc.
For 40 years, Florida Tile has been manufacturing tiles in Lawrenceburg. Florida Tile’s parent company, Panariagroup, invested well over $20 million in state of the art tile manufacturing equipment at the Lawrenceburg facility. From the ground up, sustainability was an important consideration in the new process. From sourcing local raw materials to re-using waste streams to energy efficient motors and kilns, Florida Tile is proud to be one of the most environmentally friendly production facilities for tile in the world. In addition to sustainable buildings, the company produces sustainable products. Porcelain tile has the longest useful life-cycle of any flooring option on the market today. Their products also emit no volatile organics and are certified by GREENGUARD for their lowest emitting category. Their tile products have also recently been certified by Bureau Veritas, an internationally recognized 3rd party certifier, as containing a minimum of 40% recycled content.
Jane Eller - Public Service Award Winner
As former executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council, Jane Eller worked with groups across the state and nation to improve awareness of the need for environmental literacy and to develop strategies for improving environmental education. She implemented the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools Program, developed and implemented an environmental education certification program, worked with Kentuckians to create strategic plans for improving environmental education in the state and collaborated with UK to measure the environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of Kentuckians. At the national level, she was a member of the Pew-funded State Education and Environment Roundtable, a board member of the North American Association for Environmental Education, and served on the EPA’s National Environmental Education Advisory Council.