How to Apply for Award
Thank you for your interest in applying for an award. Your organization will be judged on the strength of your application. It is important that your application be as complete and descriptive as possible. Identify real numbers and measured results from your efforts when possible.
If you are a consulting or service firm, you may not apply for recognition of work you have done on behalf of a client. Of course, we hope that your clients apply for the award, and recognize your assistance! In that case, you are welcome to assist your clients with the Governor’s Award application. You may also apply for the award based on work you have done to improve sustainability performance at your own organization.
Governor's Sustainability Award applications must be submitted electronically by 5:00 PM on May 22, 2015 for consideration.
Before beginning the online application, be ready with the following information:
- Basic information about your organization including address, telephone number, number of employees, NAICS code, and a link to your Sustainability Report (if available).
- Past years that your organization received a Governor’s Sustainability Award or a Pollution Prevention Award.
- A designated contact person at your organization to field questions relating to the application.
- An approximately 250-word abstract of the application completed.
- Please use the following formats for submitting your application:
- Narrative: Microsoft Word
- Metrics: Microsoft Excel
- Supplemental Documentation: Microsoft or Adobe File Formats
An approximately 250-word abstract of the activities is an important part of the application because (1) it provides the application judges with a brief overview of the applicants' sustainability activities and (2) it will be used in news releases and the program book for winning entries. Applications without an abstract will not be considered. Visit our Previous Winners page to view the program booklets from previous years. Abstracts are subject to editing for publication purposes.
- Narrative (not to exceed six pages):
In six pages or less, summarize your activities. Refer to the narrative guidelines and evaluation criteria for guidance. The narrative should be single spaced in 10-point font or larger; with margins not less than .5 inch. Applications must be in Microsoft Word. Application narrative pages over the 6-page limit will not be reviewed. Do not submit PowerPoint presentations or sales materials as part of your Narrative. These items may be submitted as Optional Supplemental Documentation (see below).
Please use the Metrics Form to summarize the quantitative outcomes of your sustainability projects. This will significantly strengthen your application. We encourage you to include actual or estimated outcome data for any projects with measurable results, including water and energy reductions, waste diversion, and emissions avoidance.
You will find further instructions in the Metrics Form (Microsoft Excel document).
We realize that specific utility and/or production data may be proprietary information. While this information provides additional context to your application, information and data may be designated as confidential and will not be shared without explicit permission from you.
Please submit the Metrics Form in Microsoft Excel format, saved with this naming convention: [Organization Name]_Metrics.xlsx. Do not convert to Word or PDF.
- Regulatory Compliance
Applicants must include a statement at the end of the application confirming that the company or organization is not subject to an environmental enforcement action or notice of violation from the U.S. EPA or Illinois EPA. An organization that faces such a compliance action is not eligible to receive an award. Semi-finalists for the award will be verified with the regulatory agencies to confirm compliance status.
- Optional Supplemental Documentation (not to exceed four pages):
Supplemental documentation may include charts, graphs, data tables, photographs, and marketing materials. Please do not include corporate literature, annual reports, or videos, and do not send us CD-ROMs, or videotapes. Any supplemental material over the 4-page limit will not be reviewed.
We would like you to describe your sustainability activities in a way that clearly answers the four following questions:
- What did you do?
- How did you do it?
- Who was involved?
- What are the benefits?
Include only information on activities implemented before January 1, 2015. Read on for guidance on writing the narratives. Please note: If your organization has received a Governor's Sustainability Award or Governor's Pollution Prevention Award in the past, please include only information about activities you have conducted since winning the award. Ongoing achievements and metrics from previously awarded activities are not eligible for the award and should not be included in the narrative, unless significant improvements or modifications have been implemented and can be clearly described.
Each application must contain the following sections. Details of each are provided in the evaluation criteria.
- Description of Activities
- Waste Volume/Emissions Reduction or Natural Resources/Energy Conserved
- Economic Benefits
- Employee/Member/Community Involvement and/or Outreach
- Regulatory Compliance
What did you do?
Describe your activities, including where and when they were accomplished. There are many different types of activities that are eligible for inclusion in this application. The questions below are intended to prompt discussion on a wide variety of sustainability activities. Some of the questions may not apply to your organization.
- Did you implement sustainable practices or technologies?
- If so, for what purposes?
- Did you improve products or processes?
- If so, how is this better than what existed previously?
- Did your activity or activities have educational or outreach components?
- If so, who was the intended audience, and what were the objectives?
- Did you have a building or energy project?
- Award will not be granted to applications that only include LEED certification of new buildings or only energy efficiency projects. Additionally, applications that include LEED EB must describe the environmental and energy savings for LEED EB projects. Baseline and savings metrics must be included in the application.
- Metrics, particularly for energy savings, must be normalized or baseline data must be provided so that we can determine the magnitude of the benefits realized. See the metrics form as a guide.
How did you do it?
Describe why you decided to do these activities and how you went about doing them. Your description can address any of the questions below that are applicable to your organization. Your description may also address issues not listed in the questions below.
- How did you identify the opportunity?
- How much did the activities cost?
- How much effort was required to implement the activities?
- Was any research, development, pilot testing, or training required?
- What barriers did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
- How did you keep the activities on track?
- What criteria had to be met in order to implement the activities?
- How was the technology or practice you implemented better than comparable alternatives?
- How did you evaluate the success of the activities?
Who was involved?
Describe the contributions of your organization's personnel in the activities.
- Was there input from employees/members in designing and implementing the activities?
- Were there teams or committees formed for these specific activities, or how did management encourage or engage employee/member participation in these activities?
Describe if any partnerships with external manufacturers, consultants, vendors, schools, community groups, or other organizations were influential during your activities.
What were the benefits?
Describe how your activities benefitted the environment, your organization, your local community, and/or the global community. Some of the questions below may not pertain to your organization, and you may want to discuss benefits not addressed in the questions below.
- What criteria did you use for measuring the environmental, social, and/or economic benefits?
- How did you measure these benefits? What were the results?
- What amounts of natural resources (energy, water, raw materials, etc.) were conserved?
- By how much was solid waste or toxic/hazardous waste or the use of toxic chemicals reduced?
- Were toxic exposures to workers, customers, your community, or the environment reduced?
- How much money did your organization save?
- How did your community benefit from your activities -- such as jobs retained or created, life style improvements for citizens, etc.?
- What have you done so that others can benefit from your experience and knowledge gained?
- Have you identified any improvements or organizational changes that could be helpful for these activities, or for similar activities, in the future?
For questions about the Governor's Sustainability Awards, contact Deb Jacobson at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.
|Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
1010 Jorie Blvd.
Oak Brook, IL 60523
The Fine Print
Activities submitted must have been completed or have shown substantial progress by December 31, 2014. A panel from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and/or outside experts will judge applications. Confidential or proprietary processes, technologies, or business practices should be clearly identified in the application. Finalists may be visited for verification of activities. Additional eligibility status will be obtained from the Illinois EPA. An organization must be in good standing with environmental laws and regulations to be eligible for an award. Applicants with current or pending violations of environmental laws and regulations from the U.S. EPA or Illinois EPA are not eligible to receive an award.
The Office of the Governor will make the final award decisions.