Apply for the Award

Thank you for your interest in applying for an Illinois Sustainability Award! Applications were due by 5:00 pm on May 3, 2018.

It is important that you read this page, the Narrative page and the Evaluation Criteria page thoroughly before submitting an application.

Want to be more involved with this year’s awards? Consider attending the awards ceremony or becoming a sponsor.

Application Overview

It is important that your application be as complete and descriptive as possible. Your organization will be judged on the strength of your application. Identify real numbers and measured results from your efforts when possible.

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 (if applicable).
  • A designated contact person at your organization to field questions relating to the application (required).
  • An approximately 250-word abstract of the application completed (required).
  • Please use the following formats for submitting your application:
    • Narrative with Regulatory Compliance Statement: Microsoft Word (required)
    • Metrics: Microsoft Excel
    • Supplemental Documentation: Microsoft or Adobe File Formats

Activities submitted must have been completed or have shown substantial progress by December 31 of the previous year.

By applying, an organization is giving ISTC consent to publish a summary of the award winning projects. ISTC is subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, so any part of an application that a company wishes to remain confidential should be clearly marked.

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. A panel from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and/or outside experts will judge applications. Finalists may be visited for verification of activities.

Application Requirements

  1. Abstract (Maximum: 250 words; required)
    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.
  2. Narrative (not to exceed six pages; required)
    In six pages or less, summarize your activities. Succinctly describe your project, program and/or organizational activities, as well as the environmental, economic, and social impact resulting from the work completed.
    Find guidance on information to include in the narrative here. Example applications are also available for review, although this is not a standard narrative format that must be followed.
    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. Applications without a Narrative will not be considered. Do not submit PowerPoint presentations or sales materials as part of your Narrative. These items may be submitted as Optional Supplemental Documentation (see below).
    Test your narrative against our Evaluation Criteria questions before submitting your application!
  3. Metrics
    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. Please use the Metrics Form to summarize the quantitative outcomes of your sustainability projects. This will significantly strengthen your application, but it is not required. You will find further instructions in the Metrics Form (Microsoft Excel document). READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS on the first page of this form and make sure to fill out the “Instructions” tab! 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.
  4. 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.
    Please feel free to use the above statement directly at the end of your application: "(Company Name) is not subject to an environmental enforcement action or notice of violation from the U.S. EPA or Illinois EPA."
  5. 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.

Think you’re ready to apply? Learn more about how applications are reviewed and the evaluation criteria to ensure a strong application!

Sustainability Awards Case Studies

Questions? Contact:

Deb Jacobson
(Primary Contact)

Irene Zlevor