Seven Hoosier organizations have recently been recognized by the state of Indiana for their environmental efforts.
The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are presented annually to Hoosiers, Indiana facilities, local and state governments and organizations that have implemented innovative environmental practices.
The 2022 recipients are :
• Bendix in Huntington was honored in the energy efficiency/renewable resources category for its on-site solar project, which is the largest on-site solar system in Huntington County. Other sustainability features of the project include a 91.8% landfill diversion of construction waste and an indigenous seed mix that reduces emissions from mowing and pesticides
• Paramount Schools of Excellence in Indianapolis was honored in the environmental education and outreach category for its Success Through Education, Agriculture and Mentoring program. STEAM teaches students about sustainable farming practices, food accessibility and minimal impact livestock management.
• AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in Mount Vernon was honored in the five-year continuous improvement category for its environmental management system. The organization installed a two-megawatt solar field, replaced cooling towers with sphagnum moss to reduce chemical and water use by 1.6 million gallons a year and made other improvements such as waste reduction.
• Indianapolis Public Schools was honored in the greening the government category for its implementation of a behavioral-based energy conservation program throughout the district. The program, which reduces energy use and increases energy efficiency of buildings and equipment through behavioral and operational practices, has had an energy reduction of 100,000 kilowatt hours and a water reduction of 4 million gallons. It saved the district more than $3.6 million in 2021.
• The Big Pine Watershed Group in Fowler was honored in the land use/conservation category for its water-quality improvement program. The program, which covers Benton, Warren, Tippecanoe and White counties, has implemented the use of cover crops, educated the public about its impact on the watershed and has raised funds to support its work.
• Cummins Inc. in Colombus was honored in the pollution prevention category for its clear-coat elimination project. The plant ended resource- intensive processes including washing with chemicals, painting and using dry-off and the use of cure oven. The benefits of this program include reductions in air emissions, natural gas usage, general waste, energy usage and water usage.
• The City of Monticello Wastewater Utility was honored in the recycling/reuse category for its Project Rain Barrel, which partnered with Ball Corp. to supply 55-gallon barrels to 95 customers to collect rainwater to use on lawns and gardens. The project also addressed the concerns of customers following the end of allowances for sprinkler rates. The barrels give the community a way to cut costs and use stormwater run-off.