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Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

Nominations must be received by IDEM no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 28, 2017.

Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. The governor’s award is Indiana’s most prestigious environmental recognition award. It is reserved for the most innovative, sustainable, and exemplary program or project that positively impacts Indiana’s environment and demonstrates measurable environmental, economic, and social benefits. The selection process is highly competitive, and only one award will be presented during a ceremony later this year.

Eligibility Requirements

Any Indiana citizen, business, nonprofit organization, school, university, or government agency may submit a nomination or be nominated for the award. For a program or project to be eligible, it must have been:

  • Located in Indiana.
  • Fully implemented in 2015 or 2016.
  • Done voluntarily (not the result of federal or state mandates, regulations, or enforcement decrees).

The nominee must:

  • Provide quantifiable data to support the nomination.
  • Have a positive reputation for environmental health and safety (unresolved compliance issues or enforcement actions involving the nominee or its parent company may eliminate a project from consideration for the award).
  • Agree to share the program or project details with others so IDEM can promote it via state websites, social media, and publications.

Eligible program and project categories include, but are not limited to:

  • Green infrastructure projects
  • Initiatives to reduce toxics use
  • Pollution prevention projects
  • Food waste reduction efforts
  • Recycling and composting programs
  • Manufacturing process improvements and/or “green tech” solutions
  • Initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, and recreational, sports, health care, and hospitality facilities
  • Clean energy projects
  • Natural resource/habitat protection and/or restoration efforts
  • Energy efficiency improvements
  • Environmental education and training programs

Examples of past award recipients’ projects are available. The project descriptions may inspire Hoosiers to either begin a new or expand an existing project, or to submit an award nomination for their own innovative and sustainable project.

Selection Criteria

A review committee selected by IDEM’s Office of Program Support (OPS) will evaluate the nominations based on how well the programs or projects meet the criteria in the Narrative Guide [PDF]. The committee will include representatives from health care, economic development, agriculture, education, energy development, government, pollution prevention, and recycling.

How to Complete and Submit a Nomination

1) Complete the Nomination Cover Page for Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence (State Form 51656) [PDF] [DOC].

  • Under Project Summary on side 2 of the form:
    • Summarize the main points and highlights of the project.
    • Include specific and concise descriptions of the environmental, economic, and social benefits and overall merits of the project using key concepts from other sections of the nomination.
    • For long-term projects (those initiated prior to 2015), focus on the environmental, economic, and social benefits achieved within the past three years and explain how the project is a model for others to emulate.

2) Follow the instructions in the Narrative Guide [PDF] and prepare a comprehensive nomination composed of no more than ten (10) double-sided pages.

The nomination packet should include:

  1. A properly completed Nomination Cover Page.
  2. A narrative of the project completed as set forth in the Narrative Guide [PDF].
  3. Any supplemental material(s).

3) Submit one (1) copy of the nomination packet by U.S. Mail, email, fax, or hand delivery to the Office of Program Support.

Selection of Award Recipients

After the nominations are received, IDEM will conduct a background investigation of each nominee’s environmental history with IDEM, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and the Indiana Department of Revenue. Nominees with a reasonably positive reputation with all of these agencies will be forwarded to the review committee for consideration. Past compliance issues will not necessarily eliminate a nomination from consideration. The review committee will evaluate the severity of any compliance issues during the review process.


  • Information submitted in nominations for the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence becomes public record. Nominees that want certain submitted information to remain confidential may call IDEM’s Office of Program Support at (800) 988-7901 or (317) 233-5434 and ask Justin Paicely for assistance, or email