The Road to a Great Illinois Sustainability Award Application

ground plants like grass and ivery in the shape of a winding path and an image of the gov. sustainability awards plackIf your organization has done a lot in the name of sustainability – from projects that save money and resources to initiatives that strengthen the people and communities you work for – what are you waiting for? The Illinois Sustainability Award provides a great opportunity for you to pull your sustainability work together into a single document: your award application!

 

Because sustainability encompasses the triple bottom line – People, Planet, Profit – it can be tough to wrap one’s brain around all that should be included in your application. Our Apply for the Award page and FAQ’s will help you in that process, but we know that’s a lot to read! Here are three tips to help you cut to the chase, and get started on your application (due May 4).

 

1. Start driving. Get key people on board.

Illinois Sustainability Award applications are typically a team effort, but there is often a single person or small team that drives the process forward. The application drivers can be anyone – from top management to employees who volunteer time on a Green Team. If you’re reading this, you may be the driver!

 

Send a note out to co-workers letting them know you’re preparing an Illinois Sustainability Award application. Here are some key people to get on board early (positions vary by organization):

  • Top Management
  • Facilities/Operations Manager
  • Plant Manager
  • Sustainability Officer/Green Team Lead
  • PR Officer

2. Read these two things. These are your “how to” guides to help you best relay your sustainability successes in your application. Remember, quantifying your actions are just as important as clearly describing them.

 

Narrative Guidelines – You have up to six single-spaced pages to describe your sustainability accomplishments. These guidelines tell you how.

 

Metrics Form Instructions – Download the Metrics Form (Microsoft Excel format) and read the Instructions tab.

 

3. Check out the sample applications.

The sample applications, available on our web site, display best practices from past winners’ applications. Note that a good application typically includes a variety of projects touching on multiple impacts or aspects of sustainability. The project descriptions will also include some detail on how they were conceived and who was involved. We want to hear how your organization went from idea to implementation.

 

4. Check out the Evaluation Criteria

Make sure you’re aware of how your application will be reviewed and include all the points/details from your efforts to address the key attributes we’re seeking. You can find the Evaluation Criteria here: http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/evaluation.cfm.

 

Even if you are not applying for an Award, you can still be involved at the Awards Ceremony through supporting the event or being an exhibitor. Information on sponsorship levels and benefits can be found on our “Support the Awards” page. We hope you consider supporting this 31-year legacy of environmental excellence!

 

Ready to apply? APPLY NOW!

 

If you still have questions about the process, contact Deb Jacobson or Irene Zlevor for more information via e-mail at djacobso@illinois.edu or izlevor@illinois.edu or by phone (630) 472-5016.

About Joy Scrogum

Joy is a Sustainability Specialist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has worked on developing & maintaining online resources for the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable since 2001. She also currently coordinates the Sustainable Electronics Initiative & works on Zero Waste Illinois projects, including the Illini Gadget Garage and the Green Lunchroom Challenge. Key past projects include coordinating the International Sustainable Electronics Competition, developing & teaching ENG 498 "Sustainable Technology: Environmental & Social Impacts of Innovations," & Greening Schools, which focused on making K-12 facilities & curricula more sustainable.
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