USGBC Growing Green Awards Honor Those Transforming the Built Environment

by Megan Ridgeway,

Growing Green Awards Committee Chair

In March 29th the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council held their fourth annual Growing Green Awards banquet at the recently-completed Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 36 Headquarters to announce and celebrate 2012 winners. Nearly 200 attendees joined to celebrate the accomplishments of all the nominees. Winners and nominees are outstanding individuals and organizations that are active in transforming the built environment. They share a passion for making our region more sustainable. This year’s awards featured  several new categories.

The Community Champion award went to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. Through their commitment to continued improvement of building efficiency, resource conservation and sustainability in underserved communities, the Urban League’s efforts have been transformative in our community. In the last three years, they have retrofitted thousands of low-income single-family homes as well as shelters for battered women and the homeless, addressing building performance in the region’s aging building stock and helping people save money and create healthier indoor environments where it’s most needed.

Russell Barton, a high school science teacher from Parkway North High School, won the Education award. Mr. Barton not only brings passion and expertise to the classroom, but facilitates environmental extracurricular activities. He recently coordinated students, Administration, Grounds Department, School District staff and the community to implement a living, outdoor classroom. The project benefits students and the wider community while exhibiting his far-reaching success in creating the next generation of sustainability natives.

Recognition for Innovation was awarded to AEP River Operations for their on-going efforts to green America’s rivers. From the implementation of the first single-stream recycling program on in inland river vessels to transforming a towing vessel into the most fuel-efficient and lowest emitting on America’s waterway. By diverting waste from landfills, reducing air pollution and creating outreach and education programming, AEP River Operations has demonstrated innovation in their industry.

Citi was awarded the Emerging Leader award. The organization recently stepped up its efforts in order to reduce its environmental footprint. By 2015, Citi hopes to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 25%; reduce waste by 40%; water usage by 20% and improve energy efficiency by 20%. These aggressive goals are being implemented globally throughout the organization.

The award for Operational Excellence went to Tarlton, which has recently established a Corporate Sustainability Policy. This policy not only allows them to track their operational performance within their office and on projects but also challenges them to be permanently committed to continual improvement based on the performance data they collect.

Lastly, Cannon Design won the Restoration category for their leadership in the revitalization of the downtown St. Louis area through their commitment to restore and preserve the Power House District. Cannon’s Sustainable Renovation Design Team creatively preserved a landmark building while creating a playful, modern working environment that achieved LEED Gold certification.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter congratulates all the 2012 Growing Green Award winners and nominees for their work to make the built environment a more environmentally friendly, prosperous and healthy place to live, work and learn.

Learn more about the winners and nominees at www.usgbc-mogateway.org.