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Page last updated on September 23, 2019 at 11:22 am

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Lauren Travis 

Assistant Director of Sustainability


City of Bloomington Garners 2019 Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington has been awarded the statewide 2019 Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in the Greening the Government category. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) award was presented to Mayor John Hamilton on Wednesday, September 18 in a ceremony in Indianapolis as part of the 22nd Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show.  

The award recognizes the City’s excellence in improving the sustainability of Bloomington’s internal city operations, demonstrating measurable environmental, social, and economic benefits. In particular, the award acknowledges successful efforts to increase renewable energy, divert waste, and plan for the future within the City organization and throughout the community. 

“As climate disruption accelerates, our City is ever more dedicated to reducing our collective environmental impact, mitigating local impacts, and collaborating with local partners and the global network of communities working toward the same goals,” said Hamilton.  “We are honored to be recognized for integrating sustainability into all of our decisions and practices.”  

Upon presenting the award, IDEM Commissioner Bruno Pigott commended Bloomington for its 2018 Sustainability Action Plan, which integrated more than 20 existing City plans referencing sustainability, as an exemplary policy that will continue to guide Bloomington’s efforts to green the government.  

“This award recognizes the City’s significant ongoing efforts to work with the broader community to preserve our natural resources, maintain our distinct culture, build a diverse and thriving economy, and ensure a healthy and equitable standard of living,” said Assistant Director of Sustainability Lauren Travis, who presented details of the City’s sustainability initiatives and progress to the conference audience.

Introduced in 1994, the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence were established to recognize organizations that go above and beyond their regulatory requirements by reducing the use of toxic materials or generation of environmental wastes and to transfer these project successes to other organizations for possible implementation. The Governor's Awards include seven categories: Energy/Renewable Resources, Greening the Government, Land Use/Conservation, Environmental Education/Outreach, Pollution Prevention, Recycling/Reuse, and Continuous Improvement.

The award recognizes the City’s commitment to increasing the renewable energy supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in the municipal solar infrastructure and extending access to solar power throughout the community. Through the City’s guaranteed energy savings contract and a partnership with the Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network, the Solarize initiative has resulted in 31 ground mount or rooftop solar installations on City facilities and has catalyzed the installation of residential systems across Monroe County. These initiatives over the last several years have improved Bloomington and Monroe County’s energy independence with over 6 mW of new solar installations across the County and over 600 residential solar customers representing 10 percent of the state’s total.

The award also recognized the City’s active role in diverting waste generated during student move-out through the annual Hoosier To Hoosier Community Sale (H2H) in collaboration with Sustain IU, the Warehouse, and the Cutters soccer team.  Over the last ten years, H2H has diverted over 400 tons of items from landfills for resale and reuse. The sale is part of a broader City effort to work towards becoming a zero-waste community by reducing waste production, increasing material reuse, and growing participation in recycling and composting. The City’s recent recertification of City Hall as LEED Gold and contract with Green Camino to provide on-site composting provide examples of how the City is working to use resources efficiently, reduce waste and minimize the negative impacts on the environment.  

More information about the City of Bloomington’s sustainability efforts is available at this link.


Award Winners

Photo:  Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton and the City’s Assistant Director for Sustainability Lauren Travis (holding award) accept 2019 Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in the Greening the Government category at a ceremony in Indianapolis on September 18.