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EPA Launches Awards as ‘Climate Leaders Legacy’

The Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Registry, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Association of Climate Change Officers have announced a new national awards program for climate leadership, to serve as a legacy for the EPA’s now-defunct Climate Leaders program.

The awards program is designed to recognize exemplary corporate, organizational and individual leadership in response to climate change. The first awards ceremony will be held in early 2012.

Climate Leaders was an EPA partnership with industry, started in 2002, and designed to help companies develop comprehensive climate change strategies. Firms committed to aggressive reduction goals and reported their annual progress to the EPA. Last September the EPA announced that the program would phase down its services over 2011.

In response to an EPA request for proposals in February 2011, the agency identified the consortium of three non-profits with which it will co-sponsor the new awards program.

The awards will also replace ACCO’s Climate Leadership Awards, which were set up to recognize exemplary leadership by organizations in industry, government, academia and the non-profit community.

Specific categories in the new awards will include:

  • Sustained Excellence in Public Reporting: Recognizes companies that continually raise the bar in the area of public disclosure of GHG emissions data. This includes regular public reporting and verification of corporate GHG inventories, GHG goal setting and achievement of GHG emissions reductions.
  • Supply Chain Leadership: Recognizes companies that have their own comprehensive GHG inventories and emissions reduction goals and can demonstrate that they are at the leading edge of managing carbon in their supply chain.
  • Organizational Leadership: Recognizes companies that have “mainstreamed” climate change across their operations and can demonstrate that they factor climate change into their business decisions.
  • Individual Leadership – Recognizes individuals exemplifying extraordinary leadership in leading their organizations’ response to climate change and/or affecting the responses of other organizations.

The organizations will publish additional information on the award categories and nomination process in the next few weeks. The EPA is also considering another joint-recognition program and said it will make an announcement once the details have been confirmed.

“Corporate leadership is essential to advancing climate and energy solutions,” said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “In growing numbers, companies and their employees are working tirelessly in pursuit of cost-effective solutions that reduce carbon and benefit consumers. Recognizing these great accomplishments serves to motivate and accelerate efforts throughout the business community toward a cleaner, more efficient energy future.”

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