Harrisburg, PA | April 01, 2010
The Philadelphia Phillies and five other Pennsylvania-based organizations have been honored for their investment in our natural resources and our economy by taking top honors in a statewide Investing in Nature Awards program. The Nature Conservancy announced the top business conservation initiatives in six categories today.
The Nature Conservancy and Journal Publications Inc. launched the statewide program to recognize and honor exemplary company initiatives in Pennsylvania that are improving the bottom line while achieving tangible, lasting conservation results. Nominations were limited to organizations that are headquartered in, or have significant operations in, Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania has long been a keystone of conservation, working to protect millions of acres of natural areas for future generations to enjoy,” said Bill Kunze, Pennsylvania state director for the Conservancy. “Today it also is a leader in building a new, green economy that supports the natural world while creating jobs and investments in our future."
“Our Investing in Nature program,” explained Kunze, “recognizes those business initiatives that model strong conservation practices to improve the health of our world and our economy. I’m proud to say we had a very competitive field of nominees, all of whom deserve our appreciation for their contributions to Pennsylvania’s economy and for their many initiatives that help us accomplish the mission of The Nature Conservancy of preserving the diversity of life on Earth.”
An independent panel of judges evaluated the nominations and determined the finalists in each of the six categories: Energy Conservation Initiatives, Natural Resource Management, Green Building Design/Construction/Planning, Environmental Education Initiatives, Innovative New Environmental Technologies, and Ecotourism. The members of the judging panel reviewed initiatives for effectiveness, measurability, and efficient utilization of resources.
The judges were: Cindy Adams Dunn, Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; John C. Dernbach, distinguished professor of law, Widener University Law School; Tom Olenzak, venture capitalist, Robin Hood Ventures; and Robert M. Scaer, CEO, Gannett Fleming Inc.
Companies with winning initiatives by category are:
- The Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia – Energy Conservation Initiative
The Philadelphia Phillies, in a commitment to fight global warming, launched its Red Goes Green initiative to reduce energy and waste at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies made the single largest purchase of green power among U.S. professional sports teams – equivalent to planting 100,000 trees. The team also involved fans through its Red Goes Green initiative which provides green tips, encourages recycling, and promotes energy conservation awareness.
- Greenline Paper Company Inc., York – Natural Resource Management Initiatives
Greenline Paper Company has a sustainable product initiative. It sells only “earth-friendly” products from recycled paper to compostable coffee cups. It serves as the local recycling drop-off center and donates 1 percent of its after-tax profits to two organizations (Environmental Paper Network and Conservatree Paper) that advocate for recycled paper and forest conservation.
- McKissick Associates Architects PC, Harrisburg – Green Building Design/ Construction/Planning Initiatives
McKissick Associate Architects believes in preserving open space through adaptive-reuse projects that reclaim existing brownfield sites. The firm incorporates LEED standards into the restoration and works to restore and reestablish neighborhood resources. Its adaptive reuse initiatives have been nationally recognized for eco-preservation.
- Saint Vincent College, Latrobe – Environmental Education Initiatives
The Saint Vincent College Environmental Education Center launched a multi-disciplined approach to restoring passive wetlands and improving the health of Fourmile Run in Latrobe. The initiative involves community groups, businesses, and scientists while providing field learning opportunities for K-16 students and teachers. The initiative restored 20 acres of wetlands to capture abandoned mine drainage in the Loyalhanna watershed that had eliminated nearly all aquatic life in Monastery Run and 1.1 miles of Fourmile Run. The wetlands reduced 90 percent of the iron content discharged into the streams.
- LandStudies Inc., Lancaster – Innovative New Environmental Technologies Initiatives
LandStudies is restoring streams and flood plains through its “green planning” for Economically Enhanced Ecosystems initiative. The process includes excavating the stream channel to its near-historical elevations and planting of wetland species and reconnecting streams and floodplains to restore the natural functions of a healthy stream system to resolve the modern, water-related problems from sediment and nutrient run-off. The process is a “best management practice” in Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Trading Program.
- Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau, Zelienople – Ecotourism Initiatives
Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau launched its get outdoors initiative – Wake Up, Chow Down, Get Out and Dig into the Hands-on Experiences in Butler County, Pa. – in 2009 to promote the county’s many nature attractions. In addition to reintroducing people to nature, the bureau’s seven employees also implemented an office recycling and energy reduction policy to model the ecotourism commitment it asks of its clients.
Investing in Nature finalists for 2009 include:
Energy Conservation Initiatives:
- WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh – Going Green Pittsburgh Initiative
- Blume’s Solid Surface Products, Freeport –Recycling Initiatives
Natural Resource Management Initiatives:
- Construction Specialties Inc., Muncy – Recycling and Reduced Consumption Initiative
- Reliant Energy Inc., Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania Partners Initiative
Green Building Design/Construction/Planning Initiatives:
- PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Pittsburgh – Green Branch Initiative
- Vartan Group Inc., Harrisburg – “1500Project” Green Design Initiative
Environmental Education Initiatives:
- Venture Outdoors, Pittsburgh – Safe and Responsible Outdoors Initiative
- Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education & Research at Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh – High School Environmental Engineering Initiative
Innovative New Environmental Technologies Initiatives:
- Stream Restoration Inc., Mars – Watershed Passive Treatment Systems Initiative
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh – Innovating an Efficient New World Initiative
- Spring Ridge Club, LLC, Spruce Creek – Stream Preservation and Management Initiative
The Investing in Nature Awards is a program of The Nature Conservancy in partnership with Journal Publications Inc. For more information on the awards, visit nature.org/Pennsylvania.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.