Eight Hoosier organizations have recently been recognized by the state of Indiana for their environmental efforts. 

The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are presented annually to Hoosiers, Indiana facilities, local and state governments and organizations that have implemented innovative environmental practices.

According to a press release, the 2021 recipients are as follows:
• DePauw University in Greencastle was honored for its three-year campus energy master plan, which was implemented in 2017. This plan focused on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and included the following implementations: Changing campus lighting to LED; installation of low-flow water fixtures; creation of a district energy system; creation of a 240-kilowatt solar panel; and optimizing the HVAC systems. The plan will reduce energy use on campus by 25% over the next three years and will save $780,000 annually. 

• The Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University Bloomington was honored for environmental outreach for its local government implementation portfolio. ERI provides education, outreach, research, training, tools and support for local governments in Indiana. This support is highlighted by the following: An interactive toolkit that connects local officials to information on climate change, funding possibilities and community projects; the Hoosier Resilience Index, which offers community-specific data; a free monthly Prepared for Environmental Change webinar series; and assistance with the creation of greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans. A total of 17 cities? county? governments have completed greenhouse gas inventories and 13 have completed, or are working on, climate action plans. 

• Toyota Material Handling Inc. in Columbus was honored for its five-year continuous improvement on carbon dioxide reduction projects. This organization has implemented seven projects that reduce emissions and improve efficiency. This includes the following: Change to LED lighting; installation of radiant dock heaters; compressor and air leak advancements; establishment of gas and power monitoring systems; installation of 18 weld fume collection systems; and investment in wind energy.

• Fort Wayne Utilities was honored for its energy plan that has reduced costs and prevented pollution. This policy implemented the following initiatives: Converting to energy-efficient lighting and HVAC; completion of a greenhouse gas inventory; using cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles, and installation of a combined heat and power system. This plan has resulted in a 27.2-megawatt-hour reduction, equivalent to a 30% reduction, of electricity purchased from the local utility. 

• The LaGrange County Department of Parks and Recreation was selected for its land use and conservation of Duff Lake Fen and savanna restoration. This project was a hydrological and vegetative restoration of 182 acres of property into native grassland. The restoration included the following: Two years of invasive plant removal; 182 acres of restored native savanna; a $944,400 investment; and 36 endangered, threatened and rare species protected.

• The Indiana Soybean Alliance in Indianapolis was honored for its creation of PoreShield, which is a soy-based concrete durability enhancer that can replace toxic concrete protectors and enhancers. PoreShield reduces dangerous organic compound air emissions by 90% and eliminates the need for harmful solvents. This product also supports soybean farmers across the state.

• Food Rescue US in Fort Wayne and the Allen County Department of Environmental Management were honored for their food waste reduction program that redirected food from the landfill and gave it to those in need. The program allowed grocery stores and restaurants to donate excess food to approved food relief organizations, and in 2020, 53,220 meals were provided to people in Fort Wayne and Allen County. 

• Trinity Metals in Indianapolis was honored for its patented low-grade recycling method and system. This recycling method, which recycles mid- and low-grade magnesium scrap, removes contaminants and prevents them from being discharged by using a controlled environment.
Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Julia Wickard presented the awards during the 24th annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Tradeshow in Indianapolis.