Earth Day is on April 22nd, 2013. Every year, in celebration of Earth Day, GXT Green recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions to sustainability efforts in their individual companies, their communities or to the global community. For 2013, The GXT Green Honor Roll placed a special focus on US based town, county, and state, and NGO officials, with limited consideration for corporations. The list of finalists will be reviewed by our judges, and the winners of the Honor roll recognition will be announced in time for Earth Day. So…. without further ado, the 2013 GXT Green Earth Day Honor Roll Finalists are:
Public Sector and NGO Finalists:
- Rob Garrity, Executive Director, Mass Climate Action Network. As leader of his organization, Rob coordinates the work of locally organized groups across Massachusetts in fighting the climate crisis, bringing together one voice to address the most crucial issues in a meaningful way. His organization also co-sponsors the annual Local Environmental Action Conference to help bring important issues to light and find solutions.
- Rep Lori Ehrlich, MA: Representative Ehrlich is continuously fighting for the environment in the Mass House of Reps. She has successfully taken on causes including eliminating coal burning power plants, controlling and mitigating the effects of water pollution, proposing a bag ban with alternatives, and advocating for intelligent waste reduction and recycling.
- State Senator Jamie Eldridge, MA: Senator Eldridge has helped lead the charge to increase awareness of environmental issues in the state of Massachusetts. This includes bills to improve the safety of our water, and eliminate “e-waste” of electronic components from landfills.
- Senator Bernie Sanders, VT: Senator Sanders has proposed a bill to begin making firms accountable for their carbon footprint. They have proposed a charge of $20 per ton of carbon from major polluters such as coal mines and oil refineries, rising 5.6 percent annually over 10 years. “Climate change is a serious problem that requires dramatic action now, Sanders said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “The issue we’re dealing with today is not political,” he said. “What we are dealing with today is physics.”
- John R. Connolly, At-Large Boston City Councilor. John is the Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Education and Vice Chair of the Committee on Environment and Health. In this role, he has been a leading voice on the Council for environmental justice and working to make Boston the greenest and healthiest city in the world. He serves on Boston’s Climate Action Leadership Committee, a task force that was charged with setting goals for community-wide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. John also filed legislation on issues such as local strategies to combat climate change, the safe usage and disposal of energy-efficient CFL light bulbs, and building a bike-share program in Boston.
- Jen Jordan, Recycling Coordinator, City of Iowa City: Jen has gone beyond her assigned role and done much more than coordinate recycling. She has actively helped her community and town council make thoughtful discussions to deal with waste, and encouraging them to be educated on all of the facts, options, and experience of other towns before considering a bag ban.
- Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of NY: Mayor Bloomberg has launched a 25-year sustainability plan to reduce New York City’s emission of greenhouse gases 30 percent by 2030. He also made sure that all taxis in the city were hybrid vehicles, and proposed banning Styrofoam food packaging in the city to cut down waste. He leads a coalition of world cities to promote the decrease of greenhouse gases.
- Bill DeWitt, Town Councilor in Barrington RI. Bill has stood up to encourage an educated approach to solving the local plastic pollution issue, despite the pressure to ban bags without a solution to people’s needs. Bill advocates a balanced approach which considers alternatives as well as the economic effect on citizens and businesses.
- Mike McGinn: Mayor of Seattle: Mayor Mike McGinn follows in the footsteps of his predecessor, Greg Nickels who started the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. In this agreement, almost 500 city leaders promised to comply with the Kyoto Protocol to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases by 7 percent between 1990 and 2012. He is focused on improving the efficiency of transportation plans. His city council has set an objective to achieve total carbon neutrality by 2050.
- Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia PA: Mayor Nutter has established Greenworks Philadelphia, which strives to make the City of Brotherly Love the greenest in the country by addressing agriculture, transit, waste and energy, and implementing a program of sustainability tax credits. He also strives to reduce greenhouse gas through a series of initiatives in his city’s sustainability initiative.
- David Hales, President of Second Nature (NGO): Second Nature’s mission is to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society through the transformation of higher education. As former president of College of the Atlantic, David drove the college to be one of the first campuses with a zero carbon footprint. At Second Nature, he continues to drive the effort for colleges and universities to mitigate their negative impact on our environment.
- Expressway Toyota: Expressway Toyota, located just outside of Boston, has taken major strides to minimize their impact on our environment. In keeping with the efforts of Toyota to mitigate the effect of vehicles on our environment, Expressway has purchased carbon offsets for their entire fleet of loaner and rental cars. These vehicles proudly display GXTGreen WheelSeal Medallions which certify their offsets. Expressway promotes sustainability with their “green way to save” initiatives.
- Roche Brothers: Roche Brothers Grocery Stores, a 16 store chain in New England, has aggressively pursued a goal to reduce their impact on the environment. This includes more efficient fixtures in their stores and a continued effort to mitigate the use of plastic bags. In addition, they have a commitment to local farmers and local food producers to support the local agricultural industry. All around, they continue to focus on “greening” their environment.
GXT Green appreciates all that these individuals are doing to improve our environment.