By Carrie Staller, Director of Customer Advocacy Marketing, REV
Receiving a business award has long been considered valuable for business owners, partners, employees and investors. But pursuing and receiving sustainability awards is a newer trend in recent years. Applying for and winning a sustainability award makes a statement that your organization doesn’t just stand for excellence, it stands for doing the right thing and making a positive impact. Whether you are new to sustainability or a veteran, it is well worth taking the time to establish a relationship with award organizations, and to understand the frameworks and standards these organizations use for selecting recipients. Trade organizations, media outlets, NGOs, utilities, local government, and chambers of commerce are just a few examples of where to begin your search for award opportunities.
Why you should be applying for (and hopefully winning!) these awards today
1) Demonstrate Sustainability Leadership in Your Industry
Being acknowledged and honored as a sustainability leader in your industry by a credible third party has immeasurable benefits. Employees become more engaged, and proud to be part of your organization. New talent discovers your organization through the press coverage you receive. Gaining respect as a leader also provides stakeholder momentum. It allows your organization to stand on the stable ground needed to drive innovation and creativity because stakeholders are confident in your ability to pioneer new ways of thinking and doing.
2) Build Credibility and Brand Loyalty
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing competitive marketplace, even if you have a solid base of customers, you need to continually find ways to strengthen their loyalty to your brand or you will lose them to competitors. Winning a sustainability award differentiates you from others in your industry and provides the proof you need to stand out from the crowd.
3) Collaborate and Learn
Although many organizations see sustainability as a strategy for competitive advantage, there are far more opportunities for collaboration and mutually beneficial partnerships because so many recognize the need for rapid change that can only happen through collective efforts. Researching award standards and criteria and the strategies of past award winners can strengthen your organization through an understanding of best practices, and guide you to setting up your own roadmap with the resources and potential strategic partnerships you need to achieve your own goals.
4) Save Money and Become More Resilient
The most obvious reason to pursue sustainability as a business strategy is that using fewer resources costs less money and strengthens your business. By getting your organization in shape to win an award, you will naturally be taking the steps necessary to reduce resources such as energy and water, reduce waste on site and along your supply chain, and improve employee retention through purpose. All these activities save money, reduce risk, and build resiliency.
Awards to Consider
Depending on your industry, region, and size, there are a variety of awards that will be relevant for you. Here is a sample of awards for which you can apply. We’d love to hear of other awards that you know about that aren’t on this list.
- Acterra Business Environmental Awards
- American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Award
- AASHE Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Award
- Association of Energy Services Professionals Award
- Beacon Award
- Breathe California Clean Air Award
- California Climate Action Registry Climate Action Award
- Carbon Disclosure Project Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index
- CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards Program
- Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations
- Corporate Responsibility Magazine 100 Best Corporate Citizens List
- Dow Jones Sustainability Index
- Environmental Leaders in Golf
- Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA)
- Guardian’s Bold Move, Carbon and Energy Management, Collaboration, Communicating Sustainability, Social Impact Awards
- John Muir Business Conservation Award
- Keystone Center Leadership in Industry and Environment Awards
- Natural Gas Vehicle Association Achievement Award
- Newsweek Magazine Top Green Companies
- Planning and Conservation League Environmental Heroes Award
- Platts Global Energy Stewardship Awards
- Sustainable Brands Innovation Open
- Sustainable San Mateo County Awards
- U.S. EPA: Climate Protection, Energy Star, Haagen-Smit, Integrated Pest Management, GEELA Awards, Green Power Leadership
REV Award Winners
Participating in a REV Sustainability Circle® can be a fast track to winning a sustainability award. Congratulations to REV customers who have won awards after participating in the program.
- Balboa Park Cultural Partnership – SDG&E Energy Showcase Award
- City of Chula Vista – Beacon and Climate Leadership Award
- City of Hayward – Acterra Award
- HGST – Energy Champion
- llumina – SDG&E Energy Showcase Award
- Metropolitan Golf- Environmental Leaders in Golf
- Monterrey -SDG&E Energy Showcase Award
- Nimble Storage – Energy Champion
- New Resource Bank – Acterra Award
- REV- GEELA Award
- South San Francisco Scavenger – GEELA Award
- Team San Jose – Energy Champion
What awards has your organization applied for or won? We want to hear your ideas. If you’re a past REV Sustainability Circle participant and you’ve won an award, please let us know so we can help you spread the word.