“Columbia residents and businesses conserve all the community's natural resources, work cooperatively to apply best planning practices, model energy efficiency, transition to renewable energy, and approach zero waste generation.” - Imagine Columbia's Future Environment Vision Statement
"Create an encouraging atmosphere for business opportunities based on environmental stewardship." - City of Columbia Strategic Plan, Economic Development initiative #2
The city of Columbia recently passed the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement (MCPA) awards (R 75-14). The program was created to recognize the efforts of local business and organizations who take action in their own operations to reduce global warming pollution in the community. The Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement awards aim to recognize excellence in sustainable practices demonstrated by local organizations while promoting a culture of environmental responsibility. We achieve this goal by recognizing local businesses and organizations who excel in environmental stewardship, innovative best practices, pollution prevention, and resource conservation. Businesses or organizations who excel in two or more of these categories can be recognized with the Mayors award for Overall Sustainability.
Environmental Stewardship: A business or organization with sustainable landscaping or rain gardens will want to look into this award. If they have looked into any type of land use certification or have tried to improve the community by lessing impervious surfaces they could qualify for this award.
Innovative Best Practices: A business or organization who is innovating ways to help the community, such as, producing their own energy on site, or having received Energy Star certification. They may have taken advantage of opportunities to reduce water usage. If they have installed low flow devices, or use products such as rain barrels, this could be the perfect award for them.
Pollution Prevention: A business or organization nominated for this award is aware of their carbon footprint. They may have installed efficient appliances, or have put in place an energy reduction plan to lessen their footprint. They also might have looked into innovative forms of transportation, such as, riding their bike to work or creating a carpool system for their co-workers/employees.
Resource Conservation: Do you know a business or organization who has improved the community by reducing, reusing, or recycling? That person could be eligible for the Resource Conservation award. To be eligible for this award they have to improve the community through their recycling efforts. They can do this on a large scale, such as recycling energy or water from company operations, or on a small scale, such as using energy efficient lighting in their building.
If you are a business or organization who is eligible for these awards, or if you know a business or organization who would be eligible, you can nominate them on this website. Nominations for the 2015 awards will open August 20, 2014 and will close January 2, 2015. Winners will be chosen in February and notified late March. If you have any questions please contact Sustainability Manager, Barbara Buffaloe.
Also if you know any business who should be recognized for obtaining certification such as LEED or Energy Star contact Barbara Buffaloe. So that they can be recognized on the city of Columbia Website.