MICHIGAN CITY, INDIANA — South Shore Clean Cities honored Northern Indiana’s sustainable transportation leaders at the nonprofit’s Annual Meeting and Awards Tuesday.
“The dedication of our members to improving the quality of life in Northern Indiana through sustainable practices continues to amaze and inspire me,” South Shore Clean Cities Executive Director Carl Lisek said. “The award winners are supporting domestic fuels, protecting national energy security and local jobs, promoting economic development and contributing to improved air quality all while improving the bottom line of their operations. I congratulate them on their accomplishments.”
The annual meeting and awards ceremony — which took place at the Blue Chip Stardust Event Center in Michigan City, Indiana — celebrated the successes of South Shore Clean Cities members in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline gallon equivalents. All winners were selected from among South Shore Clean Cities members.
Collectively, South Shore Clean Cities members displaced more than 18.3 million gasoline gallon equivalents and more than 113,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, the year for which awards were presented. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, their actions represent the greenhouse gas reduction equivalent of taking more than 34,500 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
The 2018 Member of the Year Award was presented to Fair Oaks Farms of Fair Oaks, Indiana. The award is given to the South Shore Clean Cities member with the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline gallon equivalents reduced over the course of 2017.
Runners up in the 2018 Member of the Year category were Entertainment Cruises of Chicago; City of South Bend Central Services of South Bend, Indiana; Ozinga of Mokena, Illinois and Family Express Corp. of Valparaiso, Indiana.
The 2018 South Shore Clean Cities Champion Award was presented to United Soybean Board, which is headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri. The award is presented to a member organization that supports the South Shore Clean Cities mission and works as a partner and leader to educate, inform and inspire others to take action toward greater sustainable practices.
South Shore Clean Cities manages the Green Fleet programs for two Northern Indiana metropolitan planning organizations, the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC). The goal of the program is to significantly improve the environmental performance of government fleets by implementing sustainable transportation strategies. Green Fleet members receive professional consultation including a fleet assessment and emissions quantification report.
The 2018 MACOG Green Fleet Member of the Year Award was presented to the South Bend Public Transportation Corporation (Transpo) of South Bend, Indiana. The MACOG Green Fleet Member of the Year Award recognizes the MACOG South Shore Clean Cities Green Fleet member that stands as an example for others in their actions and commitments to sustainable practices. MACOG serves Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties in Indiana.
The 2018 NIRPC Green Fleet Member of the Year Award was presented to the City of Michigan City, Indiana. The NIRPC Green Fleet Member of the Year Award recognizes a NIRPC South Shore Clean Cities Green Fleet member that stands as an example for others in their actions and commitments to sustainable practices. NIRPC serves Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties in Indiana.
The University of Notre Dame Office of Sustainability was awarded the 2018 Excellence in Environmental Education Award. The award is presented to an individual or organization that has most greatly influenced the Northern Indiana community and has implemented one or more of the following: advancing environmental learning, ensuring Hoosiers are environmentally literate, engaging in environmental stewardship or contributing to a sustainable future.
Jennifer Sanders, public information manager for Envirotest Systems of Crown Point, Indiana, was honored as the 2018 Empowering Woman of the Year. The award recognizes a woman affiliated with South Shore Clean Cities who is passionate about sustainable transportation solutions and has demonstrated measurable impacts related to her efforts. Sanders also serves on the South Shore Clean Cities board of directors.
South Shore Clean Cities also honored two retiring Board of Directors members at the Annual Meeting and Awards, former board president Brian Houston of Clean Energy Fuels and John Zaharias of CenterPoint Energy.