MICHIGAN CITY, INDIANA — South Shore Clean Cities honored Northern Indiana’s sustainable transportation leaders at the nonprofit’s Annual Conference Tuesday.
“Our members have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles, electric vehicles and other sustainable transportation methods yet they still continue to amaze me every year with their accomplishments,” South Shore Clean Cities Executive Director Carl Lisek said. “Everyone benefits with cleaner air, investments in domestic fuels, increased energy security and local jobs. I applaud their efforts and encourage others to look to them as inspiring examples.”
The awards presented at the South Shore Clean Cities Annual Conference Tuesday, Feb. 25 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 to laud their achievements as sustainable transportation leaders.
Collectively, the top five member organizations displaced 7.1 million gallons of gasoline over one calendar year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, their efforts have the same impact on emissions as removing 13,400 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
Family Express, headquartered in Valparaiso, Indiana, was named 2019 Member Organization of the Year. The award is given to the South Shore Clean Cities member with the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline gallon equivalents reduced the previous year.
Runners up in the 2019 Member Organization of the Year category were Fair Oaks Farms of Fair Oaks, Indiana; Ozinga, headquartered in Mokena, Illinois; Homewood Disposal, headquartered in Homewood, Illinois and the School City of Hammond in Hammond, Indiana.
The 2019 South Shore Clean Cities Champion Award was presented to retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary. The award is presented to an organization or individual 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 2019 MACOG Green Fleet Member of the Year Award was presented to the Wa-Nee Community School Corporation in Nappanee, 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 2019 NIRPC Green Fleet Member of the Year Award was presented to the Gary Public Transportation Corporation. 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 Center at Donaldson in Plymouth, Indiana received the 2019 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.
Amy Hill, general manager and CEO of South Bend Transpo, was honored as the 2019 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. Hill also serves on the South Shore Clean Cities board of directors.
The 2019 Sustainability Leadership Award was presented to the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor. The Sustainability Leadership Award recognizes outstanding members who have shown extraordinary leadership over the past year aimed at making significant impacts in the sustainable transportation and/or energy sectors.