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IMA Executive News & Views Blog

The Road To A Great Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award Application

If your organization has done a lot in the name of sustainability — from projects that save money and resources to initiatives that strengthen the people and communities you work for — what are you waiting for? The Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award provides a great opportunity for you to pull all of your sustainability work together into a single document: Your award application!

Because sustainability encompasses the triple bottom line — People, Planet, Profit — it can be tough to wrap one’s brain around all that should be included in your application. Our Apply for the Award page and FAQ’s will help you in that process, but we know that’s a lot to read! Here are three tips to help you cut to the chase, and get started on your application (due May 20).

1. Start driving. Get key people on board.

Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award applications are typically a team effort, but there is often a single person or small team that drives the process forward. The application drivers can be anyone — from top management to employees who volunteer time on a Green Team. If you’re reading this, you may be the driver!

Send a note out to co-workers letting them know you’re preparing a Gov’s Award application. Here are some key people to get on board early (positions vary by organization):

• Top Management

• Facilities/Operations Manager

• Plant Manager

• Sustainability Officer/Green Team Lead

• PR Officer

2. Read these two things.

These are your “how to” guides to help you best relay your sustainability successes in your application. Remember, quantifying your actions are just as important as clearly describing them!

Narrative Guidelines — You have up to six single-spaced pages to describe your sustainability accomplishments. These guidelines tell you how.

Metrics Form Instructions — Download the Metrics Form (Microsoft Excel format) and read the Instructions tab.

3. Check out the sample applications.

The sample applications, available HERE, display best practices from past winners’ applications. Note that a good application typically includes a variety of projects touching on multiple impacts or aspects of sustainability. The project descriptions will also include some detail on how they were conceived and who was involved. We want to hear how your organization went from idea to implementation.

4. Check out the new Evaluation Criteria.

We’ve provided some extra evaluation criteria for review this year. Make sure you’re savvy on just how your application will be reviewed and be sure to add those points/details into your application! You can find more details on the Evaluation Criteria page of our website.

Even if you are not applying for an Award, you can still be involved at the Awards Ceremony through supporting the event or exhibiting at the event. Information on sponsorship levels and benefits can be found on our “Support the Awards!” page. We hope you consider supporting this 30 year legacy of environmental excellence!

Ready to apply? APPLY HERE NOW!

If you still have questions about the process, contact Deb Jacobson or Irene Zlevor for more information via e-mail at or by phone 630-472-5016.