Kentucky bestows environmental excellence awards

By Editor


The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection’s 2014 has selected and given six rewards for Environmental Excellence Awards this year, reports The Courier Journal.

The awards program identifies efforts and activities of individuals, businesses or organizations that are committed to protecting and improving Kentucky’s environment.

Heaven Hill Distilleries in Bardstown received Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Medium to Large Business category. Its recycling program began in 2011 with recycling 139 tons of waste and later advanced to 771 tons in 2013.

They established an outdoor recycling center for employees who do not have recycling pickup at their homes. The company increased lighting efficiency by using T-5 High Bay fluorescent fixtures, which resulted in a 60 percent load reduction. Throughout the facility, occupancy sensors and efficient LED lighting were installed.


The Resource Caretaker Award was given to American Synthetic Rubber Company, a Division of Michelin North America in Louisville. In the Campground Native Area, they developed native species to improve wildlife habitat. The company also has established European honeybee populations and has worked with the Wildlife Habitat Council to have the land certified as a Wildlife at Work program.

The KY EXCEL Champion Award was achieved by Smithfield Farmland in Middlesboro. The top aim of the Farmlands is to reduce the amount of waste it landfills. In one year, the plant doubled its recycling from 313,000 to 629,000 pounds in addition to three World Water Monitoring Challenges at college campuses and schools, donating 100 tree saplings in honor of Earth Day. The employees volunteered to clean a portion of the Yellow Creek in downtown Middlesboro.

Community Environmental Luminary Award was won by Covington Urban Forestry of Covington. Its Forestry Program employees Crystal Courtney and Jason Roberts coordinated a tree-planting event to improve Covington’s urban forest, with more than 100 volunteers turning out.

City of Berea, Kentucky Environmental Foundation and Sustainable Berea was honored with Environmental Pacesetter Award for an Individual/Organization. As a joint project, the three units developed an energy plan for the City of Berea, “The Berea Energy Cost-Savings Plan,” with a goal of reducing the city’s energy consumption by an annual average of 1 percent per capita by the year 2042 and a 29-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ruggles Sign Versailles was recognized with Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Small Business. The owners redeveloped a Brownfield site with the assurance from the Commonwealth that the parties that created the environmental issues will remain responsible for the issues. Ruggles has made a positive impact on the environment and minimized its carbon footprint, with this redevelopment.

Sabeena Wahid
[email protected]

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