Like most of us, companies and organizations have to do more with less these days. The truly successful have found ways to stay profitable while keeping sustainability a top priority. That’s because environmentally friendly practices can green the bottom line as well and contribute to a more productive and satisfied workforce. A healthy environment leads to a healthy economy and though this isn’t a new concept, it’s one that’s fast growing in popularity.

In fact, the notion of leveraging superior environmental quality for sustainable economic prosperity has been recognized in the Valley for more than 30 years. Throughout the past three decades, Valley Forward’s Environmental Excellence Awards winners have positively impacted the community in countless ways. As varied as the hundreds of award winners have been over the history of Valley Forward’s program, they all have one thing in common – each has had an undeniable impact in the community. And that’s what the Environmental Excellence Awards program is all about.

Known as the Academy Awards of the local environmental community, the Environmental Excellence Awards set standards for the exceptional physical, technical and social development of our metropolitan area. The awards are highly sought by companies both large and small, government agencies, cities and towns, design professionals, educators, media representatives, artists, technicians and others.

Environmental excellence takes many forms — from green buildings, magnificent desert vistas and livable communities to innovative public art, sustainable technologies and environmental education.

Environmental sustainability is more prevalent today than ever. We receive a record number of entries in the competition each year. The program has become a powerful vehicle in advocating for the preservation of natural resources – air, water, open space and our unique desert environment.

Iyou have or know of green initiatives that should be recognized at the 31st annual Environmental Excellence Awards program at the Westin Kierland on Sat., Sept. 17, get your entry in ASAP! The deadline is fast approaching.

Nominations will be accepted through 4 p.m., Thursday, July 7, 2011, in the following categories: Buildings and Structures; Livable Communities; Site Development and Landscape; Art in Public Places; Environmental Technologies; Environmental Education/Communication; and Environmental Stewardship (SRP Award).

Nomination forms are available at or calling (602) 240-2408.