ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATiVE AWARDS: evaluation criteria and judging process

The Environmental Initiative Awards annually recognize partnership-based projects that have achieved extraordinary environmental outcomes.


A panel of independent judges selected by Environmental Initiative will evaluate project nominations based on the following criteria: 

  • Importance of the goals laid out for the project,
  • Quality of results and environmental outcomes associated with the project,
  • Strength of partnership and degree that partnership was used as a tool to solve environmental problems,
  • Degree of project innovation, uniqueness, and groundbreaking action.

Due to the broad nature of the award categories and the diversity of scale and types of projects submitted, each judging team determines the relative weight of the above criteria. The Environmental Initiative Awards seeks to inspire others to adopt collaborative approaches to environmental problem solving, so judges will also consider the degree to which the project can be easily replicated.

Environmental Initiative monitors project nominations for potential conflicts of interests with individuals serving as judges. Conflicts are handled on a case-by-case basis. The judge may be asked to recuse his or her self from evaluation and discussion of that specific project, or may be asked to leave the judging panel entirely, depending on the level of involvement of the judge with the project.

Nominations will be reviewed and winning projects will be announced in March 2017.


New in 2017, Environmental Initiative will recognize two individuals who have been influential and effective environmental leaders. Environmental Initiative staff will review nominations and select winners for the Critical Collaborator and Emerging Leader awards. 

Nominations will be reviewed and winners will be announced in March 2017.


Event Details

Thursday, May 25, 2017
5:00 - 5:45 p.m. Registration & reception
5:45 - 8:00 p.m. Dinner & program
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. Dessert & reception 

Nicollet Island Pavilion
40 Power Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401

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Awards Home »

2017 Award Winners »

About the Awards »

Award Categories »

Guidelines and Eligibility »

Evaluation Criteria and Judging »

Sponsor the Awards »

Past Finalists and Winners »

Presenting Sponsors

Environmental Lay Group

Great River Energy

Reception sponsor

25th Anniversary Sponsors


Community Action

Critical Collaborator

Stoel Rives LLP

Emerging Leader


Energy and Climate

The Weidt Group

Natural Resources

Sustainable Business

Supporting Sponsors

Minnesota Power

partner SPONSORs

In-kind sponsors


CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Consulate General of Canada

Rochester Public Utilities

Associate Sponsors

Bremer Bank
G & K Services
Nova Consulting
Smith Partners