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Edison Award Winners Cover the Whole Spectrum of Green

Kohl's Department Stores and hip upcycler TerraCycle are among the winners of the inaugural Edison Green Awards, the latest category to be added to the 23-year-old competition that honors innovative new products and the companies that make them.

Edison award winners are chosen by the 2,000-member Marketing Executives Networking Group, which votes on nominees.

The recipients of the Edison Green Awards received Gold, Silver or Bronze honors. Many of the winners in the new category and others will be familiar to readers.

Kohl's, the retailer that hosts the most solar electricity in the world, tied with the rural town of Greensburg, Kansas, each winning a Gold Edison Green Award.

Devastated by a tornado in May 2007, Greensburg was honored for its commitment to rebuild using "100 percent green practices," award sponsors noted. The town charts its goals and progress on the website of its booster organization Greensburg GreenTown,

Kohl's has robust energy management and green building programs with 450 Energy Star labeled buildings and more than 60-LEED certified facilities, in addition to its aggressive solar initiative. A participant in the Carbon Disclosure Project, Kohl's has set a target of attaining net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this year.

The company also is a top-ranking green power partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and its contract carriers are required to be members of the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing fuel efficiency.

TerraCycle received a Silver Edison Green Award for its success in upcycling post-consumer trash such as candy, snack and juice box packages into handbags, backpacks, totes and other wearable accessories as well as pencil boxes, lunch boxes, cork board, fertilizer and more.

Parducci Wine Cellars in Mendocino County, California, received a Bronze Award as the first carbon neutral winery in the United States. And though it did not win an award, yogurt producer Stonyfield Farm of New Hampshire was among the Edison Green Award finalists for changing its cows' diets to reduce the methane released by the animals.

Four other Edison Award categories, although not specifically green awards, recognized firms and products contributing to energy or fuel efficiency, reduced waste and other environmentally friendly efforts. The categories and winners included:

Energy & Sustainability -- Energy

  • The Honeywell Wind Turbine from Windtronics won a Gold Award for its design as a wind turbine that's effective with winds of less than 5 mph.
  • Quantum Light Optics from QD Vision won a Silver Award for its use of advanced nanotechnology and quantum dot materials that decrease energy usage in consumer lighting products.
  • OPower's Software and Marketing Program for utilities won a Bronze Award. The OPower software is designed to help utilities change consumer usage habits through the use of peer pressure and other motivators.

Energy & Sustainability -- Sustainability

  • Prima Bottled Water won a Gold Award for its plant-based plastic water bottle that biodegrades in 30 days.
  • Earthbound Farm received a Silver Award for using clamshell packaging made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
  • Benjamin Moore received a Bronze Award for its Natura paint, a line of interior coatings in 3,300 shades that emit zero volatile organic compounds.


Living, Working & Learning Environments

  • The Phoenix Commotion won a Gold Award for building affordable housing from reclaimed and recycled materials and training unskilled workers in the process.
  • Builders of Hope received a Silver Award for constructing affordable green homes for working families.
  • Steelcase received a Bronze Award for its Workspring center that enables companies to conduct meetings and other business in an environmentally friendly location that supports collaboration without necessity of long-distance travel.

The full list of Edison Award winners is available at Winners received their honors in a ceremony Thursday night.

The awards this year were sponsored by TV's Discovery Channel, Google, the Nielsen Company and Strategyn.  The Edison Awards are associated with The Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University.

Image courtesy of the Edison Awards.


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