Belmont University was recently named as a winner of the 2016 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award, a designation given by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. The award recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect the environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. Belmont was recognized in the state’s Building Green category for the university’s LEED Platinum certified Janet Ayers Academic Center.
“The quality of our air, land and water is essential for public health and the marketability of our state,” Haslam said. “I thank all of the winners for their individual contributions to keeping Tennessee a beautiful state to live, work and visit.”
Martineau described the award’s significance and said, ““It is important that we pause to recognize the people and organizations that work so hard to protect our environment while teaching others about sustainability. These winning efforts will help pave the way for future ideas on how we can further protect our natural resources.”
The only higher education institution to be recognized among the state’s 11 recipients, the list of honorees includes:
- Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition
- green|spaces – Hamilton County, Tennessee
- Emmett Elementary School – Sullivan County, Tennessee
- EPB – Hamilton County, Tennessee
- The Jackson Walk – Madison County, Tennessee
- Sevier Solid Waste, Inc. – Sevier County, Tennessee
- Tennessee Environmental Council – Natural Heritage
- Sharp Transport, Inc. – Lawrence County, Tennessee
- Music City Center – Davidson County, Tennessee
- Lipscomb Academy Elementary – Davidson County, Tennessee
A panel of 24 agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals judged more than 85 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education. The winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony held in Nashville on June 15.
Belmont’s Vice President for Finance and Operations Steve Lasley said, “The University is honored to receive this designation in recognition of our commitment to conservation and sustainability. With educational and sustainable green roofs, a geothermal heating and cooling system and two LEED certified buildings, among other sustainable features on our campus, we are delighted to join in Tennessee’s efforts to respect the resources we’ve been given. We could not be more pleased to accept this award from Governor Haslam and Commissioner Martineau.”