SWANA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Technical Division gives an award to an organization that is advancing the sustainable use of materials throughout their lifecycle to minimize waste and environmental impacts.
The call for entries for the 2020 award is now closed. The winner will be announced at the SOAR Conference in 2021. Stay tuned for the opening of the call for entries for 2021 in the Fall of 2020.
Waste reduction and materials recovery are essential components to the productive and sustainable use of materials across their entire life cycle to conserve resources, reduce waste, slow climate change and minimize environmental impacts of the materials we use. The SMM Technical Division award emphasizes programs for source reduction, waste prevention and reuse over recycling and composting, energy recovery, and treatment and disposal. The Division recognizes the challenges faced to manage natural resources sustainably while experiencing healthy economic growth.
The Division is focusing on approaches and methods to reduce waste and disposal and increase recycling by capturing high quantity wastes more effectively and efficiently through conversion of these materials into marketable, useable commodities and products that yield substantial economic and environmental benefits.
The SMM Award entries will be reviewed based on the EPA’s strategic SMM program objectives:
Examples of elements to be included in an application for the Sustainable Materials Management Award are:
Award applications are reviewed by a team of SMM Division members. The Division has established the following items by which sustainable materials management programs will be evaluated. Please organize your application according to the main scoring sections. The final section is used by the judges to evaluate the quality of the application as a whole.
The statements and questions under each section are guidelines for what judges would like to see in each category. You may include other pertinent information. When including documents, you may reduce them in size to fit multiple documents on a page, as long as they are readable, or include a link to a website that contains the requested document.
IMPORTANT: Read all directions carefully. Applications that are unreadable or do not provide required information will be disqualified.
In addition to describing your sustainable materials management program, explain why you deserve to win an award.
OPTIONAL: In addition to a written executive summary of no more than 150 words, you may include a link to a video of no more than 120 seconds that tells the story of your sustainable materials management program and its results.
Focus is on tracking and reducing the overall amount of materials disposed, which would encompass activities targeting source reduction, reuse, recycling and prevention.
What activities in the categories of source reduction, reuse, recycling and prevention did you implement? What data did you consider to be most important to track? What was your baseline for measurement in each category you measured (source reduction, reuse, recycling and prevention) and what were your results? What period of time was incorporated in your measurement? What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them in your measurement process? What do you consider to be your greatest success?
Focus is on reducing the environmental impacts of materials across their life cycle, including greenhouse gas emissions and reductions in water and energy use.
How have you reduced the environmental impacts of materials you use? How have you worked with suppliers from whom you purchase materials? Include data collected to measure greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy use reductions in your facility. What was your baseline for measurement in each category and what were your results? What period of time was incorporated in your measurement? What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them in your measurement process? What do you consider to be your greatest success?
Focus on tracking and reporting material impacts on the economy as well as social aspects.
How has your organization been beneficial to the community? Have you added jobs, raised minimum wages or provided other economic benefits, and if so, how many and what kind? Have you donated staff time, materials or other things to support community causes; if so, describe and indicate a value of your materials or services. Provide a time frame for each type of benefit to the community. What community concerns have been raised about your organization and how were they addressed? What goals and/or expectations have you set for your organization? Does your organizational performance equal or exceed the goals and expectations you set? If not, what are your lessons learned, and what are you doing to improve? What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them? What do you consider to be your greatest success?
Focus is on increasing the per capita quantity and quality of recyclables recovered for manufacturing , opportunities for reduction, prevention, reuse and, increasing the number of households with access to both recycling and organics collection.
What SMM policies, practices and incentives increased in your community? With what results? Over what period of time? How was your organization influential in those increases? What methods did you use to accomplish your goals? What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them? What do you consider to be your greatest success?
Your application will be judged on its organization and presentation, and on editorial and technical quality.
(this is a judges category only, not to be addressed in your application)
Maximum 100 points