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Sustainable Materials Management Division Organization Award

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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.

Past Recipients of the Sustainable Materials Management Organization Award

Background and Focus of the Award

Background

Waste reduction and materials recovery are essential to productive and sustainable use of materials across their entire life cycle. The SMM Technical Division seeks to award organizations that conserve resources, reduce waste, slow climate change, and minimize environmental impacts. The award emphasizes programs for source reduction, waste prevention and reuse over recycling and composting, energy recovery, and treatment and disposal. We seek to recognize challenges to managing natural resources sustainably, while experiencing healthy economic growth.

Focus

The SMM Technical Division focuses on approaches and methods to reduce waste and disposal and increase recycling. We aim to meet them 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.

Entries will be evaluated based on the EPA’s strategic sustainable materials management program objectives:

  1. Decrease Disposal Rate—Focus is on tracking and reducing the overall amount of materials disposed, which would encompass activities targeting source reduction, reuse, recycling and prevention.
  2. Reduce Environmental Impacts of Materials—Focus is on the entire life cycle, including greenhouse gas emissions and reductions in water and energy use.
  3. Increase socioeconomic benefits—Focus is on tracking and reporting material impacts on the economy as well as social aspects.
  4. Increase capacity of government, communities and stakeholders to adopt and implement SMM policies, practices and incentives—Focus is on increasing the per capita quantity and quality of recyclables recovered for manufacturing and increasing the number of households with access to both recycling and organics collection.

Award Application Process

Award applications are reviewed by a team of SMM Technical 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 legible, 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.

Maximum 100 points

  • All SMM Organization Award Applications Must Include These Elements

    • The Built Environment—how lifecycle SMM concepts were incorporated into the built environment marketplace; advanced climate adaptation and community resilience efforts; and improved or enhanced data and measurement of C&D and industrial by-product materials
    • Sustainable Food Management—infrastructure to support alternatives to landfill disposal of wasted food; opportunities across the entire food life cycle to reduce wasted food from landfills; and measurements of wasted food
    • Sustainable Purchasing—work with governments, communities, and key stakeholders as strategic partners; and research, data collection and measurement for packaging
  • Executive Summary — 5 Points (written)/5 points (video)

    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.

  • Decrease Disposal Rate — 20 points

    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?

  • Reduce Environmental Impacts of Materials — 20 points

    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?

  • Increase Socio-Economic Benefits — 25 points

    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?

  • Increase Government, Communities, and Stakeholder Capacity to Adopt & Implement SMM Policies, Practices, & Incentives — 20 points

    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?

  • Application Quality — 5 points

    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)

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