Sustainability Awards

About the Awards 

The Lakewood Sustainability Awards were established in 2008 to recognize leadership in community sustainability. Businesses, nonprofits, community organizations, individuals and schools with projects based in Lakewood are eligible to receive awards.

Note for 2022:  Uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, along with limited staff capacity, brought us to the difficult decision to take a year off from the Sustainability Awards for 2022. Since the in-person reception and the City Council ceremony is the best part of the award program, we will wait until we are certain that we can celebrate our award recipients in person. Please check back in early 2023 for information about resuming the awards program. Thank you for understanding.


Learn more by watching the Sustainability Awards promotional video. 

Awards winners are recognized in the following ways:

  • Recognition at the Sustainability Awards reception and presentation to City Council.
  • Award certificate presented by City Council.
  • Project profile in the Looking at Lakewood newsletter.
  • Project poster on temporary display at Lakewood City Hall.
  • Name on the Sustainability Awards perpetual plaque on display year-round at Lakewood City Hall.
  • Recognition through Lakewood's social media outlets.


Award Categories & Eligibility

1. Legacy Award 
The Lakewood Legacy Sustainability Award recognizes individuals or groups who have demonstrated a perpetual and enduring commitment to advancing sustainability in the community. These outstanding community member’s collective accomplishments distinguish them as true community changemakers.

2. Business Innovation 
This award recognizes Lakewood businesses and organizations for their commitment to innovative sustainable business practices, operations, governance, and services. 

3. Community Sustainability Award
Community Sustainability Awards are presented to residents, local groups, and organizations for community focused efforts that enrich and empower other residents and promote a more sustainable Lakewood.

4. Defender of the Planet Youth Award 
This award celebrates Lakewood's young citizens who demonstrate leadership in sustainability. Nominations are judged within three age-level categories: elementary, middle and high school.     

5. Bruce Peoples Eco-Employee Award 
The Eco-Employee Award recognizes the efforts of city employees who embrace the spirit of sustainability by incorporating sustainable practices into their daily work activities. The award was renamed the Bruce Peoples Eco-Employee Award in 2011, honoring the memory of Bruce Peoples for his outstanding work and dedication to sustainability during his 37-year career with the city.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, community organizations and individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by another party.
  • Nominees must be located in Lakewood or must have completed a project in Lakewood.
  • The Legacy Award recognizes an individual or group's accomplishments over a significant period of time. Nominations for all other categories should be for projects in progress or completed in the last year. 
  • Individual students, school groups and community youth groups are eligible for a Defender of the Planet Award. Participants must be 18 years old or younger.
  • The Eco-Employee Award is only open to city of Lakewood employees. Employees may be nominated by city staff or by members of the public. 


Award Evaluation Criteria

Once applications are received, a panel of evaluators scores each nomination based on how well the project meets the following award criteria:

  1. Has a Positive Impact - The project must have a meaningful and demonstrable impact in Lakewood by helping protect the environment or enhance the quality of life for residents.
  2. Embraces Innovation/Creativity - The project should reflect a new concept, technology or practice in Lakewood and should employ new ideas in the industry.
  3. Overcomes Challenges - The project should explain what challenges were overcome.
  4. Is Transferable - The project should be able to be replicated by others in similar situations.
  5. Demonstrates Initiative - The project should reflect how the individual or group took action to move sustainability forward in their position or community.

The five member panel includes a 1) the Lakewood City Council 2) the Lakewood Advisory Committee Sustainability Committee Chair 3) a past Sustainability Award winner, 4) a regional sustainability professional and 5) a staff representative from the City of Lakewood leadership team.

Nominate a Leader 

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1. Determine project eligibility

There are five Sustainability Award categories. Determine the appropriate category for your project and read the award eligibility and guidelines. If the project is eligible for one of the award categories, continue to step 2.

2. Identify your project achievement areas
Sustainability includes a wide array of topics. Determine which of the following areas are promoted by your project:

  • Climate Change & Adaptation: reducing greenhouse gases or helping our community respond to extreme weather events.
  • Energy, Water & the Built Environment: Conserving energy and water, promote renewable energy or use building design to enhance the environment.
  • Resilient Economy: Helping grow a strong local economy by providing opportunities for education, high quality employment, or sustainable services.
  • Zero Waste: Reducing waste by thoughtful procurement of materials and keep materials out of the landfill through reuse, composting and recycling.
  • Community Cohesion & Public Health: Supporting healthy and active living and promote community building and personal connections.
  • Natural Systems: Supporting healthy ecosystems and protect biodiversity.
  • Sustainable Transportation: Encouraging multimodal travel options — like walking, biking and taking transit — that contribute to safer streets, cleaner air and connected communities.


3. Strengthen your nomination
The Sustainability Awards are selected by a panel and based on a select set of criteria. Return to the previous section to learn about how the projects are evaluated.

4. Nominate!
Once you have learned about the awards, you are ready to complete a strong nomination for your project! 


Awards Ceremony 

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The Sustainability Awards reception and ceremony takes place each spring to celebrate the year's award winners. The awards are presented during a City Council meeting and the public is invited to a reception beforehand to meet the winners and learn about their projects.


Past Winners 

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Learn about each of the Sustainability Award winners by browsing our Past Winners web page. You can also download the Lakewood 10 Years of Sustainability Awards(PDF, 5MB) commemorative book to discover winners from 2008 to 2018.