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Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards


Applications for the 2021 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards are now being accepted. The application period will end at 5 p.m. on December 9, 2020 .    

The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards recognize successful and innovative efforts that improve Virginia’s environment. The awards program is run annually by DEQ in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. There are four broad categories of awards: Sustainability, Environmental Project, Land Conservation and implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan.

Governor Northam identified six priority areas during his address at the 29th Annual Environment Virginia Symposium: clean water, clean air, clean energy, resilience to climate change, environmental justice and sustainable resource use and access. These awards aim to identify and acknowledge efforts that support these priorities. 

Winners of the 2020 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards were announced by webinar on August 21, 2020. A recording of the webinar is available. Information on the winners can be found on the Award Winners page.

Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award Categories:

Sustainability ProgramDEQ considers environmental sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the environmental resource needs of future generations. This category is intended to provide recognition to organizations or facilities that can document the success of their sustainability program by providing evidence of:

  • A culture of environmental sustainability;
  • Recent accomplishments related to reducing their environmental footprint; and
  • A commitment to future sustainability-oriented actions.

Environmental Project: This category is intended to recognize activities or processes implemented by a facility or organization within the past five years that are directed at a single goal to improve the environment beyond what is required by regulation. Examples include, but are not limited to, projects aimed at reducing waste generation, water consumption or pollutant releases, increasing water reuse, green infrastructure, or use and access to clean energy; and adapting to the impacts of a changing climate.

Land ConservationThis category is intended to recognize exemplary land conservation work within the commonwealth supporting ConserveVirginia. Examples include outstanding land conservation easement or fee simple acquisition projects that permanently protected lands with high conservation values, to the development of an integrated prioritized land conservation plan for an organization or agency region of coverage.

Virginia Outdoors Plan ImplementationThis category is intended to recognize outdoor recreation accomplishments meeting the 2018 Virginia Outdoors Plan goals and objectives.  Awards will be directed in three categories: trail development, public access to waterways including water trails, and other recreational uses and scenic resource recognition.

To be considered, each applicant must have a record of sustained compliance.

Questions should be directed to Meghann Quinn at 804-698-4021 or





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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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