Environmental Leadership Awards

About The ELAs

Greg Anderson
Former Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, John Volin (right) and Director of the Center of Biological Risk, Associate Professor (EEB), Mark Urban (left), congratulate Greg Anderson (center) for receiving the inaugural  ELA Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)

The Environmental Leadership Awards (ELAs) are a means of recognizing individuals or groups who have worked alone or as part of organizations to support sustainability efforts at UConn and beyond.  Nominations can be submitted by faculty members, staff members, students, or external partners. Nominees are evaluated by a committee appointed by the Office of Sustainability and Institute of the Environment. Recipients of the ELAs are honored at an award ceremony commemorating their achievement.

Nominations for the awards are accepted in each of the following categories:

  • Undergraduate Student
  • Graduate Student
  • Environmental Justice
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • External Partner
  • University Group / Team / Organization


Past ELAs winners and finalists

ELA Nominee Criteria

Nominees must be affiliated with the University in one of the award categories.  

Nominees must have proven dedication and outstanding contributions to at least one of  seven principles of environmental leadership:

  1. Performance - Encourage environmental stewardship through activities that improve sustainability performance as it relates to the university’s environmental footprint.
  2. Responsible Management and Growth - Influence or promote sustainable design of UConn’s infrastructure and grounds or enhance UConn’s dedication to longevity for environmental, economic or social improvements.
  3. Outreach - Demonstrate UConn's environmental leadership and initiative through volunteer efforts and partnerships with surrounding communities or organizations working on behalf of the environment.
  4. Academics - Advance environmental and social sustainability learning opportunities in and out of the classroom.  These include but are not limited to:
    • Developing or enhancing a course or environmental or social sustainability related educational program.
    • Conducting an innovative education, research, or outreach initiative that improves environmental literacy, demonstrates leadership, or furthers community engagement and action.
  5. Conservation - Cultivate behaviors and implement technological solutions that reduce consumption of resources. These include but are not limited to:
    • Championing sustainable behaviors in the workplace.
    • Motivating individuals to explore their personal relationship with nature and the environment.
    • Conserving or restoring natural resources or improving ecological health at UConn or surrounding communities.
    • Promoting the use of sustainable products, services, and goods.
  6. Teamwork - Foster collaboration among stakeholder groups, disciplines, or business units or increasing accessibility for all segments of society.
  7. Environmental Justice - Address environmental discrimination (e.g., racism, classism, misogyny) by centering and uplifting individuals of historically marginalized identities. Expand the scope and understanding of intersectionality related to the climate crisis and its disproportionate impacts on various communities, or highlight the beauty and richness that diversity of background and identity brings to environmental discussions and collective action.

ELA Nomination Form Question Preview

  1. Name(s) of nominee(s)
  2. Email contact of nominee(s)
  3. Select which category+ you are nominating them for
  4. Which criteria apply to your nominee's efforts? (Sustainability performance, responsible management and growth, outreach, academics, conservation, teamwork, environmental justice)
    1. For every criteria you select, the following question will arise on the next page: How does the nominee exemplify the criteria? (250 words or less)
  5. Please share any additional information that may help the selection committee evaluate the nominee(s)
  6. How did you hear about the Environmental Leadership Awards?