NYWEA Award: 4. Sustainability Award

Back to Awards List   Submit a nomination for 2019

Application Deadline: October 1


This award honors an organization that has instituted policies and practices recognizing the need for long term preservation of assets, human capital, and natural resources while satisfying present day needs, societal goals and its environmental mandate. Honorees will demonstrate success in developing a culture that encourages and rewards ‘triple bottom-line’ decision making at all levels and departments of the organization.


The recipient will be a water treatment/distribution and/or wastewater collection/treatment utility, agency, sewer district or other organization responsible for the providing water and/or wastewater services to the public. Private enterprises with a focus on water sustainability may also be recipients. Preference will be given to organizations serving populations within New York State, but does not necessarily need to be a member of NYWEA.

The organization recognizes its role in sustaining human, financial, social, and natural resources for both current and future generations.

The organization supports the long term well being of its employees, customers, and neighbors as well as the natural environment.

The organization uses fiscal and natural resources sparingly and maximizes the development of human capital.

Assets of the organization are managed to maximize their useful life and minimize the overall cost.

Life cycle needs in terms of maintenance, human investment, and costs are considered for all projects.

In developing projects, the need for human investment in terms of learning, skills, and talent are considered.

The organization measures its own performance in terms consistent with sustainable operations and development.

Decisions consider the network dependencies on other aspects of the organization as well as outside impacts.

The organization demonstrates a “breakthrough” in establishment and achievement of sustainability performance.

The organization is compliant with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

The organization endeavors to remain compliant with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

In all cases, the organization strives for and succeeds in developing a culture that encourages triple-bottom-line action thru operational, capital, and human resources policies.

Other examples that could offer support in demonstrating a sustainable culture might include:

• The organization supports professional organizations and encourages all members to engage in life long learning.
• The organization practices demand management to reduce the need for new or expanded facilities.
• Biosolids are beneficially utilized and not wasted.
• Chemical use is minimized, and biological treatments are maximized.
• Effluent water is reclaimed for use.
• The organization encourages sustainable water and wastewater minimization.

Projects that minimize the need for repetitive tasks and maximize the potential for learning by operators are favored.
The organization engages in projects that improve the social well-being of local citizens and other stakeholders.

Award Categories

Awards will honor organizations from 3 categories based on the size of the population served.

Category 1: Fewer than 10,000 people served
Category 2: 10,001 to 250,000 people served
Category 3: More than 250,000 people served 

Nomination Format:

Written narrative no longer than three (3) pages describing performance and metrics related to sustainable culture, operations and programs.