DEEP: GreenCircle Award Program

Previous GreenCircle Award Winners | Sustainability Components | How to Apply

Be Recognized For Your Positive Contributions To The Connecticut Environment

{GreenCircle Sustainability Logo}  

Participate in the GreenCircle Sustainability Award Program

If you’ve made Connecticut cleaner and greener, you deserve to be considered for a GreenCircle Sustainability award.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), is challenging everyone in Connecticut to do a little extra to help improve the quality of life in our beautiful state.

{grass} {flowers} {doors} {truck} {composting}

With this in mind, the then Department of Environmental Protection established the GreenCircle Award program in 1998. These awards recognized businesses, institutions, individuals, and civic organizations who participated in energy conservation, transportation, pollution prevention or recycling related activities or projects that promoted natural resource conservation or environmental awareness.

We have now revamped this awards program to focus on the importance of sustainability. The new CT DEEP GreenCircle Sustainability Award will recognize businesses, schools, organizations, government entities, and institutions that take a coordinated and holistic approach to reducing their environmental impact and resource demands of their operations and activities.

This means your sustainability efforts might include everything from energy conservation, to reducing your need for water, to increasing the recycling of materials at your facility. So in nominating yourself for this award program tell us about the entirety of your work to conserve energy, and resources, and to be a better steward of our planet. When you do so, make sure to tell us about the results of your program – like how much you are saving in dollars and in resources.

The GreenCircle Sustainability Award is meant to reward your efforts. The methods by which you accomplish your goal may come from the type of activities listed under Sustainability Components.

Who's eligible?

Any business, institution, individual or group operating or living in the State of Connecticut is eligible to participate.

  • Businesses, large and small, in the commercial, industrial, and service sectors
  • Government and other non-profit institutions such as municipalities, state agencies, schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals
  • Individuals, teachers and other volunteers
  • Groups: civic, community or public interest

Sustainability Components 

Facility-wide Initiatives (may include certification)

  • {Two hands holding the earth} Design and develop building projects that fulfill Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification requirements
  • Complete an Energy Star benchmarking of a building and/or qualify for the Energy Star program
  • Certify to ISO 14001
  • Document and implement a facility-wide pollution prevention plan
  • Execute changes that reduce annual energy or water consumption rates by more than 15%

Energy & Climate Change 

  • Implement clean energy generation projects utilizing fuel cells, solar, geothermal or wind power 
  • Purchase "green-e" certified renewable power
  • Implement a project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions {solar panels}
  • Complete a greenhouse gas inventory for your municipality, business or educational institution
  • Voluntarily convert or retrofit existing diesel-powered fleet or off-road construction vehicles to significantly reduce air emissions (e.g., retrofit with diesel oxidation catalysts, install diesel particulate filters, convert to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, etc.)
  • Promote or sponsor a company-wide or facility-wide employee commute program
  • Convert or purchase fleet vehicles that run on natural gas, electricity, hybrid gas/electricity, or other alternative fuels or vehicles having a mileage rating of greater than 40 miles per gallon and an emission standard level of ultra-low or cleaner
  • Implement projects that increase resilience to a changing climate such as shoreline protection/living shoreline, flood and erosion control, and green infrastructure


  • {water conservation} Install a 100% recycled process or cooling water system
  • Implement manufacturing processes that eliminate or significantly reduce the quantity or toxicity of a facility’s water discharge
  • Install water conserving fixtures such as toilets, faucets and showers

Materials Management/Recycling 

  • Implement manufacturing processes that eliminate or significantly reduce the quantity or toxicity of a facility’s waste stream
    {recycle bin}
  • Successfully implement an innovative recycling program that generates an environmental benefit and goes beyond what is required
  • Execute an innovative purchasing program that promotes the procurement of recycled and environmentally preferable products
  • Separate organic materials for composting or animal feed
Civic Improvements
  • Improve public access to shore, waterfront, private lands, or streams through voluntary projects
  • Open large tracts of private property for public recreation
  • Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year
  • Organize a river watch program
  • Sponsor a river, beach or neighborhood clean-up day
  • Promote conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats
  • Implement habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property
  • Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental programs
  • Donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects
  • {wind mills} Any systems or processes that have been used to provide better environmental outcomes. Data that supports environmental improvement is requested, if available.

Benefits of the GreenCircle Award Program

Recognition as a member of the Commissioner’s GreenCircle Sustainability Award program includes a certificate of commendation, listings in press releases, and presence on the DEEP website.

The GreenCircle Sustainability Award program is also a partnership between DEEP and the Hartford Business Journal and its CT Green Guide. As a result, this program will be promoted in those publications and winners will be featured in them. The Hartford Business Journal will also host award winners at a special recognition ceremony.

How to Apply

Fill out the applicant information section, project name, timeframe, identify the sector and sustainability components of the project, and provide a brief explanation of your projects as well as the results. You must submit the GreenCircle Sustainability Award program application form electronically, (Word document), to the agency by e-mail to

Applications for the GreenCircle Sustainability Award Program must be received by February 15, 2016 for project activities completed between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

Evaluation Criteria

All applications received by the deadline are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Project describes multi-faceted sustainability initiatives;
  2. Demonstration of results from project (documentation must be available upon request);
  3. Project demonstrates permanent change(s) to processes and ongoing environmental benefits; and
  4. Signed certification that the information provided in the application is true and accurate.

Judging Process

An external advisory committee reviews and evaluates all applications submitted by the deadline. DEEP will select the award winners for each category and notify the award winners in writing.

Any Questions?

For further information about the GreenCircle Sustainability Award program, contact DEEP's Office of Planning and Program Development at 860-424-3003. We look forward to hearing what you have done to improve our environment!

{GreenCircle logo} {Hartford Business Journal logo}

{CT Green Guide}

1998-2014 Green Circle Award Recipients

Content Last Updated on November 30, 2015