Celebrating Changemakers: The Global Green Sustainable Design Awards

From buildings to public policy, organizational leadership to industry, the most innovative solutions in sustainable design are honored every year by Global Green USA

What do actor Adrian Grenier, Sprint president of operations Steve Elfman, Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker, Starbucks president of global development Arthur Rubinfeld and 350.org co-founder May Boeve have in common? They are the 2011 Global Green Sustainable Design Awards Honorees.

Established in 1999 by Global Green USA and held annually in New York, the Global Green Sustainable Design Awards recognize innovations that represent significant advancements towards sustainability. This year, the 13th annual awards will be presented on December 3. Global Green USA is the American affiliate of Green Cross International, an international environmental organization founded by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to foster global sustainability following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

There are six different categories. The Corporate Design Award honors innovative corporate practices and policies that advance the sustainability and environmental leadership agenda. The Product/Industrial Design Award recognizes products that promote both innovative design and environmental responsibility. The Media Design Award honors designs that inform and inspire the public through innovative environmental messaging. The Organizational Design Award honors groups taking a leadership role in effecting positive environmental change. The Public Policy Design Award honors the design of policies that improve and preserve the environment and reshape governmental approach towards environmentalism. And the Green Building Design Award honors the design, development and construction of green buildings that set a standard for energy efficiency and healthy indoor conditions.

Honorees for the 2012 Sustainable Design Awards include playwright and activist Eve Ensler for the design of V-World, a sustainable farm to heal women in the Democratic Republic Congo, where there are an estimated 25,000 cases of rape and other sexual violence against women and children; the Rudin Family for the design and redevelopment of One Thirty West 12th Street, a residential prewar building in New York's Greenwich Village that has been "meticulously reconceived for contemporary living, bringing the benefits of sustainable design to the elegance of prewar architecture"; and industrial packaging manufacturer Greif for the design of the WaterWear backpack, "an innovative solution to the water transportation issue in the developing world."

"Whether they are helping to protect our air and water, eliminating weapons of mass destruction, stemming climate change, or raising the consciousness of millions, the 'designs' of these leaders—who were bold and courageous enough to undertake these acts or commitments—deserve to be applauded and celebrated to inspire and encourage others," according to a Global Green USA statement.

Want to nominate a person or group for a Global Green Sustainable Design Award? They accept nominations all-year round. Click here to submit a nomination.



Global Green USA. Global Green USA Sustainable Design Awards. December 12, 2008. Accessed October 24, 2012.
Eve Ensler. Eve Ensler - Welcome to V-World. Huffington Post. November 30, 2006. Accessed October 24, 2012.
Rudin Family. 130 West 12th Street. September 20, 2011. Accessed October 24, 2012.
Greif. Buckets to Backpacks - WaterWear Details. October 11, 2011. Accessed October 24, 2012.
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image: Women collecting firewood in Basankusu, Democratic Republic of Congo (credit: Francish7, Wikimedia Commons)