Editor’s note: The following has been adapted a press release from the Indiana Department for Environmental Management. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for style and clarity.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) presented the 2021 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence to eight recipients across the state who were honored for extraordinary initiatives in protecting the environment. Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) received an award in the category Environmental Outreach/Education category.

Founded in 2017, the Environmental Resilience Institute is a university-wide institute that assists communities throughout the state to adapt and thrive amid environmental change.

“We are excited to recognize our 2021 Governor’s Award winners for their efforts in innovation, waste reduction, and improvements to Indiana’s environment,” says IDEM Commissioner Bruno Pigott. “These award winners are paving the way for other organizations to learn how to increase environmental protection efforts in the state.”

IDEM Assistant Commissioner Julia Wickard presented the awards during the 24th annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Tradeshow held last week at the Marriott North in Indianapolis.

ERI was honored for its “Local Government Implementation Portfolio,” which provides outreach, education, tools, training, research, and support for local governments throughout the Hoosier state and focuses on four key elements.

The ERI toolkit is an interactive resource that connects local officials to information on climate change implications, funding opportunities, and community projects; the Hoosier Resilience Index provides community specific data to help towns around the state understand how climate change will impact them directly; the free monthly Prepared for Environmental Change Webinar Series addresses environmental topics; and the resilience cohorts lead local units of government through the process of conducting greenhouse gas inventories and developing climate action plans.

To date, 17 governments have completed community-scale greenhouse gas inventories and 13 have completed, or are working on, climate action plans.

The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence is an annual program to recognize Indiana’s leaders who have identified and implemented innovative environmental practices into their programs and facilities. The awards program is open to all Indiana facilities, state and local units of government, individuals, and technical assistance organizations that implement exemplary environmental projects with measurable results.