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Greenability among recipients of Paw of Approval award

Greenability magazine and eight other environmental and sustainability leaders in Kansas City are receiving the Paw of Approval award in honor of outstanding achievements in sustainability.

The award is being presented on September 12 by Jim Maddy, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums; Robert Buchanan, Founder of Polar Bears International & the Arctic Action Team; Craig Young, Founder of myActions; and Randy Wisthoff, Executive Director and CEO of the Kansas City Zoo. The award and our city’s combined accomplishments will be showcased around the world during their two-year sustainability campaign, Pole to Pole, which highlights and emphasizes the importance of metropolitan governments, zoos, and aquariums leading the way in sustainability and conservation within their geographic areas.

Recipients include:

  • Greenability magazine – Since Julie Koppen published her premier issue in Fall 2007, Greenability has provided local readers with timely and in-depth information regarding all things sustainable in the Kansas City metro area. Whether you’re interested in energy efficiency, urban agriculture, healthy foods, renewable energy, native landscaping, recycling, bicycling, water conservation, green jobs, green homes, green businesses, electric cars, sustainably produced coffee, or any other aspect of a green lifestyle, Greenability has been the go-to source of local info. Greenability has been a valued partner in highlighting sustainability initiatives by the City and sustainability practices by businesses, schools, faith-based groups, neighborhoods, and nonprofit organizations across the region. In addition, Greenability has integrated sustainability into all of its own business practices.
  • City of Kansas City, Missouri – Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr., the members of the City Council, and City Manager Troy Schulte have embraced sustainability – a triple bottom line approach to simultaneously achieving economic vitality, social equity, and environmental quality – as a core principle in the operation of municipal government in Kansas City, MO. In addition to unanimous adoption of the KCMO Climate Protection Plan in 2008, the Mayor and City Council have enacted numerous policies, ordinances, and resolutions to promote sustainability in KCMO and across the entire greater KC metro area. This has included a major conversion of the City’s fleet to alternative fuels (such as compressed natural gas, propane, & electricity) and the utilization of green infrastructure (rain gardens, rain barrels, bioswales, pervious pavement for sidewalks, and other measures) in the City’s 25-year project to mitigate sewer overflows during intense storm water events. Their leadership has empowered City staff to incorporate sustainability into City programs, projects, and other activities that have made Kansas City a nationally-recognized leader among U.S. cities.
  • Mid-America Regional Council – As the metropolitan planning organization and regional council of governments for the greater Kansas City area, MARC has been a valuable partner in supporting KCMO’s sustainability efforts, incorporating sustainability into its own strategic planning & program activities, and promoting sustainability as a regional priority. MARC staff served on the Steering Committee and Work Groups that developed the KCMO Climate Protection Plan and have partnered with KCMO on numerous grants to promote sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, water quality, air quality, public transit, improvements to bike and pedestrian infrastructure, integrated solid waste management, and expansion of green infrastructure.
  • Bridging the Gap – For 20 years, Bridging The Gap has been a non-profit organization that has promoted environmental quality and sustainability through many partnerships with KCMO and many other businesses, local governments, and neighborhoods in the metro area. They advocated strongly for creation of the City’s weekly curbside collection program for recyclables and have operated drop-off recycling centers in the City over many years. They served on Work Groups for development of the KCMO Climate Protection Plan and have worked with the City and neighborhoods to provide public education and promote individual actions in the areas of waste recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation, tree planting, preservation of native landscapes, litter cleanup, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Metropolitan Energy Center – MEC is a non-profit organization who has promoted energy efficiency in the KC metro area for 30 years. By providing training for certification of energy auditors and energy contractors, MEC has helped ensure there is a qualified workforce to assist homeowners and businesses with energy use assessments and energy efficiency improvements to their buildings. MEC also works with our local natural gas and electric utilities to administer utility rebate programs to incentivize energy efficiency improvement by owners of residential and commercial buildings. MEC staff served on Work Groups for development of the KCMO Climate Protection Plan and have partnered with the City on major initiatives, including the EnergyWorks KC program to transform the energy efficiency marketplace in KCMO. MEC also leads the local Clean Cities Coalition to promote the use of alternative fuels in vehicles and development of the charging infrastructure to support deployment of electric vehicles.
  • The Green Impact Zone – The nationally-recognized Green Impact Zone initiative was conceived by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II in order to utilize sustainability as a core principle for revitalization of a 150 square block of highly distressed neighborhoods in the urban core of KCMO. With funding from the City, grants from several federal departments (Energy, Transportation, Housing & Urban Development), support from local organizations such as KCPL and KCATA (Kansas City Area Transportation Authority), and assistance from national organizations such as the Make It Right Foundation, the program has been administered through MARC with a staff led by Anita Maltbia. Areas of activity have included home weatherization, energy efficiency, reutilization of closed public school buildings, improvements in public transit, infrastructure projects to repair curbs and sidewalks, water conservation measures, community gardening and other actions to address the lack of access to healthy food, and capacity building of leadership within the neighborhood associations included within the area of The Green Impact Zone.
  • Kansas City Power & Light Co. – KCPL’s former CEO served on the Steering Committee and KCPL staff served on the Work Groups for development of the KCMO Climate Protection Plan. KCPL has strongly supported programs to promote energy efficiency by its customers and has made major investments in renewable energy generation as a significant part of its energy portfolio. KCPL has been a major partner with The Green Impact Zone and has implemented its $48 million Smart Grid Project in and around The Green Impact Zone with significant funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy. Recently, KCPL has entered into a solar service agreement with the KCMO for installation of up to 40 rooftop solar panel systems of 25 kW capacity each on City buildings to provide a portion of the electricity used to operate the buildings. In concert with the Brightergy solar operating lease, this project will make KCMO a national leader among cities who are using solar energy for municipal operations.
  • Brightergy – Brightergy is a local business in KCMO who has installed numerous solar energy systems for businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, and local governments, using innovative financing mechanisms to make solar energy affordable to tax-exempt organizations who cannot avail themselves of federal or state tax credits. Brightergy staff served on a Work Group for development of the KCMO Climate Protection Plan. Recently Brightergy entered into a 20-year solar operating lease with KCMO for installation of up to 40 rooftop solar panel systems of 25 kW capacity each on City buildings to provide a portion of the electricity used to operate the buildings. In concert with the KCPL solar service agreement, this project will make KCMO a national leader among cities who are using solar energy for municipal operations.
  • Jackson County, Missouri – County Executive Mike Sanders and the County staff have all made reduce, reuse and recycle a standard practice in conducting Jackson County’s business. During the multi-phased restoration of the historic Truman Courthouse in Independence, all materials that could be recycled were, including 4,000 tons of concrete and bricks. In addition to restoring that national landmark so it could reopen as a “working courthouse” again, the County also recently repurposed two other older buildings—one in downtown Kansas City that now serves as the Regional Correctional Center, the other a long vacant former car dealership in Independence that now operates as a gallery and workshops for the successful MyArts program. The County’s “Clean Out Your Files Day” events have set a regional standard for recycling, not just tons of paper each year, but also vehicle batteries, household batteries, toner cartridges, paint, fluorescent bulbs, obsolete and a vast array of other materials. At the Jackson County Detention Center, any food that goes uneaten does not go to waste, but is instead utilize for compost the Detention Center also recycles shoes, clothes, books and more. In its vast parks system, the County has installed state-of-the-art recycling containers and expanded its trails. From giving older buildings new life to continually increasing its recycling efforts, Jackson County is fully committed to being a sustainability leader.


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Carrie Wilson
10 years ago

Congratulations on being recognized as a sustainability leader in Kansas City and receiving the Paw of Approval award in honor of outstanding achievements in sustainability. You do a fantastic job!

Anita L. Maltbia
10 years ago

Congratulations, Greenability Magazine! We, at the Green Impact Zone are deeply gratified to be in your company in receiving the “Paw of Approval” Award. Thank you for keeping our region so well informed of issues and happenings that affect the very environment in which we all live.

Pam Hausner
10 years ago

Congratulations, Greenability!!! The award is well-earned. I value each edition of your magazine and am so glad to see others are recognizing your contribution to helping us all live more sustainably.

Vicki Johnson
Vicki Johnson
10 years ago

Congratulations!! I appreciate the work that each of you do to make our Kansas City a better place!