The Emerald Award Program recognizes exemplary performance in the following categories:


New Emerald Award Application, now only a postcard!  Easy to fill out and it is FREE!


For details on each category, see below:

Pollution Prevention/Hazardous Waste Reduction
This category recognizes facilities, business, or government entities that excel in the reduction or elimination of pollution or waste while increasing the efficient and sustainable use of resources at the source (source reduction) instead of at the end-of-the-pipe or stack. You must have a current EPD Hazardous Material Management Facility License to be eligible for an award in this category. An example might be using a less toxic parts cleaner instead of mineral spirits.

Pollution Prevention/Hazardous Waste Reduction

You must have a current EPD Hazardous Material Management Facility License to be eligible for an award in this category. Some examples of steps past winners have implemented are listed below:

  • Waste reduction - switched to less hazardous/wasteful products; switched to non-chlorinated solvents; reduced a solvent waste stream by installing an on-site solvent distillation unit, or closed loop rinse water system; eliminated all aerosol cans such as brake and carburetor cleaners
  • Material substitution - replaced hazardous materials with non-hazardous/less toxic raw materials, reducing the volume or toxicity of waste streams (e.g., using non-chlorinated or low VOC solvents for cleaning, or paints without heavy metal pigments)
  • Process modification - filtered solvents for extended use; changed from a vapor degreaser for cleaning to an aqueous jet system; used high transfer efficiency equipment for painting; changed from an organic solvent paint to a water-based electrostatic system; changed from electroplating to a powder-coating system; implemented counter current rinsing in the electroplating lines; implemented automation of processes with a resultant reduction in waste creation
  • Developed a Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan - key components of the plan should include management support and commitment to P2, employee involvement, operations assessment, identification and evaluation of P2 options, implementation of economic and technically feasible options, result tracking, and periodic revision
  • Inventory management - implemented a “first-in, first-out” policy of chemical use to avoid expired materials; control the access of employees to storage areas; take samples from vendors/suppliers only if you can return unused portions
  • Recycle -participate in an off-site recycling program for your hazardous materials (e.g. solvents, used oil, antifreeze)

This category recognizes facilities, business, or government entities that make a significant contribution to reducing solid waste that is deposited into a landfill by recycling at least 30% of all solid waste generated at one location. An example might be collecting scrap metal and having it picked up for reuse rather than throwing it away.



To be eligible in this category, your business must recycle at least 30% of your solid waste. Some examples of steps past winners have implemented are listed below:

  • Participate in a recycling program for the generated solid waste that cannot be reduced or recycled/reused on-site (Ex: paper, cardboard, pallets, wood, glass, plastic, textile, fluorescent bulbs, aluminum cans, metal scrap, etc.)
  • Conduct on-site recycling/reuse of non-hazardous waste (e.g. reuse packaging materials)
  • Use two or more recycled products in your business


Green Practices/Innovation   
This category recognizes facilities, business, or government entities that sell, manufacture, or produce products and services that generate less toxic pollution and waste, conserve natural resources and habitats, encourage sustainable behavior, and minimize global warming and ozone depletion. This category also recognizes entities that institute the use of technology upgrades or changes to processes in order to generate less waste, become more energy efficient, or to conserve natural resources.

An example might be selling recycled paper or selling less toxic cleaners or retrofitting your lighting system to reduce your electricity demand.


Green Practices

Products or practices that are less harmful to the environment compared with similar products or practices. Some examples of steps past winners have implemented are listed below:

  • Manufacture one or more green products
  • At least 20% of retail sales involve green products
  • Utilize a “green” process in the production of a product that is not the industry norm
  • Use more efficient motors, alternative fuels, or equipment to conserve energy, water, and other natural resources


Implement procedures outside the normal scope of your business practices. Some examples of steps past winners have implemented are listed below:

  • Implement the use of material not common to your normal operations
  • Use alternative products or methods to create less waste
  • Use methods different from industry standard


NatureScape Broward   
This category recognizes certified business, municipalities, schools, government facilities, and homeowners, that have created and maintained landscapes that are drought tolerant, provide food, water, and shelter for wildlife, and utilize integrated pest control/fertilizer practices.


NatureScape Broward

In 2004, the NatureScape category was added to the Emerald Award Program. The mission of NatureScape is to create and certify NatureScape sanctuaries throughout Broward County. NatureScapes are Florida Friendly yards and landscape that:

  • Conserve water by using native plants in place of a lawn.
  • Provide food, water, and shelter for resident and migrating wildlife (from birds to butterflies).
  • Use integrated pest control practices.
  • Reduce storm-water contamination caused by pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Recycle yard waste into mulch and compost.

NatureScapes can be created in:

  • Backyards
  • Schoolyards
  • Workplaces
  • Communities

NatureScape Broward Goals

  • Create a network of NatureScape sanctuaries throughout Broward County
  • Increase the propagation and use of native plants by 50%
  • Be a role model for the State of Florida for compliance with xeriscape statutes
  • Become a nationally recognized program of environmental stewardship

For the NatureScapes Category, the Broward County Emerald Award Program will evaluate all applications based on their NatureScape Emerald Award Application. Applications will be reviewed by the Emerald Award NatureScape Committee and finalists will be selected in January. All finalists will receive a certificate and their yard will be visited by committee members. Winners will be notified in February and invited to the Emerald Awards Ceremony to receive their trophy in one of the following categories:

  • NatureScapes: Business
  • NatureScapes: Homeowner
  • NatureScapes: Municipality or Government
  • NatureScapes: Special Achievement


NEW CATEGORY! Effective May 1, 2009

Climate Change Leader   
This category recognizes facilities, business, and government entities that have made great strides in addressing global climate change. It recognizes best practices from private and public organizations that demonstrate measurable activities that achieve operational and community benefits including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the promotion of behavioral change to employees and customers. Organizations with established annual reduction targets will also be evaluated based on their progress toward meeting the reduction target.



New Emerald Award Application, now only a postcard!  Easy to fill out and it is FREE!


 Application Type MS Word Adobe
 Emerald Award not available  PDF
 NatureScape Word PDF
 Climate Change Leader Word PDF


 The new Emerald Award Application has been reduced to the size of a postcard.  And it is FREE!        

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