Climate Change and Recognizing Leadership
by Toby Barazzuol on Wednesday Dec 23, 2009

Last week, Eclipse Awards was proud to play a small role in the United Nations historic COP15 Climate Change conference in Copenhagen.  Though we have worked directly with the UN before on earlier climate change conferences, this time we worked with Environmental Defence to help them recognize acts of climate leadership in Canada.

For this event, we created 10 of our Emerald Tower Awards which are made from 100% post consumer used recycled glass.  We even used non-toxic wax as the color fill to help make these as sustainable as possible.

These climate change awards helped recognize the following Canadian projects:

Greenest City Action Plan – City of Vancouver
Reaching Out to Global Energy Cities – City of Calgary
Early Initiatives to Reduce Carbon Footprint – City of Edmonton
Tower Renewal and Transit City – City of Toronto
Climat : Plan de Transport – Ville de Montreal
Economy Wide Carbon Pricing – Province of British Columbia
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Initiatives – Province of Manitoba
Green Energy Champion – Province of Ontario
Climat : Engagement Constant – Province du Quebec
Absolute Electricity Emissions Cap – Province of Nova Scotia

Overall though, Canada took a lot of well-deserved heat in Copenhagen, even winning the embarrassing Colossal Fossil Award for our regressive approach to climate change.  The attention that this focused on Canada once again reminds us of the power of recognition awards to change behaviours and opinions.  Awards can be used effectively as both a carrot or a stick.

Could Canada and other countries be doing more to avoid climate change?  Of course, there is still huge progress to be made.  

However as Rick Smith, executive director for Environmental Defence said “It’s important to recognize leadership when it happens” and we couldn’t agree more.  We have to recognize and celebrate leadership wherever it’s emerging.  These are the seeds that we need to nurture so that their energies and influence can be shared, spread, and celebrated!

The success of any movement - environmental, social or otherwise -requires that we recognize the leaders of those movements.  We need to celebrate the behaviors and visions that we want to see repeated throughout our organizations, our communities and our world. 

By recognizing leadership, we not only visibly encourage and endorse it, we also empower it to move forward.  Recognition awards can provide a strong vote of confidence and help emerging leaders step into their roles.

Climate change discussions aren’t just about reducing emissions – they represent a battle to redefine humanity.  As the United Nations event now fades into history, the world is left to wonder what will happen next.  Some solutions will be found at the government levels, however true changes will come from people working at the community and municipal level.  They will come from inspired and motivated people working at your organization.

We need to work at all levels to ensure that positive change will happen.  At Eclipse Awards, our role is to help you recognize leadership and excellence in a way that encourages it and nurtures is.

How do you recognize leadership and how will you recognize these emerging leaders of tomorrow?



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