Innovators in the News
4/23/12 - CLYNK Honored For Environmental Excellence By Governor LePage, DEP Commissioner Aho
(From Maine.gov Press Release, April 18, 2012).
CLNYK receives a Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence alongside other 2012 recipients including IDEXX, the George Roberts Company, Maine Energy Systems, the Washington County Council of Governments and the Environmental Living & Learning for Maine Students Project-
GORHAM - CLYNK has been recognized as part of the first state-sponsored environmental achievement awards handed out in Maine since 2005.
The South Portland-based company was honored as one of six stewards of sustainability presented with the 2012 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence by Governor Paul LePage and Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho in a ceremony at Jotul North America's headquarters in Gorham.
The awards, administered by the Maine DEP and scheduled in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22), recognize entities voluntarily going beyond regulatory requirements to creatively and collaboratively initiate innovation that is both environmentally and economically sustainable.
CLYNK won in the "Businesses Over 50 Employees" category for their efforts in effectively engaging thousands of Mainers in returning nearly 300 million containers since 2006 -enough to fill Fenway Park to the top of the Green Monster more than three times.
Earlier this year, the company released a new service that allows its account holders to track in real time the environmental benefits that result directly from the specific beverage containers they recycle at the nearly 50 partnering Hannaford supermarkets.
In addition to bringing new customers into those participating Hannaford supermarkets from Old Town to York, CLYNK's system has benefited beverage companies by enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of Maine's bottle return program. A partner in Oregon, where the nation's first bottle take-back program was launched, has recently contracted with the company to bring its system there.
"We realized when we started CLYNK that most Mainers are passionate about the environment; by making recycling easier, CLYNK has found that sweet spot where doing the right thing for the environment is also the right thing for growing a Maine company," said CLYNK CEO Clayton Kyle. "We're very pleased to be recognized by the Governor and the DEP and we're proud to provide a valuable service to so many fellow Mainers. CLYNK has had the good fortune of working with a great partner in Hannaford and this award is as much a recognition of their foresight and leadership in environmental stewardship as it is ours."
Other winners included IDEXX, of Westbrook; George R. Roberts Co. "The Step Guys," of Alfred; Maine Energy Systems, of Bethel; the Washington County Council of Governments; and the Environmental Living & Learning for Maine Students Project, a collaborative of Chewonki, Ferry Beach Ecology School and the UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Bryant Pond and Tanglewood (in Lincolnville).
"For many Maine employers, Earth Day isn't just one day a year, but a constant commitment to stewarding our natural resources and ensuring a sustainable economy. These Governor's Award winners illustrate the interdependence of Maine's economy and the environment and why the choice between the two should never be either or' because it must always be both,'" said Governor LePage.
Commissioner Aho said it was important for the state to start acknowledging Maine's many environmental leaders who are modeling her department's vision of a mutually healthy environment and economy.
"Maine has long been a national leader when it comes to environmental excellence and our 2012 Governor's Awards recipients are carrying on that legacy," Aho said. "As Maine's foremost environmental organization, it has great meaning when we respect and recognize these leaders and that the innovation improving our environment and our economy comes directly from Maine employers and people. I want to thank all of the nominees for their commitment of creativity, time and resources toward our shared vision of making Maine a better place to live, work and play for ours and future generations."
Aho added the awards program is one of the many activities the DEP has advanced under the LePage administration that further the agency's culture of cooperation with the regulated community. Others include expanded technical assistance, permitting process improvements and pragmatic regulatory reform. Based on the success of this year's awards, Maine DEP intends to continue the annual recognition program with nominations for the 2013 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence opening in late 2012. More information can be found at http://www.maine.gov/dep or by contacting Samantha DePoy-Warren at 207-287-5842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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