Environmental Stewardship Award

Environmental Stewardship Award

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) offers Environmental Stewardship Awards annually to businesses, industries, and organizations that have made a significant improvement in protecting our environment by preventing pollution. This non-competitive annual award program recognizes projects that eliminate or reduce the generation of pollutants or wastes at the source or projects that conserve natural resources.

Waste Management Hierarchy

As you can see in the illustration, recycling efforts do not qualify as projects for the Environmental Stewardship Awards. While recycling does divert waste from going to the landfill, the bottom line is that the waste was still generated. The goal of source reduction is to conserve resources and not generate pollutants in the first place.


Any Kansas business, industry, community or community group, school, or organization is eligible to apply for an Environmental Stewardship Award. To determine the success of the project, the project must have been implemented at least six months prior to the application but no earlier than January 1, 2017. Recycling projects are not eligible. Applications from prior award recipients must denote new projects. These environmental stewardship efforts are in addition to or exceed what is required by law; therefore, submitted projects should be voluntary efforts to minimize or prevent industrial and environmental concerns. Compliance with current environmental laws and regulations will be taken into consideration during the review process.

Please contact Melissa Hammond of KDHE at 785-296-1526 with questions regarding the award application process. Technical questions related to how to calculate measures or describe projects can be directed to the K-State Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) at 800-578-8898 or email the PPI.

Award Categories

Awards will be issued within two categories; the Environmental Stewardship Award and the Environmental Stewardship with Distinction Award. Both awards use the same award application.

Environmental Stewardship Award

The Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes projects that eliminate or reduce the generation of pollutants or wastes at the source or projects that conserve natural resources.

Environmental Stewardship with Distinction Award

The Environmental Stewardship with Distinction Award goes above and beyond the Environmental Stewardship Award by meeting at least one of the following distinctive qualifications:

  • Quantitative environmental health impacts (workers or the community).
  • The project can be used by similar organizations in different locations within the state.
  • Projects encompassing multiple processes or media.

Application Submission

Applications for the 2020 Environmental Stewardship Awards must be received by 5 pm on Monday, June 14, 2021. Late applications will not be considered for an award.

The preferred method of application submittal is electronic. Please use the following link to complete the application and upload supporting documentation: 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award Application - electronic

Application submittal may also be completed via email or hard copy. Please use the following link to print the application: 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award Application - paper (PDF)

Send the completed application and supporting documents to:

Melissa Hammond
1000 SW Jackson Street
Suite 430
Topeka, KS 66612

Selection Process

KDHE staff will provide an initial review to screen each application for compliance status. After initial screening, acceptable applications will be reviewed by a team made up of individuals from universities, business and industry, communities, and government. This team will review the applications and make recommendations. The KDHE Division Director will make the final decision on which projects will receive awards and awardees will be notified with a telephone call or email and congratulatory letter.

Presentation of Awards

Awards will be presented during a ceremony at the Kansas Environmental Conference on August 12, 2021, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, KS. We will only reward and recognize the projects or programs meeting the criteria set forth in this document; therefore, it is possible not all applicants will receive an award. Award recipients must agree to allow a summary of their accomplishments to be published by KDHE

KDHE appreciates your submission for an Environmental Stewardship award. We want to recognize and honor the many fine companies in Kansas that are practicing good environmental stewardship. 

Congratulations to the 2019 Award Winners

Past Award Winners

Access the past award winners. For more information view the Kansas Environmental Conference page.