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The Green Awards™ program launches to recognize and inspire everyday people who are making the world a more sustainable place


Survey finds 97 percent of moms take steps to be green at home and encourage their children to do the same

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A coalition of some of the country’s leading environmental organizations and Green Giant are recognizing the people who are making a difference in their communities across the country, and making our world a better, more sustainable place through a new program called The Green Awards™.

The Green Awards program seeks to recognize the pioneering leaders, communities, and everyday families who are innovating to make our world more sustainable. The Green Awards program wants to shine a bright light on what these individuals are doing, help them advance their ideas, and inspire others to adopt and evolve these practices in their own lives. Many of the country’s leading environmental groups have joined together with Green Giant to support and advance the program and to ensure the credibility of The Green Awards.

“The exciting grassroots innovations happening across the country are inspiring for all of us. We are proud to be a part of The Green Awards campaign and are encouraging everyone to participate,” said Margie Alt, Executive Director, Environment America.

A recent survey sponsored by Green Giant* supports the need to help families be more sustainable. Nearly all moms** aged 18 to 40 are motivated by their children and future generations to do more to protect the environment, but eight in ten moms (79 percent) agree that they wish they had more time to focus on being green and helping the environment. According to the survey, 97 percent of moms know that even doing a few small things can help improve the environment. While many moms try to promote green behaviors at home, in some households the children are the teachers; more than six in ten moms (63 percent) report that their kids teach them how to be more green. To launch The Green Awards program, Kelly Rutherford, Gossip Girl actress and green mom, is raising awareness of the steps everyday people take to make the world a greener place.

“As a mom, I understand the need to ensure our world is a more sustainable place for future generations, and even simple changes like recycling and carrying reusable shopping bags can have an impact,” said Rutherford. “That’s why The Green Awards program is so important; it recognizes and rewards people whose ideas and actions have a positive environmental impact.”

The Green Awards Details
The Green Awards program will award a total of $120,000 among 12 Finalists within each of the four categories:

* Green Civic Leader: Designed for the individual who is a mayor, city council member, alderman, elected official, judge, parks and recreation commissioner or civil employee who is making a positive impact on the environment.
* Green Entrepreneur: Designed for the individual who is an inventor or business owner focused on making a positive impact on the environment.
* Green Local Organizer: Designed for the individual who has an idea or initiative, outside of the business world, that positively impacts the environment by creating a positive social change within the community.
* Green Parent: Designed for a parent or guardian who inspires or creates change that positively impacts the environment for the children of their communities.

In each category, one Grand Prize winner will be awarded $25,000 and two Runner-Up First Prizes will receive $2,500 which could be used as seed money towards their environmental cause or initiative.

From now through March 6, 2011, consumers will have a chance to submit their green initiatives:

* Go online to to submit a video of one minute or less that describes an initiative or idea that has a positive environmental impact and inspires others and future generations to take their own steps toward sustainability. Video submissions must also include how/why the idea was created and why the initiative is important to the community. Consumers are also asked to submit a 100-word or less essay that addresses how winning $25,000 will help take the initiative to the next level and inspire others to take their own action to make a positive impact on the environment. Complete details can be found at .
* From March 12 to March 27, 2011, consumers will be invited to vote daily for the best entries in each of the four categories, based on three judging criteria: creativity and inspiration, impact on the community and beyond, and rationale for additional funding. In April, a judging panel, including members of The Green Awards program Awards Board comprised of some of the country’s top sustainability thought-leaders will complete the second phase of judging to announce the top 12 Finalists.
* All 12 Finalists will be flown to The Green Awards celebration in Los Angeles, Calif., on May 13, 2011, where the Grand Prize winners will be revealed.

“This program supports the efforts of those all over the country that work tirelessly to make our world a greener place and provide inspiration to others and future generations who seek ways to help the environment,” said Andy Dahlen, Green Giant Marketing Director. “Sustainability has been part of Green Giant for more than 50 years, and we continue to look for sustainable initiatives to help us bring green beyond our name. We know that even little steps can make a giant difference on the impact to our planet.”

Creating Green Buzz
To raise awareness, The Green Awards program will showcase four unique, environmentally-friendly outdoor advertising executions in four major cities. The executions will use natural elements to promote awards entries and demonstrate the commitment by Green Giant to sustainability. The environmentally-friendly installations can be seen as follows:

* Los Angeles, Calif., (Jan. 24): A giant aerial image, viewable from the sky, and all comprised from sand, will be created on Venice Beach.
* Philadelphia, Pa., (Jan. 31): A message will be cleaned into a three-story tall dirty wall in Philadelphia’s old city district.
* Minneapolis, Minn., (Feb. 14): A large and unique aerial image will be created in snow and ice on a frozen Lake Calhoun.
* Denver, Colo., (Feb. 21): A large one-of-a-kind moss mural will be on display in downtown Denver.

These installations will be produced to have the least impact on the environment possible and estimated carbon emissions will be offset with local initiatives.

About The Green Awards program Awards Board
The Green Awards program Awards Board represents an exciting collaboration of some of the country’s leading environmental organizations to help get the word out about The Green Awards program and provide the program with credibility and authenticity. Members of The Green Awards board include:

Green America
American Rivers
Green For All
League of Conservation Voters
Defenders of Wildlife
National Tribal Environmental Council
Environment America
Native American Rights Fund
Environmental Defense Fund
Rainforest Alliance
Environmental Media Association
Surfrider Foundation
Environmental Working Group
The Wilderness Society
Foundation Earth

*The survey was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Green Giant between December 13 and December 22, 2010 via email invitation and an online survey. A nationally representative sample of 1,011 mothers ages 18-40 with a child under the age of 18 were interviewed. The margin of error at an unweighted probability sample of 1,000 and a 100% response rate would be +/- 3.1% for the entire sample.

**Nearly all moms agree (51% strongly agree, 44% somewhat agree) that thinking about their children and future generations motivates them to do more to protect the environment.

About Green Giant
Green Giant started out in Le Sueur, Minnesota, as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company in 1903, when some 11,750 cases of white cream-style corn were sold in the company’s first year. For the past 100 years, the Giant’s Valley is where fresh and great-tasting vegetables are grown and picked at the peak of perfection. Green Giant has been implementing sustainability into the business since 1929 when the company introduced vacuum pack technology and Green Giant has plans to continue to become “greener” in the future. The brand is now part of General Mills, Inc.

About General Mills
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.


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