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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2003

Kelley Green Awards to be given on Earth Day to three environmentally conscious Hoosier firms

Students in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business are thinking green these days, and it has less to do with money than you might think.

The Kelley School on Tuesday (April 22) will mark Earth Day by recognizing three Indiana businesses for their environmentally friendly programs with the school's Kelley Green Awards.

This is the second year for these awards, which are being presented to One World Enterprises and Bloomingfoods in Bloomington, Ind., and NiSource Inc. in Merrillville, Ind. The awards will be presented at 7 p.m. in Room 102 of the Kelley School of Business building on the Bloomington campus.

The Kelley Green Awards are unique in that winners are chosen on the basis of nominations by IU students. Award winners were selected from the pool of nominations by the Environmental Policy Committee of the Kelley School. The students whose nominations were selected are Asima Biswas of Bloomington, Ind.; Heather Haworth of Richmond, Ind.; and Gabe Watson of Greensburg, Ind. They will discuss their reasons for nominating the companies, and each will receive a $200 grant.

In addition to the Kelley Green Awards, IU students will present environmentally friendly, "green" ideas to the audience, which will vote to determine the best idea. All student participants receive a cash award and a certificate for their efforts.

John Maxwell, associate professor of business economics and public policy, said the Kelley Green Awards serve three important purposes: to get the students in the school thinking about environmentally responsible ways of doing business, to encourage Indiana companies to have a positive environmental profile, and to let the public know that the Kelley School cares about environmental issues as part of its ongoing educational mission.

"Companies are aware that there is a rising importance of environmental groups in general and policy settings, but also in communities," Maxwell said. "It's good if the company has a positive image, not only in environmental issues but generally as a good citizen. It helps in recruiting and retaining good employees. They're happier to work for you."

Maxwell, whose research focuses on voluntary environmental agreements between firms and governments, said there are a number of benefits to companies working with governmental regulators on environmental issues. They can come under less scrutiny and even be recognized by customers and investors for their enviromental efforts.