With more than 182 participating countries and over 2000 project submissions annually the Energy Globe Award is today's most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention - international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.
National ENERGY GLOBE Award United States 2018
Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. (SERI) is in partnership with the University of Arizona Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA). It developed a loan program for low-income residents to provide a mechanism for residents to invest in rainwater harvesting systems over time, to overcome the upfront costs of installations, and to participate in Tucson Water’s (TW) rainwater harvesting rebate program, which primarily had been utilized in higher income neighborhoods.
Since 2010 SERI has completed over 8,000 health, safety and environmental home assessments in southern metropolitan Tucson, a primarily low-income Hispanic community. Over 80% of the households visited had very or extremely low incomes as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing conditions increased residents’ heat vulnerability including lack of insulation, poor construction, lack of reflective roof coatings and little to no cooling.
The solution is to conduct community outreach to obtain community input on the design of the program, pilot the program with 17 families, and evaluate the success of the program. Community outreach: SERI and BARA completed 14 stakeholder interviews with community members, agency personnel, water professionals, and community organizations. The team completed three community meetings with residents to receive feedback on the proposed loan program.
The project is innovated because it utilized community-based social capital – derived through connectedness to people and the community – as an effective means for establishing and sustaining creditworthiness and thereby allowing the implementation of a revolving loan fund. This fund provided low-income, primarily Hispanic families with an opportunity to participate in community environmental programs through interactions with a trusted community partner rather than a governmental agency or a financial institution.
University of Arizona Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA)