Island Green Living Named “Sustainable Company of the Year” by Clinton Global Initiative & Island Innovation
St. John, USVI – May 17, 2022 – Clinton Global Initiative, in partnership with Island Innovation, named the USVI-based nonprofit Island Green Living Association the “Sustainable Company of the Year” during the inaugural Island Innovation Awards ceremony held recently (view recording here, 46.45 minute mark). Chosen from among hundreds of esteemed entrants in twelve categories, the award was presented to Harith Wickrema, president of Island Green Living, by James Robinson, program manager for Clinton Global Initiative. The “Sustainable Company of the Year” award recognizes an
island-based organization that promotes sustainable solutions for their island and has introduced new and/or improved eco goods, services or strategies to help island communities become more sustainable. Distinguished judges include Former President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Michel; UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thompson; Former President of the Republic of Kiribati, Anote Tong; and a host of leaders in the academic, environmental, political and nonprofit worlds.
“We are grateful to have this platform to extend our toxic sunscreen and other sustainable messages to a global audience. Being chosen as ‘Sustainable Company of the Year’ from among the very deserving nominees is a testament to our amazing and committed staff, volunteers and board members,” said Wickrema. “We thank Clinton Global Initiative and Island Innovation for the recognition. It is our hope that our achievements will serve as inspiration to others to preserve
When presenting the award, the Clinton Global Initiative representative cited Island Green Living’s 18 year mission of turning what many would consider “waste” into a resource. The nonprofit got its start as Island Green Building Association with the mandate to promote green building and salvage used construction material to ensure sustainable development. In 2014, due to a plethora of environmental challenges such as overflowing landfills, accelerated coral damage due to toxic sunscreen, lack of recycling, etc., its scope was expanded to encompass all aspects of sustainable living and was rebranded Island Green Living Association.
Most recently, Island Green Living introduced the Ocean-Bound Plastics Recycling Program through a partnership with PADNOS, a Michigan-based, family-owned recycling company, the first such program on St. John, which has so far crushed 3,400 lbs. of plastics since late February. It complements the organization’s aluminum can recycling program, which has crushed 1.3 million cans to date; brush chipping program, which has processed 4,500 cubic yards of green & brown debris; and ReSource Depot thrift shop, which has kept nearly 700,000 lbs. of material from the overburdened landfill.
The organization’s advocacy campaigns have successfully banned toxic sunscreen containing the “Toxic 3 Os” of oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene, plastic bags and straws as well as the burning of vegetative debris in the territory while advancing awareness and education about these vital issues. The “Ban the Burn” campaign has been credited with contributing to the territory’s excellent air quality, among only three places in the world meeting the WHO’s clean air standards. In addition to the “Sustainable Company of the Year” Award, efforts have earned numerous accolades including an EPA Environmental Champion Award in 2017 and a Clinton Global Initiative “Commitment to Action” designation in 2020.
Island Green Living’s programs are made possible through the generous support of donations. Tax deductible contributions can be made at http://islandgreenliving.org/donate/ or by mail at 5000 Estate Enighed PMB #38, U.S. Virgin Islands, 00830. Phone: 340-473- 7870; firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 2004, Island Green Living Association is a registered 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization on St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI. www.islandgreenliving.org.