Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced more than twenty-five local entities—mostly businesses and local governments—are being recognized as 2020 Dane County Climate Champions. The Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change launched the Climate Champion program earlier this year as part of Dane County’s Climate Action Plan to recognize the progress local entities are making to address climate change.
“Climate change is a big global challenge, but these awardees illustrate how entities are acting locally, right here in Dane County, to do their part. I’m excited to recognize this year’s Climate Champions—they are the first in what I hope will be a long line of local champions for our community,” said County Executive Joe Parisi.
The awardees include Artisan Dental, the first carbon neutral general dentistry practice in the United States, and Zerology, the firm that converted the Green Cab fleet to electric vehicles. Also included are net zero and high efficiency schools in Oregon and Sun Prairie, as well as entities like American Family Insurance and Exact Sciences that are encouraging sustainable practices among employees and customers.
“Carbon neutrality was a natural next step in our environmental stewardship efforts,” Artisan Dental wrote in a statement. “We are excited to join a quickly growing group of large and small businesses who have chosen to become carbon neutral and do their part to reverse climate change.” The Climate Champion program is organized into tiers, from Emerging Climate Champion to 4-Star Climate Champion. An awardee is a 4-Star Champion if they have achieved 100% success in eliminating at least one source of emissions. This year, two entities achieved 4-Star status—Zerology, for its all-electric Green Cab fleet and Artisan Dental, for offsetting 100% of its carbon emissions. The 2020 program recognized entities in seven categories, including building energy use, fleet, employee commuting, water practices, agricultural practices, total emissions, and other. Submissions in the “other” category will help to define categories for recognition in future years.