People & Planet Award Official Rules

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People & Planet Awards Official Rules


Green America’s People & Planet Awards (“Awards”) are sponsored by Green America, a non-profit corporation with offices at 1612 K Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006.


The intent of this Awards program is to recognize US small businesses that deeply integrate social and environmental considerations into their strategies and operations. The Awards are open only to entrants (each, a “Nominee”) which fulfill each of the following criteria:

Nominee is a legal commercial entity (a corporation, LLC, co-op or similar) that operates and has a principal place of business in the continental US, Alaska, or Hawaii, at the time of entry, employing no more than 50 regular, full-time employees.

Nominee has been fully operational for more than six (6) months before the start of any given cycle of the awards. “Fully operational” within the Awards context means that the Applicant has already started offering its services, products or programs to its intended “customers.” Any application submitted on behalf of an Nominee that is still in the business-plan phase, or that is still in the process of launching but has not actually launched, will not be considered.

Green America employees and Board members, Awards judges, volunteers, advisors, or individuals otherwise involved with the operation of the Awards, may not be an officer, director, employee, independent contractor or other affiliate of any Nominee, or an immediate family member of any of the aforementioned persons.

For each three-month Award period, Green America will designate a sustainability theme (such as clean energy, positive workplace practices, community engagement, etc.). Each Nominee who applies within an Award Nominations period (defined below) must demonstrate leadership in some way related to the theme designated for that period.

How to Enter

Businesses may enter the Awards only via nominations submitted on the online landing page of the Awards program, (each, a “Nomination”). Green America, at its sole discretion, will announce the start and end dates and times for the receipt of nominations (the “Awards Nominations Period”), all according to Green America’s internal time clock. All Nominations must be submitted during the Awards Nominations Period. Green America is not responsible for attempted Nominations, and will not give credit to any attempted Nomination received that is incomplete in any way. Green America is not required to acknowledge receipt of Nominations. Nominees may be nominated more than once, but multiple nominations will not increase the odds of advancement to the Finalist round. All Submissions received by the end of the Awards Nomination Period that are complete and otherwise qualified may be eligible to win (“Qualified Submissions”). Green America is not responsible for Nominations not received due to technological error or failure.

All qualified Nominees will be vetted by Green America’s internal Judging Panel who will recommend Finalists to advance to a final, public voting round. The number of Finalists is determined by Green America staff. A representative of Green America will contact each of the Finalists to solicit supporting materials (images, videos, background information, etc.) to be presented in the final voting round to guide voters in making their final selections. By providing supporting materials, Finalists agree that Green America may use all supporting materials in promotion of the Awards program and in other Green America materials and promotions, and agree to all rules of the Award process.

Judging and Voting

The judging of the Nominees will take place in three rounds, a first round of vetting by Green America staff, a second round to choose ten Finalists (Judging Panel round), and a third round to choose three Winners (public voting round). Green America and the Judging Panel reserve the right to contact any Nominee for additional information or clarification. It will be such Nominee’s responsibility to respond to these requests in a timely manner. The Judging Panel reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in its judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the Awards guidelines, processes and rules, and its decisions are final and binding.

Round One

Judging of Qualified Entries will begin upon completion of the nominations period. Green America staff will contact select nominees (“Applicants”) to complete a brief application.

Round Two

From the Applicants, a panel of judges selected by Green America will select a group of Finalists. Each People and Planet Award period will include a unique sustainability focus which the judging panel must take into account; for example, Nominees for the Summer 2012 Awards provided examples of local community activism. Finalists will be notified by e-mail using the information provided in their Applications. In the event that a finalist does not respond, no alternate finalist need be selected.

Round Three

Finalists will be asked for additional documentation to participate in the final voting round. Finalists who do not submit the requested additional documentation in a timely manner will be disqualified from further consideration in the judging panel’s sole discretion. Green America will provide Finalists with promotional materials for directing their supporters to the final voting round. Finalists may also use their own promotional materials, but must receive prior approval from Green America for any description of Green America and any of its programs, including the People & Planet Awards Program.

In Round Three, the Finalists will be revealed to the public for a final round of public voting to take place on the Green America Web site, at Voters must provide their name and e-mail address for their vote to be counted; only one vote per name and e-mail address will be recorded. From this voting process, Green America will name three winners (“Winners”), who will be notified by phone or e-mail using the information provided in the Nomination and will be required to respond (as directed) to the phone and/or e-mail notification within seventy-two (72) hours of attempted notification as described below.

The failure to respond timely to the notification may result in forfeiture of the Award; and, in such case, Green America may choose the next highest-scoring entry from among the remaining eligible entries. The Winners will also be sent an affidavit of eligibility and compliance and liability/publicity release (collectively, the “Release”). Unless restricted by law, each Winner will be required to complete and return the Release and any other requested documents within the time period specified therein pursuant to these Official Rules in order to be eligible to receive the prize. In some cases, Winners may be asked to provide proof of business ownership. Should a Winner be unwilling or otherwise unable to return a completed Release or otherwise cannot accept or receive the prize for any reason, the Finalist with the next highest score will be chosen from the remaining entries until one who is able to meet all requirements can be selected. Each Winner’s business may be announced and posted on and affiliate Web sites and all or part of such Winner’s Submission may potentially be posted online or published for use, viewing and/or implementation by third parties throughout the world. Green America reserves the right to follow up with all Winners to report on future green-business plans, use of the award money, or any other topic of interest to Green America and its readers. Winners agree to cooperate in providing Green America with the information requested, and the requests will not place an unreasonable burden on winners.

Winners may win the People & Planet Award only one time.


Each Winner will be awarded: $5,000. The award will be provided in the form of a check issued within 60 days of each winners compliance with the terms above.


The Awards are subject to these Official Rules. Nominees represent and warrant that there are no patents or copyrights pending or registered in whole or part of their Nominations. Nominees further agree to waive any and all proprietary right(s) and claim(s) they may have in whole or part of their Nominations, including without limitation any copyright or patent right(s). By participating, Nominees agree: (i) to be bound by these complete Official Rules and the decisions of Green America and the judging panel which shall be final and binding; and (ii) to waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Awards or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law. By participating in the Awards or accepting a prize, each Applicant agrees to release Green America, including any affiliated entities together with their respective directors, employees, officers, licensees, licensors and agents, and respective advertising and promotion entities and any person or entity associated with the production, judging, or administration of the Awards, (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with awarding, receipt and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in the Awards or any prize-related activities. Green America reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Awards, in its sole discretion, should it receive fewer than 10 entries, or due to circumstances beyond its control, including natural disasters. Green America may, in its sole discretion, cancel, modify or suspend the Awards should a virus, bug, computer problem, unauthorized intervention or other causes beyond Green America’s control, corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Awards. Green America may prohibit a Nominee from participating in the Awards or any future awards, or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it believes such Nominee is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Awards by cheating, deception, or any other unfair playing practices of intending to annoy, abuse, threaten, undermine or harass any other players or Green America representatives. Green America reserves the right to disqualify any Nominees it suspects to be violating these Official Rules. Disputes regarding these Official Rules and/or these Awards will be governed by the internal laws of the District of Columbia.


Green America reserves the right to use the Nominations for all business purposes, including advertising and promotional activities, prior to or after the Awards end date, in any media, and to use the name, likeness, hometown name, of the named individual listed for each Submission, and all or part of each Nomination, throughout the world, in perpetuity, without any compensation, notice or approval, unless specifically prohibited by law. Each Nominee grants Green America a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid up, transferable, sublicensable license to copy, use, modify, display and otherwise exploit his or her entry (including all copyrights, trademarks, design rights, moral rights and all other intellectual property rights embodied in such ideas and submissions) for any and all purposes in any and all formats, including for posting on Green America’s website and for use in Green America’s marketing material. Each Finalist waives any moral rights such Finalist may have in its Nomination. Winners understand and agree that all or part of their Nominations may potentially be posted or published for use, viewing and/or implementation by third parties throughout the world, with or without credit to Winner. That said, it is not the intention of Green America to publish any of the information contained in a Nomination without first attempting to notify the Nominee. Green America expects that Winners will play an active role in media outreach, providing quotes for press releases, local media interviews, social-media outreach, and possible attendance at promotional events planned by Green America. Winners will need to receive prior approval from Green America regarding any description of Green America and its programs, including the People & Planet Awards. Any and all intellectual property of Green America belongs solely to Green America and any agreement to allow award winners to use any intellectual property of Green America is specific to that particular usage and does not grant any agreement on the part of Green America to allow the winner any usage of any of Green America’s intellectual property in the future.

Taxability; Legal Restrictions

Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of Winners, and Winners may be issued an IRS Form 1099 for the value of any awarded prize. Winners may be required to supply a Taxpayer ID Number prior to the award of any prize. The Awards are void outside the United States and where prohibited or restricted by law, and subject to applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws.

Additional Rules

Situations which arise not contemplated by the above Official Rules will be resolved by the judging panel of the Awards and their decision will be final. Green America and the judging panel reserve the right to amend the Official Rules without notice, including in the event situations occur that are not covered by the above Official Rules or to further interpret or clarify the existing Official Rules when necessary.