Chicago magazine is pleased to announce the recipients of its seventh annual Green Awards, honoring local pioneers of smart, new environmental ideas. This year’s honorees are hard cider maker Greg Hall, biofuel innovator Nancy Tuchman, urban farmer Emmanuel Pratt, venture capitalist Amy Francetic, and architect Rand Ekman. The five winners are profiled in the magazine’s April 2013 issue, which hits newsstands Thursday, March 14.
These remarkable Green Award honorees were selected from nominations by readers, community leaders, and Chicago magazine staff. The five honorees will be congratulated at a reception at Perennial Virant on Tuesday, April 2. The Green Awards event will celebrate the local and sustainable movement in Chicago, and Paul Virant, the chef and owner of Perennial Virant and author of The Preservation Kitchen, will speak about the joys of seasonal cooking. The Green City Market will also be on hand with a DIY urban gardening station to show guests how to make their lives a little greener.
ABOUT THE 2013 GREEN AWARD HONOREES
Greg Hall: Before founding Virtue Cider, Greg Hall was a longtime brewmaster at Goose Island Beer Company, which was started by his father. He turned to his new venture after a visit to the renowned cider presses of England and France. Made from heirloom apples grown in Michigan and Illinois, his hard cider is local, sustainable, and practically waste-free, with the spent fruit recycled into animal feed.
Nancy Tuchman: As a biology professor and founding director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago, Nancy Tuchman is putting Loyola on the national map for university-driven innovation. One of the remarkable ideas to come out of her Biodiesel Lab is a fuel converted from the cafeteria’s used cooking oil that is used to power campus shuttle buses.
Emmanuel Pratt: This Chicago State University Professor converted a former shoe factory on the South Side into an aquaponic facility that creates an indoor ecosystem using vegetables, herbs, and fish. Not only is he a pioneer in urban farming, sustainability, and repurposing, he is bringing these green lessons to schools in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit through his Sweet Water Foundation.
Amy Francetic: As a venture capitalist with roots in Silicon Valley, Amy Francetic is not your stereotypical environmentalist. She cofounded the nonprofit Clean Energy Trust in order to connect area inventors with venture capitalists and with manufacturers who can bring their eco-friendly ideas to market. Her goal is to make the Midwest a hub of clean energy innovation.
Rand Ekman: This architect and green evangelist is working to hold architecture firms accountable for the carbon footprint of their designs. In 2009, Ekman convened a group of prominent Chicago architects to develop a tool that assesses a building’s energy efficiency. That tool has now been adopted as an industry standard nationwide to help firms build greener structures.