Honoring Environmental Champions

Our Annual Green Tie Awards

Each year, we host our annual Green Tie Awards to honor environmental champions who have stepped up and spoken out on our issues at the General Assembly and in the public. This is the event to be at every year, right at the intersection of the environment and politics!

green tie
Green Tie

Green Tie Award Distinctions


Rising Stars

New voices at the General Assembly that North Carolina citizens can count on to ensure the environment is a priority, particularly when there are difficult decisions and conflicting interests. These legislators make the environment one of the issues they champion as they move into leadership positions.

Representative & Senator of the Year

There are not enough environmental champions in our legislature currently to create a pro-conservation agenda, but we are working towards that goal. This Green Tie award acknowledges the few legislators who step up to the plate consistently. They sponsor and pass sound environmental legislation, are proactive on environmental issues, and have a notable environmental record. They are a reliable voice for issues impacting our natural resources, work effectively with the environmental community, and make protecting the environment a priority when making hard decisions.


Defender of the Environment

Understanding that legislators have many different constituencies, this award recognizes those legislators who not only are a strong and consistent voice for the environment, but who are willing to take a stand against bad environmental legislation and the well-heeled pollution lobby, or defend communities against environmental degradation. Their dedication is remarkable–often in the in the face strong opposition. They are committed to doing what’s right regardless of political ramifications.


The Catalyst Award is presented to someone who has taken exceptional action to create change and/or to bring attention to an important environmental or democracy issue. The award recognizes someone with a long history and/or strong commitment to serving the public, protecting environmental quality, standing up for North Carolinians, or defending our democracy. (Not an annual award.)


“The Joe” Award

In honor of former House Speaker Joe Hackney who defined the term “Environmental Champion,” NCLCV awards “The Joe” to legislative champions who have or will be leaving the NC General Assembly.

Jane Sharp Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the environmental movement. This individual will have had a “lifetime” of environmental achievements. Their body of work is extensive and pervasive throughout the environmental community–many times with long-range effects and benefits. They prioritize their commitment to protecting North Carolina’s natural resources, the health of our communities, and our future…often in the face of well resourced opposition and political pressure. This is NCLCV’s highest award and not awarded annually.


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