Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

The Climate Champions Program

The Climate Champions program recognizes local entities that are leading on climate action. Our aim is to celebrate local leadership and inspire action from individuals, government, schools, businesses, and nonprofits across Dane County. Entities can submit for recognition in one or more of nine different categories and be recognized by the Office of Energy and Climate Change as Climate Champions. Entities are recognized using four designation levels (1-4 stars), depending on the sustainability practices that they implemented. All awardees are granted public recognition, including signage for their businesses. Entities receiving three or four stars receive a plaque.

The Climate Champions application window opens annually in the summer and closes in November. Awards are announced publically in December. Recognition is based on an organization's performance over a recent twelve month period of its choosing.

Past award guidelines can be found hereSubscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the Climate Champions program.

Recognition Matters

More than 75% of Dane County residents recognize that climate change is real. Residents understand that when we reduce emissions we create a stronger, more prosperous Dane County.  More than that, they want to see action from government, businesses, and their neighbors.

And action is all around us. Local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations are all doing important work to reduce emissions. Our Office of Energy & Climate Change is delighted to celebrate leadership across Dane County. That’s why we created the Climate Champions program.



Climate Champion recognition categories



2021 Climate Champions

Congratulations to the 2021 Climate Champions! This year the Office of Energy and Climate Change recognized thirty organizations as Climate Champions, with 48 awards issued across nine categories. This includes:

  • 10 Catalyst awards
  • 10 awards in the "Other" category
  • 9 Energy Use awards
  • 5 Water Conservation awards
  • 4 GHG Emission awards
  • 4 Employee Commuting awards
  • 3 Fleet Operations awards
  • 3 Waste Diversion awards

Of those receiving Climate Champion status, 30% are schools or government organizations, 53% are businesses, and 16% are churches or community-based nonprofits. Read more about the 2021 Climate Champions from the press release and take a look at the Climate Champion map, which features all of the past and present Climate Champions with details about their accomplishments. 

Map of climate champions


2020 Climate Champions

We first recognized Climate Champions in 2020. Learn more about the 2020 Climate Champions here. The 2020 Climate Champions are also featured on the Climate Champions map.


Individuals as Climate Champions

Individual households are taking action on climate too. People are installing solar, electrifying their homes and vehicles, etc.  If you are leading on climate action, you can get a Climate Champions decal for your efforts. Just fill out this form. Although we publish lists of the local governments and businesses that achieve Climate Champion status, we do not publish individuals who achieve Climate Champion status.  

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