Innovative Partnership Award

The award for innovative partnerships recognizes organizations working collaboratively on leading edge climate initiatives that are above and beyond business-as-usual. Partnerships that are candidates for recognition should be composed primarily of stakeholder institutions from government, non-profit, academia, and/or the private sector that have collectively established objectives to measurably address greenhouse gas reduction goals and/or adaptation and resilience activities. 

Application and Submission Instructions

  1. Review the general eligibility requirements and the specific evaluation criteria for the Innovative Partnerships category specified below.
  2. Download the 2024 Innovative Partnership Award Application
  3. Complete the application package, save it to your computer. Collect any required or additional supporting information.
  4. Submit application and supporting materials online via the CLA SmarterSelect portal.

PLEASE NOTE: If applying for an award in more than one category, submissions must be made separately for each. An individual may not reapply for this award category in which if they have won in the past two years (e.g., an individual who won in this category in 2019 may not reapply for the same category until the 2022 awards, however, they can apply in another category if meeting the eligibility requirements for that category).

In order to qualify for recognition, applicants must adhere to the following:

  • The partnership must demonstrate that it is:
    • Currently active;
    • Based upon or supported by a legal agreement/arrangement that addresses governance, roles, funding, etc.; and,
    • Publicly described as being driven and/or motivated by an imperative to take climate action.
  •  Partnership activities must primarily be located in the United States, though the primary stakeholders are not necessarily required to be headquartered in the United States.
  • Partnerships must also have:
    • Conducted an assessment of all attributes related to the primary objectives of the partnership (e.g., vulnerability assessment, GHG inventory, energy consumption) in order to establish a baseline;
    • Achieved significant, verifiable results in reducing emissions and/or implementing adaptation and resilience to protect a specific population; and
    • Significant leadership activities and partnership accomplishments must have taken place between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2023.

What is not eligible?

  • Partnerships undertaking an action that falls within the normal scope of business activity/mission of any organization are not eligible.
  • Arrangements between organizations that are based on procurement of services are not eligible (e.g., a government entity contracting an engineering consultant to do adaptation planning work).
  • Partnership/Applicant must not have received an Innovative Partnership award from TCR in the previous three (3) years.

Evaluation criteria:

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following attributes:

  • Activities and outcomes that are deemed to exceed business-as-usual.
  • Degree to which the partnership/project has achieved a critical level of maturity such that its benefits, outcomes, and success can be confidently evaluated.
  •  Innovation, strategic management, and thought leadership in addressing climate change.
  • Partnership achieved significant, measurable, and verifiable results in reducing emissions and/or implementing adaptation and resilience to protect a specific population and maximize community impact.
  • Quality of engagement with partners includes diverse communities including non-profit partners, government organizations, local vulnerable and under-resourced communities, particularly those disproportionately burdened by environmental harm and risks, such as minority, low-income, tribal communities, and communities historically supported by fossil fuels.
  • Quality of collaboration with peers to develop best practices, influence behavior change, establish standards, and engage in public education.
  •  Education and outreach of results to internal and external stakeholders, partners, and suppliers.
  • Partnership and/or outcomes have potential to scale or replicate.