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Missouri American Water Wins Third in Green Business Challenge
Missouri Ag Connection - 12/10/2019

The Green Business Challenge team at Missouri American Water is celebrating a prestigious distinction.

St. Louis Green Business Challenge organizers recognized Missouri American Water's work in environmental sustainability by honoring the company with an Award of Merit for third place in the Challenge's Champion level. Since the Challenge launched in 2010, 233 companies, non-profits and municipalities have joined the Challenge.

"Missouri American Water has been a longtime Challenge participant, but this year they really stepped up their game with new and innovative environmental stewardship programs," said Jean Ponzi, Green Resources Manager for the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden, which runs the St. Louis Green Business Challenge. "It is terrific to see large companies like Missouri American take the lead and set an example for other companies to follow when it comes to sustainability."

As a steward of precious natural resources like the Missouri and Meramec Rivers, which provide the source of drinking water to customers in the St. Louis region, Missouri American Water is committed to environmental sustainability through internal and community actions.

"Because we work with these rivers every day, we maintain a special responsibility for river and watershed stewardship," said Hannah Korte-Runge, a senior water quality and environmental compliance specialist for Missouri American Water, and the company's Green Business Challenge leader. "This is reflected in the events and scorecard tasks we chose to make a priority this year in the Green Business Challenge. Slowly but surely, we are all making a difference."

Some highlights of Missouri American Water's environmental efforts are listed below:

Employee electronics recycling event -- In partnership with Midwest Recycle Center (MRC), and as a member of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, the company encouraged employees to bring in household and personal electronics to be recycled. In total, more than 2,000 lbs. of material was recycled, keeping it out of landfills and cobweb-filled basements. Items collected included cell phones and digital cameras, computer towers, monitors and laptops, and one water heater.

Missouri River Clean-Ups -- The company has partnered with Missouri River Relief, The Open Space Council, Great Rivers Greenway and others for more than a decade to sponsor and actively participate in river clean-up events in St. Joseph, Parkville, Brunswick, Jefferson City, Fenton, St. Charles and St. Louis County.

Missouri River Relief boat motor -- Missouri American Water provided a $10,000 donation to Missouri River Relief (MRR) to cover the remaining costs of a motor for their new 28-foot boat, named Lucia, which had been constructed especially for the group's work on the river.

Customer outreach-- Missouri American Water takes efforts each year to educate customers about important environmental issues, like water conservation, preventing plumbing leaks, and how to dispose of prescription medications. The company utilizes awareness holidays, such as "Imagine a Day Without Water" and "National Fix a Leak Week," to reach customers and educate them on key initiatives.

Use of iNaturalist app -- Employees of Missouri American Water, after education by Green Business Challenge leadership, have begun using the iNaturalist app to document plant and animal species at our various water treatment plants, which frequently are located along rivers with considerable biodiversity. In one instance, an employee documented a species of spider at a treatment plant found only one other time in Missouri. Missouri American Water

Missouri American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.5 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to more than 14 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing.

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