Global Green USA celebrated its 15th Annual Millennium Awards at a star-studded fundraising gala at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, California on Saturday, June 4, 2011. More than 350 guests enjoyed the reception and dinner program that included a featured musical performance by Rocky Dawuni.

Celebrity guests and presenters including Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, Adrian Grenier, Armyan Bernstein, Sharon Lawrence and more also had the opportunity to check out a new ECOtality Commercial Electric car charger with network support by Sprint along with the new ecofriendly Samsung Replenish phone. Sprint was the featured VIP Reception sponsor for the event and highlighted their longtime commitment to sustainability during the cocktail reception.

“We are so excited to celebrate the impressive achievements of our 2011 Millennium Awards Honorees,” said Global Green President and CEO Matt Petersen. “Its particularly auspicious to celebrate these leaders as World Environment Day approaches and we mark the one year countdown to the Rio Earth Summit in 2012 when our global leaders will gather to make commitments to make our world more sustainable. Global Green will be marshaling its supporters to call for local and community based approaches to solving climate change including creating greener cities, schools and affordable housing for families.”

Global Green’s Millennium Awards were established to recognize and herald those whose lives and livelihood embody its mission of “fostering a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure world.” The Awards were designed to honor individuals and organizations who recognize the important connection between humankind and nature, to celebrate their success and inspire others to make such exceptional behavior the norm. They are presented annually in Los Angeles.

Saturday’s honorees and their environmental leadership achievements include:

*Mark Ruffalo, Actor and Activist – Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award

This honor recognizes Mark’s deep commitment to the environment, demonstrated through his visible dedication to the campaign to ban hydrofracking. By becoming an educated advocate and an outspoken activist on behalf of this issue and appearing before Congress, supporting the documentary GASLAND and leveraging the power of the media, he has brought national attention to an issue that threatens both the environment and public health. Mark has further personalized his crusade by starting his own foundation, Water Defense, to educate the public about the threats posed to our supply of drinking water and provide information and tools that will inspire action. By using his platform as a celebrated actor to raise awareness and hold the energy industry accountable, Mark is raising the bar for his peers in the entertainment industry and beyond.

  • Ed Begley Jr., Environmental Activist – Individual Environmental Leadership Award

    This honor recognizes Ed’s lifelong commitment to “walking the talk” of sustainability and inspiring so many activists in the Hollywood, environmental, political and business communities to follow his great example. Ed’s leadership by quiet example has helped pave the way for countless environmental celebrities and activists to follow in his footsteps and benefit from his counsel. Ed’s tireless commitment toward creating a more sustainable world is inspirational. From powering his home with 100% wind and solar to taking his bicycle to nearly every environmental event in Los Angeles to humbly utilizing his celebrity to advocate for greener policies, corporate practices and individual action, Ed is a true environmental hero and leader.
  • Wendy Schmidt, President, The Schmidt Family Foundation – Community Environmental Leadership Award
In recognition of Wendy’s unwavering dedication and work to continue to transform the world’s environmental and energy practices in the 21st century through the Schmidt Family Foundation including the 11th Hour Project, Climate Central and ReMain Nantucket. Additionally, the recent launch of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Prize Challenge is inspiring entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists all over the world to develop innovative, rapidly deployable and highly efficient methods of cleaning up the worst environmental disaster in US history.
  • LA Business Council – Mary Leslie and Brad Cox accepting – California Environmental Leadership

    This honor recognizes the extraordinary leadership of the Los Angeles Business Council to lead a campaign to establish a 600 MW solar feed in tariff for the City of LA, to aggressively oppose the Dirty Energy Prop 23 initiative; host an annual Sustainability Summit, create a report on multifamily rooftop solar and social equity in LA to create and retain jobs and reduce owner and tenant utility costs; and to lead business advocacy for instrumental support of the adoption of LA’s green building program.

Global Green USA’s Millennium Awards were made possible by numerous sponsors and in-kind contributors including 360 Vodka, a national sponsor of Global Green’s events and LA Car Guy that donated all of the green vehicle celebrity transportation. Guests also got to check out the new CODA, the all-electric car from the all-electric car company. During the event attendees had the opportunity to win a chance to win a free 5 Night stay at the ecofriendly Luxury Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo generously donated by the hotel.

Global Green USA – the American arm of Mikhail Gorbachev's Green Cross International – was founded in 1994, and is a national leader in advocating for smart solutions to climate change that benefit humanity by saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions, improving health, creating green jobs, and securing a more sustainable future. For more than 18 years, Global Green has greened nearly $20 billion in new school and affordable housing construction; authored multiple state and national laws and policies on green building, climate change and energy-efficiency; and responded to environmental disasters from hurricanes, to chemical weapons dumping, to sea level rise and the melting of the poles. Global Green is the only national environmental group headquartered in Southern California and has offices in New Orleans and Washington, DC.

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