Honeywell Receives Audubon New York's Highest Award for Conserving and Restoring Natural Ecosystems; Company's Progress at Restoring Environmental Sites Exceptional


Audubon New York presented Honeywell with the 2015 Thomas W. Keesee Jr. Conservation Award for its leadership “in one of the most ambitious environmental reclamation projects in the United States” for the cleanup and restoration of Onondaga Lake in Central New York. Kate Adams, Honeywell Senior Vice President and General Counsel, accepted the award at Audubon New York’s fall benefit in New York City on November 4.

“Honeywell made a corporate commitment to the ecosystem of Central New York with the restoration of Onondaga Lake, a vital natural resource and Audubon Important Bird Area. Thanks to ongoing restoration, and with the completion of dredging a year early, birds and other wildlife are once again thriving along its shores and watershed,” said Audubon New York Executive Director, Erin Crotty, who is a former New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner.

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Presented annually, the Keesee award honors those in New York State who have shown remarkable leadership and commitment to Audubon’s mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

“Honeywell is honored to accept the Thomas W. Keesee Jr. Conservation Award from one of the nation’s leading conservation organizations on behalf of our partners and all of Central New York,” said Adams. “The rebirth of Onondaga Lake, one of Central New York’s most valuable resources, is driven by the vision and spirit of the community and an incredible team of scientists, engineers, individuals, and conservation groups, including Audubon. Water quality is the best it has been in 100 years, and there is a renewed community enthusiasm to use and enjoy the lake.”

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The Onondaga Lake cleanup, the largest of Honeywell’s environmental legacies, is the result of more than two decades and millions of hours of intensive effort under the supervision of state and federal regulatory agencies, and in cooperation with local elected officials and the community.

About a dozen years ago, Honeywell’s new CEO Dave Cote, assembled a unique, cross functional team to address the company’s environmental legacies, seek sustainable remedies, engage with communities, and return properties to the public as valuable resources.  Under the management of Kate Adams, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and Evan van Hook, Vice President for Health, Environment, Safety, Product Stewardship, and Sustainability (both with extensive public and private environmental experience), the interdisciplinary team has achieved tremendous progress.

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In addition to Onondaga Lake, numerous other environmental sites are being returned to the public as viable recreational, commercial, open space, and educational sites. For local communities, this can mean new jobs, new parks, and enhanced uses. 

Harbor Point in Baltimore, MD, where a former manufacturing plant once stood, has become a national model of successful brownfield redevelopment with the building of Morgan Stanley’s Baltimore headquarters in 2010, and the ongoing construction of Exelon’s Constellation business unit, scheduled to be finished in 2016.

In Jersey City, NJ, another former manufacturing site has been approved for a transit-oriented development with new housing, office and retail uses, waterfront access, and more than 20 acres of open space.

In Buffalo, NY, a unique public / private / nonprofit partnership has completed the environmental dredging and habitat restoration of the Buffalo River. The excitement surrounding the river is spilling over to development along the corridor including our former site that is now a railroad transit museum.

A former tar plant is now a public park in Chicago, IL; a shopping center occupies a former manufacturing site in El Segundo, CA; and a residential development exists over a former chemical manufacturing complex near Heathrow Airport in West Drayton, UK.

At all these sites, Honeywell has used world class science, design, and engineering to protect human health and the environment while engaging in sustainable programming, and impactful and measurable community engagement.

For more information on Honeywell’s global corporate citizenship and STEM, visit Honeywell Hometown Solutions.