Environmental Media Association Announces Honorees For 2009 Awards

The Environmental Media Association (EMA) today announced the honorees for the 2009 Environmental Media Association Awards. Since their inception in 1991, the awards have evolved into a prestigious event, honoring individuals and organizations, as well as films, television productions and their creative teams that increase public awareness of environmental issues. Industrialist and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, renowned non-profit National Geographic Society, Centropolis Entertainment and musician Jason Mraz will be honored at the annual EMA Awards reception on Sunday, October 25, 2009. The event will also celebrate EMA’s 20th Anniversary as an organization and will be held at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. The awards’ presenting sponsors are Toyota and Lexus.

“Although environmental consciousness weighs prevalently in our society, this year’s honorees have gone above and beyond to protect the planet and make sustainability a priority,” said EMA President Debbie Levin. “We hold the actions of Sir Richard, the National Geographic Society, Jason and Centropolis Entertainment in the highest regard.”

“Toyota is proud of our long standing partnership with the Environmental Media Association,” said Dian Ogilvie, Senior Vice President of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. “As EMA celebrates their twentieth anniversary, we congratulate the award honorees and nominees and look forward to many more years of environmental education and inspiration.”

Sir Richard Branson is best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies, which has expanded beyond the record label into successful airline, travel, financial services, mobile, and health and wellness companies. He is devoted to environmental causes and, in 2006, pledged to invest 100% of any proceeds from Virgin’s airline and train companies into developing clean fuels, renewable energy and environmental technologies. Additionally, his ‘Virgin Earth Challenge’ will reward $25 million to the first person or organization to come up with a method of removing greenhouse gasses from the Earth’s atmosphere. Sir Richard Branson is the epitome of green entrepreneur.

The National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world— funding research and expedition, implementing and funding land conservation and increasing education to better geographic literacy. The society has supported more than 8,300 projects and expeditions since 1890 and has given out over $170 million in grants. Their Education Foundation awards grants which support teacher training and outreach. They also work with Congress in crafting policies that support geography in the classroom. The society is endlessly devoted to promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural history and natural resources.

Centropolis Entertainment – the production company of director Roland Emmerich and producer Michael Wimer – is committed to raising global warming awareness. “The Day After Tomorrow” was the first carbon neutral motion picture in Hollywood history. Subsequent films, including “10,000 B.C.” and “2012,” are made under rigorous conditions with respect to environmental impact, green practices and minimal carbon impact. Wimer was instrumental in putting together The Green Inaugural Ball, the largest gathering of environmental groups at Barack Obama’s Inauguration.

Jason Mraz, the successful singer-songwriter, achieved platinum success with albums “Mr. A-Z” and “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.” His multiplatinum hit, “I’m Yours,” recently broke the Billboard Hot 100 record for the longest charting single in history. In addition to his music success, Mraz has committed to green touring and supporting environmental causes. He co-founded Blend Apparel, a line of bamboo t-shirts, and published his first book “A Thousand Things” on a paper that is 20% recycled and entirely wood-free.

This year’s sponsors include Bonterra Vineyards, Earthbound Farm, Kellogg Garden Products, Mike Sullivan’s LAcarGUY Family of Dealers, Pure Power Distribution, Silk, Southern California Edison, Tetra Pak, Tiffany & Co. and Yes to Carrots with additional support from The Patron Spirits Co., Ultimat Vodka and VeeV Acai Spirit.
The October 25 event will also showcase the film and television programs that have carried a positive, environmentally friendly message in the past season. A full list of EMA Award
Nominees is available at www.ema-online.org

The Environmental Media Association (EMA) is a Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization founded in 1989 by Cindy and Alan Horn and Lyn and Norman Lear. EMA is dedicated to harnessing the power of celebrity and the media to promote sustainable lifestyles and believes through positive role modeling the entertainment community can inspire consumers to take action. The organization has grown into a diverse group of industry professionals from film, television and music dedicated to the mission of promoting environmental awareness through the entertainment business and the media. EMA serves as a valuable link between the entertainment industry and the environmental community. www.ema-online.org

Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, with another under construction in Mississippi. Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Through its corporate initiatives, manufacturing operations and philanthropy, Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. In 2007, Toyota contributed more than $56 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota’s commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/community.

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