Audubon Announces 2012 Rachel Carson Award Winners

The National Audubon Society will honor three exceptional women at the organization’s ninth annual Women in Conservation Luncheon at The Plaza Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, May 22. The prestigious award, launched in 2004, recognizes visionary women whose dedication, talent and energy have advanced the environmental education locally and on a global scale.

Previous Rachel Carson Award honorees include Sigourney Weaver, actress and environmental activist, Bette Midler, founder of the New York Restoration Project, Teresa Heinz Kerry, chair of the Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Philanthropies, Majora Carter, founder and executive director of sustainable South Bronx, and Laurie David, producer of “An Inconvenient Truth.”    

This year, Audubon will recognize the following women for their work: 

  • Hunter Lovins: As President of Natural Capitalism Solution, Lovins helps companies, communities and countries implement more sustainable business practices profitably. Lovins has worked in numerous countries, and was recently asked to participate at a conference at the United Nations on reframing the economy. Over her 30 years as a sustainability thought leader, Lovins has written hundreds of articles and 13 books. A founder of the field of Sustainable Management, Lovins has helped create several MBA programs and currently teaches Sustainable Business at Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Washington State, the University of Denver and Bard College. Lovins has won dozens of awards, including the European Sustainability Pioneer award, the Right livelihood Prize (the alternative Nobel), Time Magazine has recognized her as a Millennium Hero for the Planet and Newsweek called her the Green Business Icon.


  • The Rev. Canon Sally Grover Bingham: The Rev. Bingham, an Episcopal priest and Canon for the Environment in the Diocese of California, has been active in the environmental community for 25 years. Founder and president of The Regeneration Project, which is focused on its Interfaith Power & Light campaign, a religious response to global warming, Rev. Bingham has brought widespread recognition to the link between faith and the environment. The Rev. Bingham is a member of the Forum on Children and Nature, and serves on the national board of the Environmental Defense Fund. She was also named one of the top 15 green religious leaders by Grist magazine and the Interfaith Power & Light campaign has received numerous awards. 


  • Janette Sadik-Khan: Sadik-Khan has served as the Commissioner of NYCDOT since 2007. Internationally recognized for her expertise in transportation issues, public policy development and innovative finance, Sadik-Khan has implemented an ambitious program to improve safety, mobility and sustainability throughout New York City, including initiating major rehabilitations of New York’s bridges, roads and sidewalks. Sadik-Khan’s contributions to public service and the field of transportation have been recognized with awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Institute of Architects, the Municipal Arts Society, the National Resources Defense Council and NYU Wagner’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management. 

In addition, a special recognition will acknowledge “Women Greening the City” whose spectacular contributions helped transform and green the physical landscape of New York City’s urban habitat.

 “Audubon's Rachel Carson Award is considered one of the most coveted awards for American women in the environmental and conservation movement and we are exceptionally proud of that,” said Allison Rockefeller, the Founding Chair of the Rachel Carson Award Council. “Women have played an enormous role in environmental and conservation leadership and this award recognizes and celebrates their work, and influences a younger generation of girls and women to do the same.”

Since its inception, Audubon’s Rachel Carson Award has raised more than $1,000,000 to support Audubon’s campaign to protect the Long Island Sound as well as Audubon’s Women in Conservation Program, which educates and engages women in conservation and environmental issues. In addition to honoring the efforts of these influential women, Audubon this year also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, a revolutionary work that shed light on the damage inflicted by the indiscriminate use of pesticides, and whose author, Rachel Carson, is the inspiration for the prestigious award.

The 2012 Rachel Carson Award ceremony will once again be emceed by Anne Thompson, environmental affairs correspondent for NBC News. Speakers at the event will include Audubon’s President & CEO David Yarnold as well as the Founding Chair of the Rachel Carson Awards Council Allison Rockefeller.

The luncheon will take place in the ballroom of The Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street in New York City, and will be catered by Great Performances, whose owner Liz Neumark serves on the Audubon Women in Conservation Council, using organic, locally grown vegetables, herbs and fruits. Reception is at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch at noon. Tickets range from $200 to $2,500 for an individual ticket and $5,000 to $50,000 for a table of 10. For more information, please call 212-979-3039 or email


“To recognize outstanding women leaders in today's conservation movement; to support environmental opportunities for girls and young women; and to educate women on important issues related to conservation and the environment.”

Facebook: Audubon’s Women in Conservation!/AudubonWIC