Keep America Beautiful Honors Altria Group and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter with 2011 Vision for America Awards
At a special reception held Oct. 26 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s largest nonprofit community improvement organization, presented both Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Altria Group with its highest honor – the 2011 Vision for America Award. The Vision for America Award is presented annually to distinguished leaders whose personal and corporate commitments have significantly enhanced civic, environmental and social stewardship throughout the United States.
In recognizing Mayor Michael Nutter, KAB specifically noted the Mayor’s Greenworks Philadelphia plan, the city’s annual Philly Spring Cleanup, and Mayor Nutter’s personal commitment to making Philadelphia the greenest city in America.
“Mayor Nutter realizes that especially in a challenging economic climate, greener communities return dividends and savings,” said Matthew McKenna, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Green spaces and parks elevate property values, and of course improved livability draws businesses and creates jobs. Natural landscapes and trees are also the most efficient way to manage stormwater.”
“When I took office, we set out to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America,” said Mayor Nutter. "Today, with more miles of bike lanes than any other city, and with more parks and greenspaces within a short walk of nearly every city resident, we know that we are making progress. I thank Keep Philadelphia Beautiful for its hard work, and Keep America Beautiful for this great honor.”
Keep America Beautiful also honored Altria Group for its leadership in environmental stewardship, philanthropy and volunteerism. Since 2002, KAB’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, with Philip Morris USA’s support, has been implemented in over 1,000 locations and has resulted in an average 46 percent reduction in cigarette litter where it has been implemented. McKenna noted that Altria Group and its predecessor companies have been supporters of KAB since the organization’s founding in 1953.
“I’m honored to accept the Vision for America Award on behalf of the 10,000 employees of Altria Group,” said Paige Magness, director of corporate responsibility at Altria Client Services. “We appreciate KAB’s acknowledgement of our efforts to partner with others to address litter and other important issues facing our business and our communities.”