Pacific Institute Researchers Win Business Group Award

Posted: February 26, 2003

Jason Morrison, Andrea Sumits Win Environmental Leadership Award from PIBA

FOSTER CITY, CALIFORNIA — With a growing population and a shrinking pool of natural resources, California is faced with a quandary: How can the state manage its resources, protect the environment, and ensure equitable development? Jason Morrison and Andrea Sumits, two researchers working on environmental sustainability issues, were given the Silicon Valley Environmental Leadership Award today for a report they authored that points the way to a more sustainable future.

“We hope this award will help bring more attention to both the pressing environmental problems that California faces – and the many creative environmental solutions that can help us protect the environment and public health without harming the economy,” said Jason Morrison, Director of the Pacific Institute’s Economic Globalization and the Environment program and co-author of the report.

“In the face of such daunting challenges, the good news is that there are models, such as New Zealand’s, from which we can learn how to better integrate our social, environmental, and economic goals and policies,” added Andrea Sumits, an attorney with Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. and co-author of the report. “This report shows that innovative approaches to environmental protection can benefit all stakeholder groups – government, business, and the environmental community – and encourage a more effective, efficient, and cooperative means of protecting the environment.”

The report, “Creating a Framework for Sustainability in California: Lessons Learned from the New Zealand Experience,” details New Zealand’s attempt to integrate environmental protection and resource management with a “goals-based” policy framework, and sets out the lessons California can learn from New Zealand’s experience. The report is available online without charge at:

In addition to their New Zealand research, the award recognizes the husband-and-wife team of Morrison and Sumits for a variety of other professional contributions to the environmental and business community in the Silicon Valley region. Both have worked extensively to promote multi-stakeholder approaches to policy innovation, such as the use of environmental management systems to improve environmental performance. The Silicon Valley Environmental Leadership Award is awarded annually by the Pacific Industrial and Business Association (PIBA).

PIBA began giving out this award six years ago to “feature those within the Greater Bay Area who have contributed to the growth and excellence of environmental, health and safety, and sustainability practices,” said PIBA President Edward Quevedo. “We are very excited to recognize Jason Morrison’s and Andrea Sumits’ work,” said Kathleen D. Podrasky, Executive Director of PIBA. “Innovative approaches, like those detailed in the report, can create a win-win-win for businesses, the environment and public health.”


The award was presented on Wed, 2/26/03 at 12:30pm, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Foster City, 1221 Chess Drive in the Marco Polo Room. The authors and PIBA officers will be available for interview. If interested, contact PIBA at (650) 965-2436 or by e-mail: piba @