The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the efforts of federal facilities that took steps to improve efficiency, save resources, and reduce costs as part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). Now in its fifth year, the Challenge is a yearlong commitment under EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program in which participants focus on efficiently managing their resources to reduce the costs of building operations, maintenance, and supplies. Specifically, participants track their data in two of six categories for a year.
“Federal agencies across the country are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact, in doing so saving American taxpayers millions of dollars,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. “Their efforts resulted in an estimated cost savings of $17 million across the federal government.”
Through their involvement, FGC participants reduced the federal government’s environmental impact by reducing fuel oil consumption by more than 500,000 gallons, sending 310 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers, saving 9.2 million gallons of industrial water, and diverting over 336,000 tons of waste from landfills.
EPA has awarded the following participants for their efforts in improving the efficiency of their facilities in FY16. In addition, there are 28 regional winners recognized.
Waste: The Department of Defense, Vermont Army National Guard (Jericho, VT) increased its composting efforts by 2,217% from the previous year, saving nearly $4,000 in tipping fees.
Electronics: The Department of Energy, East Tennessee Technology Park (Oak Ridge, TN) increased its Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered equipment by 1,328% and sent 11.6 tons of used electronics to third-party certified recyclers.
Purchasing: The Department of Veterans Affairs, Minneapolis Health Care System (Minneapolis, MN) decreased its printer and copier paper purchased by 44% from the previous year, saving $125,600.
Energy: The Department of Veterans Affairs, Connecticut Health Care System (West Haven Campus, West Haven, CT) reduced the amount of fuel oil it consumed by 58%, saving $59,456.
Water: The Department of Energy, East Tennessee Technology Park (Oak Ridge, TN) reduced its potable water consumption by almost 94 million gallons, saving $375,412.
Transportation: The Department of Veterans Affairs, The James E. Van Zandt Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Altoona, PA) increased its hybrid vehicle fleet size by 125%.