In August 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized federal facilities for conserving resources and saving taxpayers’ money as part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). The challenge is a national effort under the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, which encourages federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the federal government’s environmental impact.
“EPA is recognizing facilities across the federal government for their leadership in improving waste management, conserving water, and other important efforts to improve environmental outcomes,”said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Their accomplishments not only reduce the federal government’s impact on the environment but also save taxpayers millions of dollars.”
The 2019 Federal Green Challenge awards recognize the achievements of participating facilities in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. In FY18, 334 federal facilities took steps to improve efficiency, save resources and reduce costs as part of the Challenge. Participants saved approximately $37 million across natural gas, fuel oil, paper purchasing, water and municipal solid waste (MSW) categories.
In FY18, Federal Green Challenge participants reduced their environmental impact throughout the waste stream process, including:
- Sending more than 235 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers.
- Reducing transportation costs by nearly $23 million.
- Using approximately 536 million fewer gallons of potable water.
- Decreasing paper purchasing by nearly 2,800 pounds.
- Diverting an estimated 675,000 tons of waste from landfills.
EPA is recognizing the following top performers with national Federal Green Challenge awards for their significant efforts in improving the efficiency of their facilities in FY18:
Improvement by Target Area – Highest Increased Percentage Over Previous Year
- The Drug Enforcement Agency, Southeast Laboratory (Miami, Florida) recycled 4.11 tons of material.
- Department of Energy, East Tennessee Technology Park (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) recycled 16.2 tons of electronic equipment with a third-party recycler.
- The Drug Enforcement Agency, Southeast Laboratory (Miami, Florida) purchased 27 units of Gold level EPEAT certified registered equipment and enabled power management monitoring on 98% of the units.
- The Drug Enforcement Agency, Southeast Laboratory (Miami, Florida) reduced printer and copier paper purchased by 700 pounds.
- Department of Veterans Affairs, Manchester Medical Center (Manchester, New Hampshire) created an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing and Pollution Prevention Policy.
- Department of Veterans Affairs, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Decatur, Georgia) reduced its water consumption by 1,000,000 gallons.
- Department of Veterans Affairs, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Decatur, Georgia) incorporated 356 electric, hybrid and alternate fuel vehicles into their operations and implemented an employee ride share program, saving employees over $964,000 and reducing carbon emissions by more than 2,308,000 pounds.
- Department of Energy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, California) increased sustainable electric vehicle charging infrastructure for its growing fleet of electric vehicles.
For more information on the Federal Green Challenge, these 2019 national winners, and 2019 regional winners, visit https://www.epa.gov/fgc/federal-green-challenge-awards. See the 2018 (for FY17) winners at this link.