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Greening of the Government
It's been a year since President Barack Obama issued the executive order requiring agencies to reduce the amount of energy they use. Over the past 12 months, agencies have been putting the infrastructure in place to begin to tackle these goals. So, just how much of a difference are these mandates making? Is it lip service or real change? Federal News Radio analyzes the impact the programs and policies are having in making the government more green in our series Greening of the Government.
White House hands out awards for green efforts
Thursday - 10/7/2010, 7:03pm EDT
Federal News Radio
Anna Jones-Crabtree led an interagency greening effort at the Agriculture Department's Forest Service that saved more than $10 million.
Jones-Crabtree works in the Rocky Mountain region and helped improve the sustainability of the Forest Service's facilities and fleet through its purchasing and waste processes.
She is one of eight winners of the 2010 GreenGov Presidential awards for exceptional efforts in promoting sustainable operations at their agencies. Jones-Crabtree earned the Sustainability Hero Award.
"President Obama asked the federal government to lead by example when it comes to building a sustainable future focused on clean and renewable energy," said Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality in a release announcing the winners. "These winning entries, representing seven federal agencies, are clearly leading by example in their innovative use of environmentally responsible products and technologies."
The individual and agency winners were honored Thursday at the White House
At the Forest Service, Jones-Crabtree's projects have saved 964 billion BTUs, reduced fleet miles-driven by approximately 720,000 miles, increased annual biodiesel and E-85 use by 12,800 gallons and 90,800 gallons, respectively, and saved more than 970 million gallons of water.
The White House received more than 300 nominations for the awards from across government.
The other winners include:
- Good Neighbor Award: Nutrition and Food Services Team, Department of Veterans Affairs, Martinsburg, W.Va.
VA's Martinsburg Medical Center's Nutrition and Food Services' Green Kitchen brought together local farmers, VA staff and veterans to bring healthy, locally grown foods from veteran-owned farming businesses to the cafeteria. This initiative decreased landfill food waste by 86 percent, contributed 265 pounds of weekly food donations to a non-profit veteran's transitional housing group and increased collection of food waste for composting. In addition, the project's efficient kitchen equipment and operations improved energy and water conservation.
- Building the Future Award: Ft. Belvoir Residential Communities Team, Department of Defense, Ft. Belvoir, Va.
Under the Army's Residential Communities Initiative, the Army and Ft. Belvoir Residential Communities LLC formed a 50-year public-private partnership to develop, rehabilitate and construct 2,106 homes on 576 acres at Fort Belvoir. The project includes a mixed-use town center that features solar panels, a salvaged playground and a storm water management system that captures and treats 90 percent of annual runoff from rainfall.
- Green Dream Team Award: Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health Team, Department of Health and Human Services Research Triangle Park, N.C.; Atlanta and Washington.
The Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health, formed in 2009, is an interdisciplinary team of experts that focuses on the impacts of climate change on the health of our nation's people and communities. The Working Group's report, A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change provides a baseline assessment of the current state of knowledge of the health impacts of climate change and informs projections of future impacts.
- Green Innovation Award: Sandia National Laboratories, Department of Energy, Albuquerque, N.M.
The Sandia National Laboratories Global Electric Motorcars team has developed a solar-powered vehicle to promote an energy-efficient campus. Employees now use 350 solar-powered Global Electric Motorcars carts as the primary means of campus transportation, avoiding a projected 184,800 pounds of carbon dioxide and 700 pounds of sulfur dioxide annually.
- Green Innovation Award: Barbara Lippiatt, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce, Gaithersburg, Md.
Barbara Lippiatt developed the Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) Program. This software tool measures the environmental performance of building materials and bio-based products using a life-cycle assessment from manufacturing through product use, maintenance, and disposal. Her work resulted in a tool for sustainability performance measurement that is unbiased, science-based, quantitative, transparent, and comprehensive.
- Lean, Clean and Green Award: Idaho National Laboratory Team, Department of Energy, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
The Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory has implemented sustainable transportation programs and practices including streamlining its fleet of 115 buses and using alternative fuels. Overall, this initiative has decreased petroleum fuel consumption by 21 percent and increased alternative fuel use by 56 percent. Plans are also in the works to convert 75 percent of its light duty fleet to alternative-fueled vehicles and hybrids.
- Lean, Clean and Green Award: National Archives Energy Team, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md. The National Archives and Records Administration has implemented sustainable infrastructure and operational changes at its Building II, located in Maryland. This project is estimated to reduce annual energy use by 24 billion BTUs, save more than $400,000 in taxpayer money and eliminate 2,000 tons of carbon emissions.
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