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Federal Green Challenge

2015 South Central Federal Green Challenge Awards

Recognition is an important part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). Awards were given at the regional level in the categories of Waste, Electronics, Purchasing, Energy, Water, Innovation and Education & Outreach.

In the South Central region, the 2015 award winners are the JJ Pickle & Homer Thornberry Federal Building, El Paso Intelligence Center, Armendariz US Courthouse, Hipolito F. Garcia FOB/US Courthouse and Little Rock US Post Office & Courthouse.

South Central Regional Award Winners

Waste

JJ Pickle & Homer Thornberry Federal Building, General Services Administration (GSA), Austin, TX
JJ Pickle & Homer Thornberry Federal Building increased the amount of municipal solid waste recycled from 27.6 tons in 2013 to 79.2 tons in 2014, resulting in a 187 percent improvement.


Electronics

El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), El Paso, TX
The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) increased the amount of EPEAT equipment from 24 items in 2013 to 111 items in 2014, resulting in a 363 percent improvement.

Along with purchasing EPEAT equipment, EPIC Environmental Stewardship Guidance Directive requires that all computers, monitors, and laptops have Energy Star power management features enabled. This effort has resulted in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and contributed to the $56,689 cost savings of utility usage.


Purchasing

El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), El Paso, TX
The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) reduced the amount of paper purchased from 10,000 lbs in 2013 to 1,600 lbs in 2014, resulting in an 84 percent improvement. These results are due to the implementation of double-sided printing as a default on eligible computers, printers, copiers, and multifunction devices. This action saved trees, reduced pollution, reduced transportation costs, and reduced fuel consumption associated with the process of paper production.


Energy

Armendariz US Courthouse, General Services Administration (GSA), El Paso, TX
The Armendariz US Courthouse decreased the amount of electricity used from 4,308,890 kWhs in 2013 to 1,111,200 in 2014, resulting in a 74 percent improvement.


Education & Outreach

El Paso Intelligence Center, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), El Paso, TX
The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) EMS Team was established in 2007 to support the DEA objectives for protecting the environment, and is located on the Fort Bliss Military Installation. Meeting EO 13423 and 13514, and complying with state and military installation environmental regulations are actions that the team strives for in their performance. With improvements to building performance, employee education, and behavior changes, utility usage at EPIC has been reduced by $56,689 from 2012, contributing significantly to the Fort Bliss Net Zero approach to reduce energy, water, and waste on the Army installation.

EPIC's successful recycling program has shown continuous improvement from 2008 by recycling over 175,000 lbs of comingled products. In 2014 EPIC recycled 19,650 lbs of comingled products, 3,800 lbs of cardboard, 230 used toner cartridges, 120 lbs of batteries, 62 wooden pallets, and 15 gallons of paint. Recycling these items saved over 1,500 trees and tons of air and water emissions from polluting the Ft Bliss and El Paso communities. In 2014 EPIC processed over 225 pieces of equipment totaling over 6,700 lbs.


Innovation

JJ Pickle & Homer Thornberry Federal Building, General Services Administration (GSA), Austin, TX
In order to save money on energy and water consumption, the JJ Pickle & Homer Thornberry Federal building initiated operational savings and retrofitted savings techniques. To reduce energy consumption, plug load management techniques were used, as well as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) scheduling and lighting controls were utilized. The retrofit techniques used included plug load management. The building tied lighting controls and HVAC scheduling to the Building Automation System and reduced the hours of operation to reduce energy consumption. By utilizing sleep mode on computers, the building completed plug load management, and some areas had timed automatic forced shut down of computers. The savings from the lighting controls and HVAC upgrades paid for themselves in less than a year, and plug load management savings in less than two years.

Retrofits on the domestic fixtures and changes to the irrigation system were performed to improve water consumption. The building's landscape utilizes xeriscape techniques. The faucet retrofits saved $1,076 annually, the showerhead retrofits saved $399 annually, and the toilet and urinal retrofits saved $1,872 annually. The xeriscaping and irrigation change saved $536 annually.

Little Rock US Post Office & Courthouse, General Services Administration (GSA), Little Rock, AR
According to Executive Order 13514, all Executive Branch agencies are responsible for diverting 50 percent of their non-hazardous waste by 2015. The General Services Administration's (GSA) properties are occupied by theby the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches. GSA put Diversion language into the custodial contract language to abide by this order and to allow our tenants to participate and also meet this order.

One issue that each federal agency has is personal government property (desk, chairs, etc). GSA has a great program, GSAXcess and GSA Auctions to assist all federal agencies with property disposal. However, personal property is sometimes abandoned by tenants in basements, hallways, or empty office space, or property is broken/unusable. GSA Region 7 Waste Diversion Coordinator developed a program in 2014 to properly divert this abandoned and broken property, UNICOR Day.

The first annual UNICOR day happened on 24 June 2014 at the Little Rock Federal Building. This collaboration was with: GSA, UNICOR, Goodwill Industries, and all federal agencies in the state of Arkansas. This event allowed all federal agencies in Arkansas to divert 30,000 pounds of abandon or broken property properly.


Water

Hipolito F. Garcia FOB/US Courthouse, General Services Administration (GSA), San Antonio, TX
The Hipolito F. Garcia FOB/US Courthouse decreased the use of potable water from 9,724 gallons in 2013 to 5,984 gallons in 2014, resulting in a 38 percent improvement.


 

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