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Federal Green Challenge

South Central Federal Green Challenge Awards

Click for a Larger Image and Text Version of 2012 Pacific Southwest Results

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

In the South Central region, the 2013 award winners are the Texas Army National Guard; Office of the U.S. Trustee, Dallas; General Services Administration, Centre Phase 5 and A. Maceo Smith Federal Buildings; Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Dallas and the United States Postal Service in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In fiscal year 2012, Federal Green Challenge participants in the
South Central region collectively made environmental improvements as
indicated in this graphic. [See a larger graphic and plain text

South Central Regional Award Winners

Waste

Winner: Department of Defense, Texas Army National Guard (an installation of the Texas Military Forces), Austin, TX
The Texas Army National Guard increased the amount of municipal solid waste donated from 0.5 tons in 2011 to 1 ton in 2012, resulting in a 100% improvement. The Texas Military Forces (TXMF) Qualified Recycling Program (QRP) was officially started in 2006. A QRP is a special kind of recycling program established by an installation in accordance with specific statutory, regulatory, and Department of Defense (DoD) requirements to collect and sell directly qualified or authorized recyclable scrap materials and retain the sales proceeds for use as prescribed in law and regulations. Initially, the recycling program began without a dedicated recycling facility and was limited to cardboard, metal, used oil, and batteries. Individual facilities throughout the state recycled paper, aluminum cans and cardboard on their own initiative. The TXMF official recycling facility was opened in June 2012 at the TXMF headquarters on Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. With the added benefit of the new central recycling location, the recycling team and members of the TXMF have already recycled 1007 tons of materials within the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. The TXMF has expanded their recycling capabilities to include baled paper, baled cardboard, ink toner and cartridges, batteries, plastic bottles, electric cables, scrap metal, telephone books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, aluminum cans, light bulbs, ballasts, construction debris, and used oil.


Energy

General Services Administration, Centre Phase 5 Federal Building, Farmers Branch, TX
The Centre Phase 5 Federal Building decreased their energy usage from 5,068,181 kWhs in 2011 to 3,975,950 kWhs in 2012, resulting in a 22% improvement. The Centre Phase 5 Federal Building has been the object of an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) under the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which greatly improved its energy efficiency. The ESPC was obtained from the Department of Energy and was championed by Mark Trimarchi, GSA Regional Energy Engineer. Under this contract, the building has received installations of solar energy systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, lighting occupancy sensors and a new building automation system. In addition, good management of the building, careful attention to operations and the creation of a tenant led Green Team has also benefitted the facility.


Transportation

Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Dallas, TX
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Dallas decreased the mileage traveled per employee from 11.3 miles in 2011 to 9 miles in 2012, resulting in a 20% improvement. Motor vehicles account for almost half the toxic air pollution in the United States. In 2011, the Dallas Regional OSHA office decided that it was time to pitch in for the environment. They proposed to reduce employee commuter mileage by 10%. Dallas Administrator John Hermanson led the way, riding the metro rail alongside other DOL employees. Some employees took advantage of teleworking. In one year, the office reduced its one way commuter mileage by 18%. At total of 14,000 miles were saved. That accounts for 700 gallons of gasoline! It goes to show that a little bit of effort can make a big difference.


Related Information

Purchasing

Winner: Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee, Dallas, TX
The Office of the U.S. Trustee in Dallas reduced the amount of paper purchased from 1,621 lbs in 2011 to 1,210 lbs in 2012, resulting in a 25% improvement. They decided to motivate their office by taking a financial approach and “saving green by being green”. They encouraged staff to attend meetings by phone or the VTC instead of traveling by car and to use public transportation. Since paper is one of their largest purchasing expenses, they set all of their default printers to print on both sides of the paper and encouraged using dual screens and printing to screen instead of paper. They made several changes to internal office procedures such as saving documents electronically to their server instead of printing them out and routing them to paper files and increased computer training to help staff take advantage of paperless opportunities. These changes in procedures not only saved 411 lbs of paper (25%) in 2012, but made documents readily accessible and eliminated the time needed to file paper copies. They saved money on purchasing paper, saved time by making the process more efficient, and reduced their impact on the environment!


Water

General Services Administration, A. Maceo Smith Federal Building, Dallas, TX
The A. Maceo Federal Building was able to reduce their use of potable water from 6,225,200 gallons of water in 2011 to 5,693,700 gallons in 2012, resulting in a 9% improvement. A Green Team was formed which met meets monthly to discuss Green Initiatives. As a result they began to share their concerns about water and electricity usage at the building. The Green Team became an integral part in the effort to reduce water and energy usage. They displayed flyers and posters throughout the facility to bring awareness to these concerns. Each Green Team member became their office champion for the cause of reducing water and energy. In addition the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided resources to upgrade equipment in the facility. These upgrades included an optimized irrigation system, variable frequency drives for water pumps, light sensors for the facility and a new building automation system. These upgrades coupled with the commitment and effort of the Green Team has A. Maceo Smith trending positive in both water and energy.


Innovation

United States Postal Service, Little Rock, AR
The United States Postal Service in Little Rock, AR was able to generate over $28,000 in recycling revenue and avoid over $49,000 in landfill disposal costs in FY 2012 by expanding its recycling by consolidating recyclable materials from 15 Post Offices within its service area. The Little Rock Processing and Distribution Center is the largest mail processing center in Arkansas and as such has played an important role in expanding recycling at Post Offices within its service area.  The Little Rock plant expanded its recycling of mixed paper by consolidating recyclable materials from 15 Post offices within its service area. By adopting a "backhaul approach" to recycling the Little Rock plant was able to reduce some significant cost associated with individual pickups by vendors. In addition, by expanding the collection of recyclable materials from 15 retail offices, the economic value of mixed paper was substantially improved and in turn the plant was able to increase its recycling performance despite declines in the market value of mixed paper and declines in first class mail. Mixed paper is generated from the retail offices as a result of undeliverable standard mail in delivery operations and mail discarded by customers in the Post Office box lobbies. Since these two waste streams account for as much as 75% of the total waste stream at Post Offices, the maintenance of the back haul initiative has had a significant impact on reducing solid waste disposal and increasing recycling performance not only at the plant but, in all participating offices. Incorporating retail offices into the Little Rock plant's recycling program made it possible to develop an innovative recycling collection system that works for all key functions within our organization. In addition, the consolidation of recyclables from the 15 retail offices has improved the recycling rate for these retail Post Offices as well.

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