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Federal Green Challenge

Great Lakes Federal Green Challenge Awards

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

In the Great Lakes region, the 2013 award winners are Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Department of Defense Naval Station, Railroad Retirement Board, General Services Administration Chicago Federal Center and the Office of Personnel Management.

Great Lakes Regional Award Winners

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Overall Achievement and Innovation

Department of Veterans Affairs, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, IL

The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois,

  • reduced its energy consumption by 15 percent in one year. One key project was replacing fluorescent lighting in many areas of the health care campus with more efficient light emitting diode, or LED, bulbs. This energy consumption reduction initiative alone resulted in an anticipated savings of $500,000 over 10 years. Read more about Energy Reduction through Lighting Improvements (PDF) (2 pp, 400K);
  • prevented 320 tons of lawn waste from going into a landfill through “cold composting.” This is the practice of mowing a lawn and leaving the grass clippings on the ground. The clippings then decompose and increase soil fertility instead of being collected and sent to landfills or a traditional composting facility. Read more about Waste Diversion through Cold Composting (PDF) (2 pp, 300K);
  • reduced greenhouse gases by incorporating electric vehicles and alternative fuels into fleet operations. Lovell FHCC increased its electric fleet by 200 percent in one year. In addition, it increased the use of E85 ethanol from 54 to 60 percent and incorporated biodiesel, which now accounts for 10 percent of the total fuel used. Read more about Transportation Initiative Incorporates Alternative Fuels and Electric Vehicles (PDF) (2 pp, 400K).


Department of Defense, Naval Station, Great Lakes, IL

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Station Great Lakes increased its amount of materials recycled by an astounding 114 percent by initiating a campaign to add a composting component, reuse construction and demolition debris, and increase the number of collection bins available throughout the installation. The composting project alone amounted to more than 300 tons of food scrap and landscape waste diverted from area landfills. Read more about New Composting Program Boosts Waste Diversion (PDF) (2 pp, 400K).

Electronics & Water

Railroad Retirement Board, Headquarters Office, Chicago, IL

The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board headquarters in Chicago:

  • recycled more than 3,200 pounds of electronic waste in one year, a nearly 10 percent increase over its baseline the previous year. This was accomplished by finding additional recycling or repurposing options for the agency’s equipment through the property management process and the Computers for Learning program. Read more about Electronic Waste Recycling Increases Waste Diversion (PDF) (2 pp, 600K);
  • reduced potable water use nearly 18 percent in one year by replacing 31 of the 91 toilets in the building with water-efficient units that used less than half of the water the previous units did. Read more about Water-Efficient Fixtures Reduce Water Consumption (PDF) (2 pp, 600K).


General Services Administration, Chicago Federal Center, IL

The U.S. General Services Administration’s Chicago Federal Center reduced its natural gas use by 25 percent compared to the previous year. This was accomplished through the implementation of multiple heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system and operational improvements. Read more about Energy System Upgrade Reduces Natural Gas Use (PDF) (2 pp, 500K).

Transportation, Purchasing and Education & Outreach

Office of Personnel Management, Chicago, IL

Two separate departments within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Chicago office:

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