2016 Federal Green Challenge Award Winners in the Pacific Southwest Region
Recognition is an important part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). Awards were given at the regional level in the categories of Energy, Outreach and Education, Innovation, and Electronics.
In the Pacific Southwest region, the 2016 award winners are the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Forecast Office, U.S. Forest Service Region 5, and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Southwest Laboratory. Below are descriptions of what the awardees achieved and/or how they achieved reductions.
Department of Interior, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, California
In 2015, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) made significant strides to reduce its carbon footprint with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral park. The greatest achievement is in their use of renewable energy through a combination of on-site solar, plus purchase of 100 percent renewable energy for park buildings.
GGNRA installed solar photovoltaics (PV) at their Fort Mason Headquarters building, as well as on Alcatraz Island. The solar PV’s provide up to 10 percent of the annual energy usage on their building and generates half of the annual energy usage on the island. In addition, GGNRA participates in Marin Clean Energy's "Deep Green" program which helped them to purchase 100 percent renewable energy for all of their buildings, accounting for over half of their annual energy usage. Combined, these efforts have resulted in 56 percent of their annual energy being renewable.
Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Forecast Office, Guam
The NOAA Weather Forecast Office in Guam worked with staff to identify ways to lower their environmental impacts at their office. They focused on reducing their overall waste where they could achieve significant results.
They replaced their old water heater and conserved energy by installing automatic motion sensors in frequently unoccupied rooms such as the storage and mail rooms. In addition, they stocked their break room with reusable dishes and silverware donated by the employees, which helped reduce the use of disposable paper and plastic ware. Next, they implemented collection points for recyclable items, and installed collection bins on their floors and in the copy room. The dedicated collection points made it easier for employees to recycle and made it clear that individual actions can make a big difference.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Region 5, Vallejo, California
In 2015, the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 performed innovative, low-cost energy and water audits. The audits informed facility energy and water conservation priorities, which contributed to compliance with Executive Order 13693 -- Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.
The Forest Service Region 5 partnered with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) Exit to perform the audits of selected facilities. CCC members installed energy-efficient and clean energy systems, as well as water-saving devices, at the audited facilities. The CCC provides low-cost audit services in return for energy industry training opportunities for young adults in California. This is a win-win solution for both partners. By conducting audits in partnership with the CCC, Region 5 saved approximately $3,500 per audit, or $24,500 annually.
Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Southwest Laboratory, Vista, California
In past years, the DEA Southwest Laboratory made significant advances in water conservation. This year, the FGC participant significantly improved in the category of Electronics. They increased their acquisition of Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered equipment by 1,100 percent, from 2014 to 2015, and now possess 36 EPEAT Gold and Silver units. DEA verified both the EPEAT and ENERGY STAR status of each electronic unit to ensure sustainable procurement. The new EPEAT equipment replaced older computers, which the Laboratory donated to local colleges and universities.