Federal Green Challenge
Pacific Southwest 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 Innovation, Education & Outreach, and Leadership.
In the Pacific Southwest region, the 2013 award winners are the Chet Holifield Building in Laguna Niguel, CA, and in Hawaii, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Honolulu Processing and Distribution Center, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Honolulu Field Office. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Region 5 and the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park were recognized with honorable mention.
Pacific Southwest collectively made environmental improvements as
indicated in this graphic. [See a larger graphic and plain text]
Pacific Southwest Regional Award Winners
Education and Outreach
Winner: Chet Holifield Building in Laguna Niguel As a result of its participation in the Federal Green Challenge, the Chet Holifield building created a Green Team representing five agencies to fulfill their goals. They reached all building employees (~1,900) through various outreach activities including e-mail broadcasts, posters, website, speakers, and Earth Week activities. The Green Team accomplished many tasks including hosting an e-waste collection event, creating an Earth Week pledge tree, developing a sustainability tips sheet, and hosting a water conservation speaker from Moulton Water District. Results were measured and track monthly. The past year's results include a 21% increase in recycling, a decrease in waster use of 7.4%, and a decrease of fuel use by 2.5%.
Honorable Mention: Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park: In conjunction with the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, the Park developed an employee survey to ascertain energy knowledge, views, and habits. The students from the university analyzed the survey results and developed recommendations for educating the national park employees about energy conservation methods. As a result, informational signs and stickers were deployed with increased energy metering. Additionally, the park installed energy efficient LED lighting systems at two visitor areas and tracked quantitative results through energy bills.
Winner: USPS Honolulu Processing and Distribution Center: USPS Honolulu achieved a 70.7% recycling rate, increasing recycling by 400 tons in the last year. One of the keys to their success was the creation of a Green Team of finance managers, maintenance managers, operations specialists, and vehicle maintenance staff. The Green Team set a standard for recycling at the Honolulu plant so that all 160 postmasters on six Hawaiian islands can easily transport paper for recycling on the empty equipment run backhauls. As a result, paper has been systematically diverted from incineration to recycling resulting in disposal cost reductions of $65,000.
Winner: HUD Honolulu: HUD Honolulu created a tracking tool to analyze the transportation methods of the staff. The tool not only allowed HUD to establish detailed transportation metrics, but also encouraged more sustainable transportation choices on a person-by-person basis. The tool took many factors into account including staff point of origin, total miles to work, mode of transportation, and frequency of work-related travel. As a result, they reduced their air travel by almost 29%.
Honorable Mention: USFS Region 5 engaged in several region-wide initiatives to reduce energy consumption and related costs. Specifically, they participated in a Power-IT Down (poster, PDF, 1pg, 400K, About PDF) program where employees power down their computers and unplug their appliances twice a month. This was in response to information that plug loads accounted for 22% of energy use. As a result of this program, the USFS saved $3,650.