Green Award for innovation given to U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest office
Federal agency finds innovative avenues to reduce energy consumption
San Francisco -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces today it has selected the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 office based in Vallejo, Calif. to receive a Federal Green Challenge honorable mention award for innovation in its energy conservation efforts.
“EPA is pleased to recognize the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 for its outstanding leadership to reduce their environmental footprint,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By taking the initiative to reduce waste and conserve water and energy, this agency will not only help motivate other federal agencies and organizations to follow suit, but save the government money as well.”
U.S. Forest Service Region 5 office, which manages activities in 18 national forests within California, Hawai’i and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands, was selected as an honorable mention award-winner for its work to reduce energy consumption and related costs through various innovative initiatives. For example, the office’s participation in the “Power-IT Down” program, which had employees power down their computers and unplug their appliances twice a month, resulted in an energy reduction of over 22,000 kilowatt hours, saving $3,650 in electricity fees.
In total, Federal Green Award participants nationwide:
- reduced over 57.5 million kWh of electricity and 342 million cubic feet of natural gas (equivalent to the energy used in a year by almost 2200 households);
- prevented over 40,000 tons of waste from reaching landfills, through composting and recycling, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 107,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (the equivalent of taking over 22,000 cars off the road for a year);
- reduced water usage by over 357 billion gallons; and
- saved over $16.6 million by reducing waste, water and energy use.
The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort to challenge EPA and other federal agencies to reduce the federal government's environmental impact. Offices or facilities start their participation by selecting a minimum two of the six target areas—waste, electronics, purchasing, energy, water, or transportation—and commit to improve by at least 5% per year in their selected target areas.