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Green Award recognition given to Hawaii federal agencies

Release Date: 04/22/2013
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

USPS, HUD find innovative avenues to reduce energy consumption, increase recycling

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces today it has selected the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as award winners, and the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park with an honorable mention in the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge Program.

“EPA is pleased to recognize the U.S. Postal Service, Housing and Urban Development, and the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for their 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, these agencies will not only help motivate other federal agencies and organizations to follow suit, but save the government money as well.”

Leadership Category
Winner: USPS Honolulu Processing and Distribution Center: USPS Honolulu achieved a 70.7% recycling rate, increasing significantly 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 and communicated that to the more than 160 Postmasters in Hawai’i. There were significant cost reductions of $65k as a result of decrease trash disposal.

Innovation Category
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. They 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 exceeded their goal of decreasing commuting via car by 5%.

Education and Outreach Category
Honorable Mention: Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park: In conjunction with the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, they 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 put up and energy meters were added to some equipment. Additionally, supervisors monitored employee activity and the energy manager tracked quantitative results through energy bills.

In total, Federal Green Award participants regionally:

    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.

For more information on the Federal Green Challenge winners, visit: www.epa.gov/region9/federalgreenchallenge/awards/pacificswawards/

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