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HHS Fights Climate Change and Saves Money

Release Date: 05/22/2014
Contact Information: Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

DALLAS – (May 22, 2014) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is honoring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Dallas for saving money, improving lives and protecting the planet by participating in the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). HHS and its employees reduced the amount of paper purchased by 5 percent in 2013. Nationally, four awards were given to organizations for their leadership in addressing climate change through green purchasing.

“I am pleased to recognize the Department of Health and Human Services for its outstanding leadership to reduce their environmental footprint,” said EPA’s Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “The actions taken by HHS demonstrate the passion and innovative thinking that will lead us to a greener future.”

In 2013, over 400 participating federal facilities, about 1.6 million federal employees, reduced their environmental footprint, which in many cases also resulted in significant cost savings. Federal offices participated by selecting a minimum two of the six target areas —waste, electronics, purchasing, energy, water, or transportation. At least one of the selected target areas must be waste, electronics, or purchasing.

The FGC is a national effort under EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management program that challenges federal agencies throughout the country to lead by example in reducing the federal government’s environmental impact. Federal agencies are recognized through the FGC for outstanding efforts that go beyond regulatory compliance and strive for annual improvements in selected areas.

“A healthy environment is key to leading a healthy life. At HHS, we strive to maintain healthy environments for all Americans, and I am proud to know that the steps we are taking are making a difference. Simple sustainable activities like purchasing recycled products and turning off lights can help reduce waste and cut carbon pollution. The “green actions” we take today help protect our environment – not only for today but also for future generations,” said Marjorie Petty, HHS Regional Director.

These combined efforts resulted in an estimated cost savings of more than $42 million to the U.S. taxpayer.

You can reduce your environmental footprint by motivating co-workers to reduce energy, save water and recycle waste. Help influence change at your workplace by implementing sustainability into your daily practices.

For more information please visit www.epa.gov/fgc

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Activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.htm

This month EPA is raising awareness and focusing efforts to improve the lives of children and families with asthma. Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening chronic respiratory disease that affects the quality of life for millions of Americans, disproportionately in low income and minority families. More information on efforts to combat asthma disparities: http://www.epa.gov/childrenstaskforce/index.html

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