DOE Salutes Its Owns Sustainability Stars

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the winners of its 2011 DOE Sustainability Awards. Awards were given to DOE employees who spearheaded initiatives that helped improve the energy-efficiency of federal buildings and vehicles. In 2010 alone, the sustainability projects resulted in $4 million in taxpayer savings, the department said.

Among the winners: The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Green Fleet Team, which gained an award in the Team Sustainability category for its plan to reduce petroleum use for vehicles and increase alternative fuels. Since 2005, the team has been able to reduce petroleum use by 36 percent and increase the use of alternative fuels by 254 percent.

Carlsbad Field Office Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

image via DOE

A Sustainability in Road Construction award was given to the Carlsbad Field office for its work on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (pictured above) South Access Road. During that project the team made use of recycled asphalt materials and used storm-drain water instead of fresh water. Those actions resulted in the savings of $150,000 in construction costs and 340,000 gallons of fresh water.

In 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance [PDF], which called on the Federal government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and implement aggressive energy and water efficiency programs. In response, the DOE established sustainability goals in its annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan and established the DOE Sustainability Performance Office.  A full list of winners is available from the Energy Department in a PDF.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.