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July 1, 2016
A Dozen ‘Green Champions’ at NIH

NIH took 12 citations at the recent 2015 HHS Green Champion Awards. NIH nominated a total of 13 projects and a dozen were recognized by HHS, including 7 group awards, 1 individual award and 4 honorable mentions. Winners were celebrated June 30 at a ceremony in Wilson Hall, Bldg. 1.

In the environmental stewardship category:

  • The NIH Central Utility Team was honored for realizing annual savings of more than $23.7 million in energy, water, oil and chilled water usage, electrical consumption and Nox emissions.

  • The Burden’s Creek Site Cleanup team at NIEHS was recognized for recycling 65 tons of metal, 120 tons of concrete, 200 tons of construction and demolition debris, 720 fluorescent light bulbs, 12 mercury thermostats, 12 smoke detectors and recapturing 63 pounds of Freon.

  • Capt. Edward Pfister, the department’s chief environmental officer, won an individual award for developing the HHS Go Green Guide and fostering the establishment of green teams throughout the agency. In addition, he coordinated greening efforts in the Hubert H. Humphrey Bldg.

  • The Office of the Director Green Team working group was cited for publishing a guide for green event planning. It focuses on environmentally friendly practices to implement while planning meetings, conferences and other events.

In the sustainable acquisitions category, the NIH Supply Center’s “NIH Go Green Supplies” efforts were recognized. They include provision of organic, non-toxic products and replacing more than 120 offerings with greener alternatives.

In the corporate responsibility category, the NIH Division of Environmental Protection’s solid waste team and ecology services were honored for the “Go Green, Go Clean” initiative, which reduces contamination and raises awareness about waste disposal procedures.

In the water use efficiency category, the NIH blue water commission was cited for investigating sources of chilled water loss on campus. Many leaks and wasteful practices were discovered, repaired and discontinued. This resulted in an average savings of 1,472,000 gallons of water per month.

In the energy and fleet category, the Office of Research Facilities’ Facilities Management Branch completed two projects on the NIEHS campus that resulted in a net energy savings of some 300,000 kwh and $18,000 annually as well as the recycling of approximately 300 tons of construction debris.

Winning honorable mention awards were: NIH Battery Recycling Program; RML Incinerator Upgrade Project; annual lab chemical waste management inspection team; and the personal property section and its electronic document repository.

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