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The White House
For Immediate Release

White House CEQ Announces 2011 GreenGov Presidential Awards

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today announced Federal winners of the 2011 GreenGov Presidential Awards for exceptional efforts to promote sustainability in agency operations.  The eight winners, in six award categories, represent Federal agency teams and individual employees from across the country.

The GreenGov Presidential Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement in the pursuit of President Obama's Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (Executive Order 13514).  The awards honor Federal civilian and military personnel, and agency teams, facilities, and programs that exemplify President Obama's charge to lead by example.

"President Obama challenged the Federal Government to lead by example to improve efficiency, cut waste and pollution, and promote clean energy," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "Recipients of the GreenGov Presidential Awards exemplify how the Federal Government is meeting the President’s challenge, and show that you can make decisions that protect clean air and water, dramatically improve energy efficiency, and reduce costs – all at the same time."

CEQ solicited nominations for the 2011 awards. A panel of judges that included Federal and local decision makers reviewed the nominations and recommended the award recipients to the President.  The eight winners, selected from nearly 250 nominations, will be recognized at a White House ceremony tonight. Their outstanding achievements are described below:

Award Category:  Building the Future
Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), Department of Defense
NBSD incorporated new ideas and equipment in its operations to reduce waste and pollutants across its facility. The Base’s Transportation Incentive Program is the largest on the West Coast; its renewable energy and energy efficiency projects have generated savings of $834,000 while reducing emissions, energy & water usage, and waste.  NBSD shaped an aggressive energy and green campaign designed to drive down the consumption of utility commodities and establish the Navy as a “Global Force for Green.”

Office of Facilities Management, Department of State
A small in-house team in the Office of Facilities Management Services in the U.S. Department of State recently completed the renovation of an 8,000ft2 building on its Charleston (SC) Regional Center, resulting in a building that is on-track to be a net-zero energy consumer, meet all guidelines for sustainability, exceed goals for reducing water consumption, and do so at a significantly reduced cost compared to traditional projects of this nature.

Award Category:  Good Neighbor 
Grand Canyon Green Team, Department of the Interior
Grand Canyon Green Team worked with neighboring rural communities to responsibly dispose of electronic, universal and hazardous waste in the Grand Canyon National Park region. Partners for this effort include the Grand Canyon Railway, Xanterra South Rim, Williams Clean and Beautiful Committee, The City of Williams, The City of Flagstaff, and Coconino County Supervisor Carl Taylor. This partnership made it possible to collect high volumes of material and, as a result, over 56 tons of waste has been diverted from local community landfills including 214 large appliances, 34,617 pounds of electronics and 600 tires.

Award Category:  Green Dream Team
Federal Green Challenge, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
The Federal Green Challenge (FGC) is a collaborative, interagency program managed by the EPA that helps 52 West Coast federal agencies at more than 90 locations better meet the requirements of Executive Order 13514. Based on two years of success, the FGC is now preparing for a national launch. The FGC’s approach is bottom-up innovation that complements the top-down requirements of the Executive Order and agency sustainability plans. The FGC helps regional agency offices understand and invest in the significant contributions they can make to their organization’s overall compliance.

Award Category:  Green Innovation
National Renewable Energy Lab, Department of Energy
The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab designed a data center in pursuit of net-zero energy goals by using the climate as a natural coolant; capturing waste heat to ventilate in the cooler months; and employing advanced equipment to minimize energy usage.  Due to these efforts and employee education, the data center is expected to save $200,000 annually in electricity costs and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 5 million pounds per year.

Award Category:  Lean, Clean, and Green
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA continues to move consistently toward sustainable and efficient operations by setting exemplary goals in agency-wide energy and water efficiency, reduced emissions, and greater renewable energy usage.  In addition, several of NASA’s sustainability solutions purposely address the communities in which the facilities are located. NASA’s commitment to pushing these goals throughout their operations is exemplified by the collection of Centers – such as Langley Research, Ames Research, Kennedy Space, and Johnson Space – that have addressed sustainability with creative, lasting and effective methods.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs has stated that, when conducting its mission to care for our Nation’s Veterans, it has a responsibility to minimize environmental and energy-related impacts.  To this end, VA has built its strategy for meeting sustainability goals at the Department level while encouraging local facilities to address sustainability with creativity, customized to their location and resources, as evidenced by the multiple submissions from VA Medical Centers across the country.                                                                                                                                                                    

Award Category:  Sustainability Hero
Shannon Cunniff, Department of Defense
Shannon Cunniff is responsible for implementing Executive Orders 13423 and 13514 within DoD and has built an organization where none existed to lead endeavors essential to the strength and sustainability of the Department. She has used creativity and innovation to recruit and manage a team of top performers and lead the Department’s Strategic Sustainability Plan.  As the Department of Defense's Director of the Chemical and Material Risk Management Office, Shannon has spearheaded DoD efforts to address management of emerging contaminants with the ultimate goal of eliminating chemical and material hazards from DoD.   Shannon’s leadership and commitment to sustainability is evidenced throughout the Department by the plans, teams, and policies she has helped to create.