Three Minnesota agencies garner Federal Green Challenge awards
The Federal Green Challenge pushes federal agencies across the country to reduce their energy use and pollution and conserve resources, which often also allow the agencies to save money.
The Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System was honored for diverting 367 tons of construction and demolition waste in 2015. That figure represents nearly 82 percent of its total generated waste that year, almost double the 44 percent it managed to divert the year before. The system also added two electric vehicles to its fleet.
The Minnesota National Guard was recognized for a 20 percent reduction in its natural gas use between 2014 and 2015, going from 121.6 million cubic feet to 96.6, as well as their energy use per square foot by an average of 4 percent.
The EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division managed to reduce its paper purchases to 2,200 pounds in 2015, a 10 percent drop from 2014’s figures, and increase its green meetings by 900 percent. The division also improved its pollinator habitat by replacing non-native species and saving on energy costs as the habitat is not mowed.