Washington, D.C. — When the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) called on employees to meet sustainability goals by initiating environmental, energy, and economic improvements, the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) answered the call—and captured three Departmental Sustainability Awards for its efforts.
The DOE Sustainability Awards program, now in its second year, "recognizes the achievements of DOE employees whose leadership and cost-reducing initiatives have saved taxpayer money by reducing the Department’s use of energy, water, and paper while improving the energy efficiency of Federal buildings and vehicles." This year, 137 nominations were received and 20 awards were given in 14 categories.
"Today’s Sustainability Award winners are leading by example, showing what’s possible when employees bring creativity, innovation, and dedication to their efforts to make the Department of Energy more sustainable," said Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. "The efforts undertaken by these individuals and teams are helping the Department to deliver on President Obama’s sustainability goals, while inspiring others both inside and outside of government to start investing in cost-saving clean energy technologies."
NETL’s Gregg Sawl was recognized as an Exceptional Service/Sustainability Champion by demonstrating "exceptional service and dedication" in his role as NETL’s Energy Manager. His commitment to sustainability was evidenced in a variety of new construction projects and energy management initiatives, and through renovations to meet federal guidelines for high-performance and sustainable buildings. Among the many achievements under Sawl’s leadership, NETL was able to reduce the energy intensity of its buildings by 23 percent from 2003 to 2011.
In the Environmental Management System category, NETL’s EMS/Sustainability Team earned an award by implementing and reaching goals within its own environmental management system—which is integrated with DOE’s Integrated Safety Management System—while conforming to the International Organization for Standardization 14000 series. Along with other accomplishments, from 2008 to 2011, NETL reduced routine nonhazardous waste by 15 percent, hazardous waste by 30 percent, and direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent.
NETL’s Site Operations Division earned a Water Resources award by exceeding the 2020 water intensity reduction goal of 26 percent, set forth in Executive Order 13514, in 2011—9 years ahead of schedule. The laboratory’s water intensity was slashed 44 percent, compared to the baseline year of 2007, through site-wide reductions in potable water usage, incorporation of closed-loop cooling systems, development of rainwater harvesting systems, and other initiatives.
NETL personnel are accepting the awards today at the second annual DOE Sustainability Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.