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News Releases

News Releases from HeadquartersLand and Emergency Management (OLEM)

EPA Recognizes Federal Green Challenge Winners for Conserving Resources and Promoting Efficiency

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WASHINGTON (June 25, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes federal facilities for applying practical cost-effective measures to conserve money and resources as part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). The challenge is a national effort under the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program which encourages federal agencies to reduce the federal government's environmental impact.

“It is vital for federal agencies to lead by example in reducing environmental impacts,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The efforts of these agencies not only benefit the environment but resulted in an estimated cost savings of $36.1 million to taxpayers across the federal government last year.”

In fiscal year 2019 (FY19), FGC participants reduced their environmental impact throughout the waste stream, including:

  • Sending nearly 180 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers.
  • Diverting more than 600,000 tons of waste from landfills.
  • Adding nearly 5,000 electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles to their fleets.
  • Recycling 180 million gallons of water.

EPA has awarded the following participants for their efforts in improving the efficiency of their facilities in FY19:

       Improvement by Target Area – Highest Increased Percentage Over Previous Year

  • Waste:
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center, Altoona, Penn., composted over 338 tons of materials relating to a stormwater retention swale and Victory Garden renovation.
  • Electronics:
    • DEA Western Lab, Pleasanton, Calif., increased electronics recycled through a 3rd party certified recycler or donated to colleges/universities by 92.9 percent.
    • Department of Defense, Massachusetts (Barnes) Air National Guard, 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts purchased 336 units of EPEAT certified Gold Level registered equipment, a 34 percent increase while diverting 2,619 lbs. of electronic waste from municipal solid waste.
  • Purchasing:  
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minn., purchased 31 percent less paper in FY19.
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Manchester Medical Center, Manchester, N.H., achieved a 6.6 percent (1,980 pound) reduction in copy paper use through default duplexing and enabling electronic meeting capabilities.
  • Water:
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minn., reduced its landscaping irrigation water usage by over one million gallons in FY19.
  • Transportation:
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, Ark., reduced its internal combustion engine vehicles from 100 in 2018 to 11 in 2019, resulting in an 89 percent improvement. 
    • Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Ill., instituted a telework policy that decreased the number of commuting miles not traveled by 69 percent.

For more information on the Federal Green Challenge and this year’s winners, visit:

For more information on the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, visit: