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Several EM sites and contractors across the DOE complex were recognized last week for their efforts to purchase products that protect the environment, conserve energy, and reduce costs.

The Green Electronics Council and managers of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) named 2020 EPEAT Purchaser Award winners representing the Hanford, Portsmouth, Paducah, Oak Ridge, and Moab sites. EPEAT is a ranking system that helps companies compare and select environmentally friendly office equipment. Ranking criteria includes greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous waste production, and total energy usage.

For the fourth straight year, the council awarded Hanford Site contractors CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company, HPMC Occupational Medical Services, Mission Support Alliance (MSA), Washington River Protection Solutions, and Wastren Advantage for their efforts to protect the environment by using sustainable electronics.

“Congratulations to all of the Hanford contractors who were a part of this award,” said Jeff Frey, EM Richland Operations Office assistant manager for mission support. “The continued recognition of the Hanford Site is further validation of our ongoing efforts to reduce our environmental impact.”

As Hanford’s site services provider, MSA tracks the purchase of electronic products for use by all contractors at the site.

“These kind of partnerships with the other contractors are important in accomplishing DOE’s goal of protecting the environment,” said Todd Eckman, MSA vice president for information management. “Congratulations to all of the contractors for their efforts to help Hanford achieve this award.”

In fiscal 2019, 97.5 percent of the electronics purchased by Hanford contractors met the EPEAT standard. Environmental benefits of these purchases include:

  • Reduced use of primary materials, including oil, iron, and wood by an estimated 323 metric tons.
  • Reduced hazardous waste by 2.6 metric tons.
  • Reduced solid waste by 19 metric tons.
  • Saved more than 1.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity — enough to power 121 average-sized homes for a year.

The council also honored EM West Valley Demonstration Project cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV). Among CHBWV’s achievements in 2019:

  • Purchased 2,903 EPEAT-registered products, leading to a cost savings of more than $116,000 over the lifetime of the products.
  • Reduced greenhouse gases by 702,139 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents, similar to removing 150 average U.S. passenger cars from the roads for a year.
  • Saved 1,472 megawatt hours of electricity, comparable to the annual electricity consumption of 121 average U.S. households.

“Sustainability in electronics purchasing is part of our commitment to be good stewards of the environment,” EM WVDP Director Bryan Bower said. “Environmental stewardship is the right thing to do, and it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and saves money for taxpayers and the government.”

EM WVDP Regulatory Strategy and Environmental Compliance Team Lead Moira Maloney said the site’s regulatory strategy and procurement teams do an excellent job preparing requests for proposals that obtain the best results for WVDP’s electronics sustainability goals.

“They are always finding creative ways to proceduralize these initiatives to ensure the best results from qualified subcontractors and suppliers. It is truly a team effort,” Maloney said.

East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), which is managed by Oak Ridge cleanup contractor UCOR, was recognized for the 508 EPEAT-registered products it purchased in 2019, representing a cost savings of $24,655 over the lifetime of the products. This is the sixth consecutive year ETTP has received the award.

UCOR uses EPEAT in purchasing contracts to require that vendors only provide electronics that meet strict sustainability criteria. These products are more energy efficient, less toxic, longer lasting, and easier to recycle than products that do not meet EPEAT criteria.

“It’s an honor to win this award,” said David Buhl, UCOR pollution prevention and waste minimization coordinator. “While DOE requires us to make sustainable electronics purchases, it’s something that UCOR has done for a number of years already and it’s just the right thing to do.”

The council also honored the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), which purchased 246 EPEAT-registered products in 2019, resulting in a cost savings of $9,981 across the lifetime of the products. In 2019, the site also:

  • Reduced greenhouse gases by 54,149 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents, similar to taking 12 average U.S. passenger cars from the roads for a year.
  • Saved 209 megawatt hours of electricity, comparable to the annual electricity consumption of 17 average U.S. households.

"Practicing sustainable purchasing moves us closer to achieving a shared vision of minimizing DOE’s environmental impact," said Jeff Bettinger, EM’s Portsmouth site lead with the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office. "The Portsmouth Site is proud to have received this recognition and is committed to continued procurement of sustainable electronics."

EPEAT Purchaser Award winner Swift & Staley, a Paducah Site contractor, purchased 1,055 EPEAT-registered products in 2019. That will bring a cost savings of $24,059 over the lifetime of those products. Among Swift & Staley’s achievements in 2019:

  • Reduced greenhouse gases by 161,986 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents, similar to removing 35 average U.S. passenger cars from the roads for a year.
  • Saved 245 megawatt hours of electricity, comparable to the annual electricity consumption of 20 average U.S. households.

The council also recognized the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project.

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