In 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sustainability Performance Division recognized 13 teams and 6 individuals representing DOE sites and national laboratories. The winners were recognized for their commitment to sustainability and contributions that advance exceptional sustainability practices across the DOE complex. Congratulations to everyone involved in making these projects successful!
Learn more about the 2020 DOE Sustainability Award winners below.
Lifetime Achievement awards recognize long-time DOE Sustainability Champions who have dedicated significant amounts of time to making DOE sustainable.
Sandra Cannon, DOE Sustainable Acquisition Program
For the past 20 years, Sandra Cannon has been the technical support for sustainable acquisition at DOE and has assisted with the establishment of a Federal/DOE market for sustainable products. In particular, Sandra has been instrumental in the development of the Priority Products list, which is available to all Federal agencies and is the backbone for the DOE Greenbuy Awards program.
Dale Sartor, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
For the past 35 years, Dale Sartor, who recently retired last month, has educated a generation of energy managers and sustainability professionals within the DOE complex and throughout institutions across the country and the world. Dale’s pioneering work has left a broad impact from integral moments such as leading Berkeley Lab’s work with DOE and EPA to establish Laboratories for the 21st Century also known as “Labs21”, and being instrumental in founding the Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers.
James Donnelly, Y-12 National Security Complex
For over 20 years, James Donnelly has been supporting sustainability initiatives at the Y-12 National Security Complex to make the 1940s-era site leaner and greener. He has taken a boots-on-the-ground approach to continually provide feedback and apply his technical expertise - completing more than 1,700 sustainability initiatives. During 2019 alone, 97 sustainability-related initiatives were implemented, which resulted in a reduction of more than 31 million kilograms of waste and a cost efficiency of more than $19.6 million.
Sustainability Champions are individuals who make an effort to advance sustainability goals relating to sustainable buildings, water, waste, sustainable acquisition, etc.
Amy Albaugh, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Amy Albaugh has had many contributions to the Sustainable Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Program and multiple Roadmaps, including the Intelligent Building Analytics Roadmap. She has also taken a leadership role in the ORNL’s Metering Plan, Central Energy Data System and Resource Advisor Buildout, Building 5200 LEED Arc accomplishment, and as manager of their Facility Management Division’s 50001 Ready Project.
Selina Santiago, Sandia National Laboratories
Selina Santiago has been actively engaged with Sandia National Laboratories – New Mexico’s zero waste program through organizing and leading the installation of recycling stations and expanding them to receive almost every type of recyclable material, as well as single handedly implementing composting throughout her building. This is the first actualized effort to do so within a secure area, and her efforts have reduced solid waste by 37 lbs. per person, which is equivalent to 3,256 lbs. annually.
Jerry Gallegos, Sandia National Laboratories – Honorable Mention
Jerry Gallegos has been the Energy Manager for Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) for over five years and has led innovative energy conservation efforts on building metering, water, natural gas, electricity reductions, energy efficient electronics, and much more – reducing SNL’s energy consumption by nearly 4%. He is also beginning the implementation process for SmartLabs at SNL, which could save an additional 15% in energy consumption.
Outstanding Sustainability Program/Project
Outstanding Sustainability Programs or Projects are sustainable projects or programs that reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Water Use Reduction, Facility & Research Cooperation
ORNL has implemented an aggressive plan to reduce water consumption that includes best practices such as repairing leakages, replacing old lines in the water distribution system, and eliminating once-through-cooling where possible. Their two-year Water Use Reduction project has already produced a significant impact on utility usage with an estimated annual savings of 56.6 MG per year starting in FY 2020, which is a reduction of 71% for the combined facilities.
Bonneville Power Administration’s Utilities Management Program
Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) Utilities Management Program creates strategic approaches to energy and water management and continues to transform their culture around energy use and monitoring. Since the beginning of the program in 2014, resource efficiency has become a consideration in transmission design practices, operations and maintenance standards, and behavioral norms. In FY 2019 alone, BPA completed over 30 strategic energy and water efficiency projects, which has led to a reduction of over 1.5 million kBtus (2%) in energy and nearly 4 million gallons (13%) of water. BPA also reinvests all utility incentive dollars earned from these projects back into supporting future utility efficiency initiatives ($248,200 in FY 2019).
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Integrative Genomics Building – Honorable Mention
The Integrative Genomics Building is a newly constructed laboratory completed on Berkeley Lab’s main campus last fall. The design includes a broad range of sustainability strategies and demonstrates leadership in sustainable new construction, as it was designed to use just 36% of the energy from the previous facility. The building has received LEED Gold, meets the Guiding Principles, and is photovoltaic ready with an expected 200,000 kW array. It also includes passive design strategies such as all electric heating systems with both air and waterside heat recovery, which reduces the greenhouse gas footprint for heating by about one half compared to a natural gas boiler system.
Argonne National Laboratory’s ESPC 1 & 2 Deliver Energy Savings and Efficiency – Honorable Mention
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) successfully completed two Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) in 2019 that improved facility and utility systems to increase reliability, eliminate energy waste, optimize performance, and improve the working environment and safety for occupants. The third-party funding allowed Argonne to direct limited annual laboratory funding to projects that address deferred maintenance and repair needs that may not be able to justify those improvements through energy savings alone. For both ESPCs, Argonne estimates a cost savings of around $10M in actual dollars and energy savings of over 1,300,000 MMBtu.
Innovative Approach to Sustainability
Innovative Approach to Sustainability awards are inventive ideas or methods and technologies that improve site sustainability and can be applied across DOE.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s PAA: Alternative to Chlorine as a Biocide
After successful testing, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) determined that Peracetic Acid (PAA) can be used as a substitute for chlorine in wastewater treatment. PAA improves water quality and reduces total dissolved solids while being less toxic than chlorine. The transition to PAA identified several system improvement opportunities that addressed piping leaks, improved instrument sensors, data gathering, and handling and valve improvements to ensure system functionality. PPPL continues to pioneer PAA as a disinfectant and will look to assist the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection or other institutions to introduce the method.
Y-12 National Security Complex’s Pervious Paving Minimizes Stormwater Runoff & Closes Sustainable Product Loop
Y-12 National Security Complex utilized an innovative sustainable solution to address the need for temporarily increased parking during the construction the National Nuclear Security Administration’s new Uranium Processing Facility. Two new parking areas were created with a pervious paving material called TrueGrid, which is made from recycled plastic. The porous material of the pavement captures stormwater, recharges groundwater levels, reduces runoff, and can even be relocated to another area of the site for continued use once the facility is completed. Y-12’s use of pervious pavement has saved approximately 592 tons of CO2 and is expected to capture around 235,170 gallons of stormwater.
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Swap – Honorable Mention
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s small team of volunteers organized a swap meet in 2018 and 2019, where fellow employees shared unused lab and office equipment/supplies in a central location. Over the two years, more than 300 items valuing over $26,000 have been exchanged. While the swap has had an obvious impact on the lab’s consumption of resources, it also cleared clutter, brought people together in a festive atmosphere and supported the goal of sharing resources across departmental lines.
Strategic Partnerships for Sustainability
Strategic Partnerships for Sustainability are partnerships between sites or with other organizations that contribute positively to site sustainability.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Arboretum Accreditation: Wisdom is Stored in Trees
The Arboretum Accreditation in 2019 represents a significant historical milestone of over a decade of strategic partnerships to create sustainable landscaping with native plants at ORNL, which contributes directly to the high performance sustainable buildings goal. Ecological landscaping at ORNL uses sustainable practices to improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and enhance climate resilience. By using local plant species, ORNL highlights their lab’s uniqueness and demonstrates dedication to conserving and showcasing the environment.
Nevada National Security Site’s Asset & Material Management E-Recycle
The Asset and Material Management Department lead the way for Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) in the Sort, Store, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain (5s) initiatives at NNSS facilities. Their actions include growing the site’s resilience by redistributing items that were no longer needed to another directorate and reducing landfill waste by collaborating with the Blind Center of Nevada for e-recycling. The project resulted in excessing approximately 1,650 items and providing $24,000 in cost savings from the total e -recycling activity improvement process.
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant’s Plastic Cap Recycling – Honorable Mention
When their recycling vendor stopped accepting plastics, the Green Team at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant took action and started a recycling project with a local 4-H youth group. The Swift & Staley Team, Paducah’s infrastructure support contractor, and the local 4-H group, worked together through the ABC Promise Partnership program and Green Tree Plastics to collect, clean, and trade in plastic caps and lids for a new recycled content picnic table and bench. Together these groups collected hundreds of plastics caps and lids to create a bench for a local elementary school and picnic table for a local senior center.
Sustainable High Performance Computing/Data Center
Sustainable High Performance Computing/Data Center awards recognize projects with a significant impact on sustainability efforts in high performance computing (HPC) or data centers. Impacts may include energy or water savings, recycling or purchasing efficient hardware, or initiatives to increase resilience.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s NERSC Efficiency Optimization Team
Berkeley Lab has generated significant savings at its National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) through the work of their cross-division continual improvement team. Savings to date total 560,000 gallons of water per year and 1,800,000 kWh per year, which is equivalent to a reduction of 37% of the non-compute energy of the center. The Optimization Team has been critical in generating these savings and improving the general function of the cooling systems to ensure the high uptime standards for the facility are maintained.
Not Pictured: Brent Draney, Steve Greenberg, Sadie Joy, Raphael Vitti, Cary Whitney, Ernie Jew, Jeff Grounds, Mark Friedrich, Tom Davis, Jingjing Liu, Mary Gross, and Ben Maxwell.
Sandia National Laboratories’ 725 Data Center Addition LEED v.4 Gold BD+C: Data Center Certification
Sandia National Laboratories’ new Data Center addition received the LEED v.4 Gold for Building Design + Construction (BD+C): Data Center Certification. This is a significant achievement with the building’s energy intensive nature. The data center employs a new additive component to the existing chiller-based heat rejection system known as the Thermosyphon Cooling System, which is an advanced dry cooling technology device. Within the first six months of operation, the data center has directly rejected close to 1,200 MWh of heat, saving over 195,000 kWh of electrical energy and 554,000 gallons of make-up water at the chiller plant.
SNL’s Project Team Not Pictured: Paul Schlavin, Casiano Armenta, Alicia Brown, Carol Meincke, Marc Ghattas, Josh DeReu, Gail Granot, David Martinez, David Smith, Doug Vetter, Vance Leggett, Jim Corcoran, Mike Rocco, and Mike Rymarz.
See slide 20 of the 2020 DOE Sustainability Awards PowerPoint for photos of the project.
Hanford Site’s Data Center Modernization & Closure Project – Honorable Mention
Hanford Site’s Data Center relocation and core, legacy network equipment upgrade has provided increased network efficiency and an improved security posture. The project reduced the data center’s space requirements by 90%, reduced the average electricity usage from 82 kW down to 22 kW, and alleviated bottlenecks in the network, which allows for backups and other tasks to be performed in significantly less time. The overall cost savings is estimated at $225,000 annually with an approximate $1,000,000 expected for legacy facility upgrades that were required in the near future.
Hanford’s Project Team Not Pictured: Erik Anderson, Kenny Ferguson, Todd Eckman, Brad Ferguson, Phil Budde, Jason Lacher, Dennis Rains, Cristal Robinson, Anel Suarez, and Mike Eddy.
See slide 21 of the 2020 DOE Sustainability Awards PowerPoint for photos of the project team.