2017 U.S. Department of Energy Sustainability Award Winners

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In 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Sustainability Performance Office recognized one individual and three teams representing DOE sites and national laboratories. These winners were recognized for their outstanding sustainability contributions, including accomplishments in recycling, sustainability, energy efficiency, and waste reduction.

Change Agent

Sam McCord teaches kids about recycling processes during Take Your Kids to Work Day.

Sam McCord Champions Recycling Efforts for Sandia National Laboratory

Sam McCord has championed several successful materials-management programs at Sandia National Laboratory (SNL). His contributions include:

  • Increasing recycling efforts with quantifiable diverted waste by category
  • Developing the Toner Exchange Program saving $45,000 to $75,000
  • Creating and expanding the composting program
  • Overhauling the Lead Bank Program
  • Leading the charge on 3D printing expansion.

SNL shared recycling efforts with Kirtland Air Force Base, and the program is used as an example throughout the U.S. Air Force.

SustainABLE Culture

PNNL's building sustainability champions.

Grassroots Outreach Drives Sustainable Culture at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) outreach activities contribute to the achievement of water, energy, and waste diversion goals driving significant cultural change. The innovation is apparent with the collaboration of the building operations personnel and researchers in completing their missions. PNNL’s strategic programs include:

  • Building Sustainability Champions
  • Sustainability Pay$
  • Annual Craft Career Day
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • Sustainability Reporting.

Innovative Goal Performance Project

Martin Asch and Jade Unger in BPA headquarters' high density area computer room.

Improving Data Center Efficiency at the Bonneville Power Administration

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) consolidated its data centers, going from from 967 servers to 501 during the past year. Its headquarters’ data centers collectively reduced energy consumption between 10% and 25% in a year.

BPA implemented the following initiatives to make the results possible:

  • Reduced the need for physical equipment by using virtual servers
  • Consolidated data center rooms from six to four
  • Raised temperature set points in the central data center.

Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention

Front row: Owen Stevens, Stuart Stinson, Edith Lewis-Buncomb, Ronnie Salmon, and Mildred Jackson. Back row: Arthur Wiggins, Edward Hutson, Terry Miller, and Richard Doniphan. Not pictured: James Titcher, Morgan Stringfield.

Saving Our Water: Savannah River Site

Savannah River Remediation, LLC, is saving millions of gallons of well water while ensuring safe regulatory water discharges and avoiding an expensive treatment system.

A new Rhombo ball cover and a biological digester were added to the 281-8H retention basin to reduce the levels of pH and algae build up during the warmer months. This resulted in an annual decrease of 55 million gallons of well water at a savings of $24,000 per year.