SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced seven state agencies have been recognized with the first Green Government Awards for their leadership roles in carrying out the Governor’s Green Illinois Executive Order.
The initial Executive Order in April 2000 created the Green Government Coordinating Council to help agencies under the Governor incorporate more environmentally sustainable practices into their day-to-day functions — from the goods and services they use, to the waste they generate. A second Executive Order issued in December 2001 expanded the initiative.
“By reducing energy use, conserving raw materials, cutting down on waste generation and using environmentally-friendly materials, these agencies are not only setting environmental standards, but often they save money at the same time,” said Governor Ryan.
The awards were presented by Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Renee Cipriano to the Department of Agriculture, Department of Central Management Services, Department of Corrections, Department of Lottery, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Aid and Historic Preservation Agency.
“These agencies have gone the extra mile and are role models for environmental leadership and protection,” said Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Renee Cipriano, who co-chairs the Coordinating Council and presented the awards today.
Details on the achievements recognized for each agency follow:
Department of Agriculture
- Reusing wooden shipping pallets, which accompany paper product orders, for the storage of chemicals, books and other materials.
- Recycling wood chips from tree pruning and tree removal.
- Mulching leaves for plantings around State Fair grounds.
- Worked with agricultural chemical supply groups to recycle 123,536 pounds of plastic pesticide containers.
- Instructed employees to power down computers and switch off lights and the end of each day.
- Purchased flexible fuel vehicles that can use ethanol (or E-85 fuel) for field and administrative headquarters fleets. Many of the agency’s field units are almost entirely made up of E-85 vehicles.
- Utilized recycled water from the nearby sanitary district for racetrack maintenance, dust control and plant watering at the State Fair grounds.
- Scheduled press runs in the agency’s print shop by ink color to minimize ink use and chemical waste generation.
Central Management Services
- Estimated benefits of the below practices: diverted 132 cubic yards of materials from landfills and saved approximately 680 trees
- Replaced the mailing of hard copy bid solicitation packets with one-page bid announcements.
- Posting award notices in electronic bulletins
- Increased Internet posting of bid information for vendors to reduce paper use, postage and waste.
- Encouraging vendors to download solicitations from electronic bulletins. Some bids are no longer copies and mailed to vendors.
- Completed project to replace fluorescent light fixtures with more energy-efficient T-8 fixtures at the Marion Regional Office Building (Anticipated savings is $8,000/year)
- Replaced HVAC system with more energy efficient system controlled by computer management software at Marion Regional Office Building. (Estimated electrical savings is $1,725/year. Estimated savings on gas is $566/year.)
- Replaced fluorescent bulbs and electronic ballasts (Estimated 15% to 20% savings in energy use) and insulated steam and condensate lines at Elgin Regional Office Building (Estimated 5% to 10% savings in gas use.)
- Collected and recycled the following materials from 221 state facilities:
-2,441 tons of mixed and white paper
-140 tons of cardboard
-13,562 lbs. of metals
- Utilizing compressed material products to construct agency signs rather than natural wood products.
- Installed energy efficient flush valves in urinals and toilets at the Rockford Regional Office Building (achieved a savings of two gallons of water per flush.)
- Installed new water nozzles at E.J. “Zeke” Giorgi Center and Champaign Regional Office Building (Increased water efficiency by 5 to 15 percent.)
- Installed 900 feet of new steam lines at the Elgin Regional Office Building. (Reduced boiler chemical use from 400 lbs/year to 200lbs/year).
Recycle Contents Products
- Purchased $2,901,535 worth of recycled content products including:
Bins (100% purchased made with recycled content).
Corrugated Boxes (100% purchased with recycled content).
Appointment Calendars (99% purchased with recycled content).
Laser Printer Cartridges (92% purchased with recycled content).
Illinois Department of Corrections
- Converted a liquid spray paint system to a powder coat finish process at the Shawnee Correctional Center metal furniture manufacturing operation (Raw material savings estimated to be 50%, with a significant reduction in volatile organic compound emissions).
- Converting to less harmful alternatives to commonly used products, including correction fluid, bleach substitute, hair products, pest control products, and general use cleansers.
Illinois Department of Lottery
- Switched employee newsletter to an electronic format (Savings in paper use estimated to be $660/year.)
- Reduced size of lottery agent license to save paper, postage and envelope size (Estimated savings is $1,700 annually).
- Insulated all hot water tanks and water pipes
- Provided a bicycle rack for employees who bike to work.
- Purchased environmentally friendly paints low in volatile organic compound emissions.
Recycled Content Products
- Purchased carpet made from recycled products for the security area and two warehouse offices.
Department of Natural Resources
- Collected 480 pounds of aluminum at Lincoln Towers Plaza office site.
- Offering wild game permit applications to the public on DNR web site.
- Established a program to recycle used cooking oil at state park lodges.
- Completed a process to identify how operations can be done more efficiently to reduce cost and energy consumption, including reducing mowing area and frequency; eliminating multiple trips when one will do, and only taking one vehicle to the site of a project when one is enough.
- Using naturally occurring organisms (insect predators, rather than chemical/herbicides/pesticides) to control exotic species.
Illinois Department of Public Aid
- Identified and consolidated multiple mailings to clients and service providers.
- Started using imaging systems to replace hard-copy files and microfilm.
- Implementing an electronic verification system that will achieve a 67 percent reduction in the use of postcards and envelopes.
- Encouraging employees to use washable cups and mugs for tap water and beverages.
- Increased use of teleconferencing and video conferencing to conduct meetings.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
- Placed lenses into fluorescent lights to improve illumination and converted to high efficiency fluorescent light bulbs.
Regularly tuning up boilers and cleaning cooling towers to improve efficiency and minimize potential maintenance costs.
- Using low-flow plumbing fixtures, wherever possible.