NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Go Green Initiative Team at the joint field office for New York Sandy recovery was recently recognized for its success in implementing sustainable practices. The team won the “Green Dream Team Award” from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Sustainable Practices Award program.
The annual award, which received 17 nominations from federal departments and agencies, recognizes the FEMA team for outstanding achievement in reaching their sustainability goals as outlined in Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance.
A panel of federal sustainability leaders selected the FEMA team because it presented a “superior quality project reflecting the highest ideals of [our] sustainability efforts,” according to Chris Cummiskey, senior sustainability officer for DHS. “I am impressed with the leadership and teamwork that helped institute sustainability practices into a response and recovery effort.”
Part of the team’s initiatives included encouraging the use of mass transit and issuing fewer rental vehicles, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the 75-person team oversaw a 51 percent reduction in paper usage and took energy conservation measures like installing light sensors in restrooms at the office. These sustainability practices are responsible for an estimated savings of $25 million.
“Even as we coordinate response and recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy, we must be good stewards of both the taxpayer’s money and the environment,” said Willie Nunn, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer in New York. “Our Go Green Initiative Team set high goals and executed a strong sustainability strategy that is now being recognized by DHS. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.”
The FEMA “Green Dream Team” is now being considered for a 2013 GreenGov Presidential Award, a program led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality that recognizes the efforts of federal agencies to lead sustainability practices.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.