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Air Force leads Pentagon's 2011 Green Team Awards

  • Published
  • By Ann Stefanek
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
The Pentagon's Director of Facilities Bradley Provancha recognized two Air Force organizations today as recipients of the Pentagon's 2011 Green Team awards during an "America Recycles Day" ceremony here Nov 15.

The Air Force Secretariat's Installations, Environment and Logistics offices, along with the Air Force Energy Office, were honored during the event. The Air Staff's Office of the Civil Engineer was also recognized for their participation.

"This is a great example of how the Air Force Pentagon staff walks the talk," said Debra Tune, the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics who accepted the award on behalf of the Secretariat. "We are so proud to receive these awards because the Air Force is truly committed to looking for ways to reduce waste and save money in day-to-day operations."

The Pentagon Environmental Office's Green Team awards contest was open to all offices within the Pentagon, representing approximately 23,000 workers in the building. For contest purposes, these offices were evaluated in two groups: those with 20 people or fewer and those with more than 20 people.

Offices were evaluated and accumulated points during unannounced inspections of garbage and recycling bins for proper disposal of trash and recyclables, as well as for recycling coordinator participation in workshops and meetings. The contest ran from June through October 2011.

Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton, who is also the Air Force senior sustainability officer, praised the efforts of the employees within the Installation and Environmental offices and Civil Engineer Directorate who stepped up to the Green Team awards challenge.

"This is a fantastic accomplishment, which really sets an example to follow," Conaton said. "My hat is off to everyone in these organizations for a job very well done."

Green practices are a total force effort that require participation by every Airman, she added.

"We must make a habit of being green, making the most of all the resources we use and looking for opportunities to conserve today for a secure tomorrow," Conaton said.

In 2010, Pentagon offices recycled approximately 20 percent of their waste; the DOD goal for 2011 is 42 percent. The Pentagon recycles white paper, mixed paper, newspaper, cardboard, plastic and glass bottles, cans, books, batteries, toner cartridges as well as construction and demolition debris.

In addition to being good stewards of the environment, Conaton said that minimizing or eliminating pollution and waste provides the potential to realize fiscal efficiencies.

"Being 'green' is good business for the Air Force," she said. "The Air Force fundamentally understands that doing right by the environment -- reducing waste, preventing pollution, conserving natural resources -- will ultimately reduce operating costs and save valuable taxpayer dollars."