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Sustainability in Action

Great Lakes Region GSA (Region 5) is proud of its efforts to reduce usage of energy and water, increase use of green processes and products, and expand recycling efforts. Refer back to this page often for the latest stories and statistics tracking our efforts to become more sustainable.


Water Conservation Efforts Save 48 Million Gallons in 2013

Region 5's efforts to reduce water consumption were tremendously successful in fiscal year 2013. Upgrading plumbing fixtures, completing irrigation control projects, and discovering hidden leaks in our buildings through advanced metering data helped the region reduce water usage by more than 48 million gallons.

From the prior fiscal year, our water consumption – measured in gallons per gross square foot – fell 17.7%. The region's current water consumption is 39.7% below its fiscal year 2007 baseline.

Aside from the benefits of conserving this precious natural resource, using less water reduces the energy required to pump waste water through the city's treatment system. Conserving water also helped offset the steep rise in water prices this year.

GSALink Helps Property Managers Fine Tune Building Operations for Added Savings

Ten Great Lakes GSA facilities have begun reporting data from GSALink, a new website that helps property managers analyze data from their buildings' computerized energy management systems. GSALink has been live since January 2014 and is already helping save energy and money.

The system works by flagging spikes in energy or water usage within a building and providing property managers possible causes and solutions.

Four more Great Lakes buildings will join the GSALink system in 2014.


  • Diverted 61% of building operations waste from reaching landfills
  • Recycled more than 4,600 tons of material, including more than 3,300 tons of paper, and are working to reduce printing and paper consumption further by moving to electronic-based processes
  • Composted more than 85 tons of landscape, food, and paper towel waste in 11 Great Lakes Region facilities
  • Improved the aggregated regional diversion rate from 55% in FY 2011 to 61% in FY 2013

Michael Virgilio
(312) 353-4651

Sustainability, green, energy, environment, energy savings