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.
Water Conservation Efforts Save 11 Million Gallons in 2014
Region 5's efforts to reduce water consumption in 2014 built on the previous year's success. Upgrading plumbing fixtures, completing irrigation control projects, and discovering hidden building leaks through advanced metering data helped the region reduce water usage by more than 11 million gallons.
From the prior fiscal year, 2014 water consumption – measured in gallons per gross square foot – fell 4.5%. The region's current water consumption is 47% below its 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 has also helped offset the steep rise in water prices this year.
Fiscal Year 2015 Energy Conservation Efforts Off to a Good Start
The region's efforts to conserve energy are paying off so far in FY 2015. For the first four months of the fiscal year (October 2014 to January 2015), energy usage has dropped 5.5% compared to the same period in FY 2014.
Milder weather compared to 2014's extreme cold has helped, but large projects have also begun to show savings. These include Recovery Act projects in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Fort Snelling, Minnesota, as well as Energy Savings Performance Contracts in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio.
Additionally, the region has expanded sophisticated analytic systems like advanced utility metering and GSA Link. These systems work by flagging spikes in a building's energy or water usage and providing property managers with possible causes and solutions.
GREAT LAKES REGION SUSTAINABILITY STATISTICS for FY 2014
- Achieved an aggregated regional diversion rate of 58%
- Recycled more than 3,800 tons of material
- Reduced printing and paper consumption by moving to electronic-based processes
- Avoided $350,000 in landfill costs and earned $214,000 from recycling