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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
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Sustainability

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DENR employees honored for sustainability efforts


 DENR’s 2014 Sustainability Award winners (left to right): Bob Langston (N.C. Zoo standing in for Hillary Hill); Sue Page and Jim Gilreath with the N.C. Division of Waste Management; Amanda Lasley and Jerry Howerton with the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation; George Joyner with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries; and Mike Medina with the N.C. Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources.

 

For years, DENR employees have initiated ideas and projects that have reduced environmental impacts, reduced waste, and saved time, resources and money. Each year, the DENR Sustainability Team requests employee nominations for the DENR Sustainability Awards as a way to honor and recognize DENR individuals and groups who have developed work place initiatives that reduce unwanted impacts on the environment. The awards give a well-deserved “pat on the back” to DENR employees who have shown initiative and common sense and encourage other employees to propose other savings and efficiency ideas.

On March 30, DENR’s Chief Deputy Secretary John C. Evans presented the 2014 DENR Sustainability Awards at the 2015 Sustainability Awards Workshop. In keeping with the sustainability theme, Evans told how the 2014 awards were handcrafted by DENR employees from recycled or reused materials. For example, the third place awards were made using salvaged wood from the 2014 floor replacement at the Daily Planet CafĂ©.

DENR employees had nominated 15 DENR individuals and organizations for the awards. The three independent judges had a tough time choosing the first and second place winners for the three award categories – individual large, individual small and Group projects. So the judges ended up selecting two special third place awards this year. These award winners represent a small sample of DENR’s outstanding sustainability efforts and serve as an inspiration for all employees to find large and small workplace improvements that will help protect the environment, conserve resources, reduce waste and save energy.

Individual Small Project Winners

Third Place

Michael Medina, N.C. Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources
Michael continues to maintain and improve the DENR employee Technotrash recycling program at the Archdale building, helping DENR to recycle hundreds of pounds of technical trash a year, which is not recycled as part of the state’s surplus equipment program.

Third Place

Paul Clark, N.C. Division of Water Resources
Paul continues to maintain and improve the DENR employee battery recycling program at the Archdale building. This small project saves thousands of batteries from ending up in the landfill every year and encourages employees to recycle more waste materials.

Second Place

Hillary Hill, N.C. Zoological Park Environmental Services
Hillary developed a cost effective way to collect and recycle more than 281 pounds of cardboard toilet paper rolls in 2014 from the N.C. Zoo’s many public and staff restrooms. This project saved tipping and hauling fees, furthering the zoo’s efforts to reach its zero waste to landfill goal.

First Place

Amanda Lasley, N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, South Mountain State Park
Amanda developed a protective cover design, using available scrap resources at the park, to save supplies at remote park restrooms from being lost to mice and other animals. This has resulted in park staff using 40 percent fewer supplies to service these remote public restrooms.

Individual Large Project Winners

First Place

George Joyner, Division of N.C. Marine Fisheries
George developed a biological database, optical imaging and digital transmission processes, which is improving operational efficiencies through data sharing. This project has increased timeliness of data availability and has saved costs and time.

Group Project Winners

Second Place

Compliance Branch and Resident Inspector Program, N.C. Division of Waste Management
Staff with the Compliance Branch and Resident Inspector Program developed a three-phase organizational project which allowed for better use of inspection staff by enabling them to work from home, replacing unneeded landline phones with cell phones, and the use of portable document scanners by field inspectors. This project saved time and resources and generated less waste. In doing so, the project helped the division save about $82,816 in annual operating costs.

First Place

Haw River State Park, N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation
Haw River State Park staff looked into extra environmental considerations when they chose their new environmentally friendly wastewater treatment system for the park. The treatment system has reduced the impact on the environment, while more effectively serving park visitors. This project saved nearly $30,000 a year in operational costs.

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DENR Sustainability Vision

DENR is the primary environment agency and model for sustainable actions of all North Carolina government agencies.


DENR Sustainability Mission

To inspire a culture of sustainability within DENR by promoting environmentally responsible actions.

 

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