DENR Sustainability Award Winners
The DENR Sustainability Awards are presented to individuals or groups within DENR who have shown leadership in implementing initiatives that minimize the unwanted impacts on environmental quality and that use natural resources for daily activities, operations and projects in the DENR workplace.
This year, there were six DENR Sustainability Awards given in recognition of actions taken by DENR employees. Awards were given for large and small individual project recognition, as well as group sustainable projects
Individual Small Project Award Winners
John reduced propane fuel costs by 70 percent at the Fort Macon State Park Visitor Center. This is a $6,121 annual savings under current propane prices.
Lula studied and made strategic changes in the locations of the N.C. Zoo's public recycling and waste collection, saving the zoo collection and supply costs without sacrificing staff or hours. This has led to demonstrable savings in several areas such as fuel, man hours, and even a savings of $3,663 in a single year for trash bags.
Individual Large Project Award Winners
Lydia facilitated the first large-scale Earth Day event for the Outer Bank's community in partnership with more than 30 businesses and organizations attending to showcase their commitment to protecting and promoting the environment. As part of the North Carolina Science Festival, this event amplified statewide environmental education, as well as marketing the Outer Banks on the prestigious map of eco-tourism destinations.
Jeff set up a paperless electronic permit renewal process for the Division of Water Quality's cooling water general permits. This completely paperless renewal pilot accounted for an 84 percent reduction in processing costs. Other agencies are looking at doing the same for their general permit renewals, as more than half of this pilot program's permittees used the electronic permit renewal system.
Group Project Award Winners
Second Place — Mr. Mike Lambert, with the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation at New River State Park
The park developed a program to reduce energy costs at park buildings and facilities. Using available resources and expertise, the park has been able to save energy costs on a monthly basis, by making simple no-cost improvements using staff and volunteer help.
First Place — Mr. Adrian O'Neal with the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation at Fort Macon State Park
The park won first place for its "Pack It In/ Pack It Out" project, which saved costs when dealing with trash. The project greatly reduced beach litter, saved fuel costs and allowed for park staff to spend more time with visitors.
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The DENR Sustainability Team is composed of representatives from 27 DENR divisions, offices and programs. Its mission is "to inspire a culture of sustainability within DENR by promoting environmentally responsible actions." More information on DENR Sustainability is available at portal.ncdenr.org/web/sustainability/home
Information on sustainability in buildings and lands in North Carolina is available on the state sustainability team NC Project Green website, www.ncprojectgreen.org.