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Green Governments Coordinating Council State Agency Award Winners 

Awards Recognize Individuals’ Commitments to a Greener Illinois

CHICAGOGovernor Pat Quinn today announced the ninth annual report of the Green Governments Coordinating Council (GGCC) and recognized the work of model state employees for their dedication to sustainability. The report details how state agencies are employing green practices to make government operations better for the environment, more sustainable and more efficient, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

“Illinois is a leader in bringing green practices to the everyday operations of the government,” Governor Quinn said. “This year’s report shows we have made great strides toward reducing our environmental footprint and working more efficiently.”

The GGCC is tasked with integrating long-term sustainable systems into state operations for the purposes of conserving water, enhancing health and safety, reducing waste, minimizing emissions and other creative and cost-efficient solutions.

Click here to read the 2013 GGCC Annual Report.

Report highlights include:

  • Due to a recently renegotiated state energy contract, 25 percent of all Illinois government energy comes from Illinois wind energy, saving the state more than $4 million.
  • Since the GGCC began focusing on state vehicle fuel consumption in 2008, the fuel consumption has been reduced by more than 860,000 gallons, saving the state more than $2.7 million.
  • The Illinois Central Management Services E-waste recycling program collected over 100,000 computers, monitors and printers, saving the state $3 million in disposal costs.
  • More than $9 million dollars has been saved since 2010 through a printer, scanner and fax consolidation program which has removed more than 31,000 electronic devices. In FY 2013, the Illinois Department of Human Services completed a removal of more than 6,000 outdated devices, replacing them with newer multifunctional devices, for a savings of $3.1 million annually.

In addition, the GGCC’s “Caught Green Handed” profiles recognize outstanding individual achievement, emphasizing that all agency accomplishments are achieved through the concerted efforts of dedicated individuals. This year 22 honorees were awarded, representing six state agencies and two universities.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Green Building Council ranked Illinois number one among all 50 states in the sustainable building design movement. Illinois has more than 29 million square feet of LEED certified green buildings, or 2.29 square feet for every resident.

Green Governments Coordinating Council Honorees

• Jen Aholt, Department of Corrections, Illinois Correctional Industries, and Amy Bliefnick, Department of Agriculture, Illinois State Fair, for their efforts to make the Illinois State Fair the most sustainable state fair in the country.

• Harish Bhatt, Illinois Department of Employment Security, who demonstrates the power one individual has to make a noticeable environmental difference in the office and for the planet through his use of toner recycling before the implementation of the CMS I-Cycle program.

• Mike Cavanaugh, Illinois Department of Central Management Services, for his work in developing a comprehensive service for the implementation of electronic filing cabinet software and his commitment to a greener government at the State Fair, other agencies, and elsewhere.

• Patrick Corcoran, Get Covered Illinois, for his personal commitment to sustainable transit, including the use of Divvy bike share and a Nissan LEAF.

• Jerry Daly, Illinois Department of Corrections, for his initiatives to reduce natural gas and electric consumption, including the addition of timers on equipment and the creation of new garden centers.

• Socorro Del Real, Office of the Governor, for her rescue of plants without the benefit of direct sunlight and prioritization of supply reuse.

• Billy Earl, Illinois Department of Central Management Services, for his dedication to printer reduction.

• Sarah Hartman, Illinois Department of Corrections, for her efforts to recycle plastic drink bottles and promotion of recycling within the department.

• Jeff Jennings and Charles Lingle, Shawnee Correctional Facility, for their instrumental work in implementing a premier recycling program that recycles 200 tons of material per year and which has served as a model for others.

• Nick Kanellopoulos, Illinois Department of Central Management Services, for his efforts to shrink the amount of property leased by the state, allowing for resources to be used elsewhere or saved.

• Greg Kelso, Illinois Department of Corrections, who is IDOC’s dedicated leader for sustainability reforms, and who launched a program in which he picks up compost from partners and harvests it at his home compost farm.

• Tracey Laird, Illinois Department of Corrections, for her consolidation of a two page form into one page, eliminating 50 percent of the amount of paper used by facilities statewide.

• Bart Lytel, Illinois State University, who began an e-recycling program at Illinois State University approximately three years ago utilizing student employees and a degauzing machine – the program has saved more than $320,000 and diverted more than 5,000 pounds from the landfill.

• Acting Director Simone McNeil, Illinois Department of Central Management Services, who, alongside Windy City Harvest, coordinates vegetable planting outside of Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center.

• Tim Peters, Illinois Department of Transportation, for his work in minimizing the environmental impact of snow and ice operations, including playing an integral role in the anti-idling policy and the IDOT Compressed Natural Gas Pilot Project.

• Carol Pinkerton, Illinois Department of Central Management Services, a GGCC member who has worked tirelessly to elevate the “Green Initative”.

• Penny Poole, Illinois Department of Corrections, who for many years has overseen the garden project at the Dixon Springs Impact Incarceration Program, which now covers over three acres and who this year instituted new green policies.

• Kris Schachel, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, for the new “Give & Go” program for residence hall move-out, which collects clothes, shoes, purses and bags, unopened food, electronics and cleaning products.

• David Smith, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, for his commitment to reducing landfill waste, dropping off over 250 pounds of cardboard for recycling.

• Will Walker, Illinois Department of Central Management Services, for his dedication to making the fleet of state vehicles greener and oversight of responsible technology waste operations.