DOE Prominent in "Closing the Circle" Awards

November 11, 2003

On June 10, 2003, DOE and other federal agencies received White House "Closing the Circle" awards for their outstanding environmental stewardship. Twenty-six teams were honored for oustanding military and civilian facility efforts in such categories as environmental management systems, education and outreach, purchase of environmentally preferable and bio-based products, sustainable design for buildlings, waste and pollution prevention, and recycling. This ninth annual White House ceremony was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.

John L. Howard, Jr., the Federal Environmental Executive, noted: "The Closing the Circle award winners have demonstrated that the Federal government can lead by example. We're proud of all that they're doing to improve the quality of life in each of their communities."

In the category of Education and Outreach, the Federal Network for Sustainability (FNC) was recognized for working to promote environmental stewardship in the federal government. The four agencies accepting the award for the FNS were the Department of Energy, Navy, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Service. The FNS is an alliance of 13 West Coast federal agencies who share staff, authorities, and experience to collectively reduce waste, pollution, and energy consumption. The principal goal of the Network is to use the consumer power of the federal government to promote sustainable practices. In 2002, they focused their efforts on promoting use of 100 percent recycled content copier paper, Environmental Management Systems, electronics equipment disposal, and green power purchases.

DOE's Sandia National Laboratories also was honored at the ceremony. The Model Validation and Systems Certification Project represented the Lab's first attempt to incorporate sustainability into a local major construction project, and received an award for Sustainable Design/Green Buildings. The project requirements and the design and construction processes included sustainable design features based on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" rating system. The model validation project was constructed by renovating an existing facility at the lab. In particular, the sustainable design specifications addressed site considerations, the building envelope, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, safeguarding water, procurement of recycled content items, and recycling of construction material. The process developed during the model validation has become a standard for other Sandia projects, with eight more buildings at Sandia now being evaluated using the same process.

For more information on the "Closing the Circle" awards, visit: