Minneapolis VA Receives Multiple EPA Awards - Minneapolis VA Health Care System
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Minneapolis VA Receives Multiple EPA Awards

George Johnson, manager of the Minneapolis VA’s Green Environmental Management System program standing in front of the Minneapolis VA medical center

George Johnson, manager of the Minneapolis VA’s Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) program.

Friday, August 21, 2020

On June 25, 2020 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Minneapolis VA Health Care System (MVAHCS) won multiple Federal Green Challenge awards. MVAHCS is one of only seven federal facilities nationwide to receive a national recognition for efforts to reduce environmental impacts and is the only facility to receive two national awards. It is also received a regional award from EPA Region 5, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

“EPA is proud to recognize these federal facilities that have excelled in improving efficiency, saving resources, and reaching environmental goals,” said EPA Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede. “I applaud all of the agencies that participated and congratulate the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System on its leadership and achievements in sustainability.”

Federal Green Challenge recognizes federal facilities for applying practical cost-effective measures to conserve money and resources. The challenge is a national effort under the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program which encourages federal agencies to reduce the federal government's environmental impact. 

In fiscal year 2019, national Federal Green Challenge participants reduced their environmental impact throughout the waste stream, including:

  • Sending nearly 180 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers.
  • Diverting more than 600,000 tons of waste from landfills.
  • Adding nearly 5,000 electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles to their fleets.
  • Recycling 180 million gallons of water.
EPA Federal Green Challenge awards

EPA Federal Green Challenge awards

MVAHCS was recognized with National and Regional Federal Green Challenge awards for efforts to improve the efficiency of the facilities:

  • National Award in Purchasing:
    • Achieved a 31% reduction in the amount of paper purchased from the previous fiscal year.
  • National Award in Water:
    • Reduced landscape irrigation water usage by over one million gallons in FY19 by decreasing the amount of annual horticultural flowers planted and replacing them with more perennial and native plants that require less water.
  • Regional Award in Energy:
    • Reduced natural gas use by 35% by replacing older equipment with energy efficient models and modifying management techniques.

For more information on the Federal Green Challenge and this year’s winners, visit www.epa.gov/fgc.

For more information on the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, visit https://www.epa.gov/smm.

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