The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VTANR) has been awarded Silver recognition from the State Electronics Challenge (SEC) —a Vermont-based national environmental stewardship program—for its achievements in decreasing the environmental footprint of its computer equipment.
“Through demonstrated leadership in green procurement of electronics in 2012, the Agency achieved measurable results, and in recognition of these achievements the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is receiving a Silver award,” Lynn Rubinstein, State Electronics Challenge Program Manager commented. “In an especially difficult year with office and operational disruptions due to Hurricane Irene, Agency staff kept the organization not only functioning, but improving its environmental operations throughout,” she added.
“In addition to being the only Vermont organization to earn an award from the State Electronics Challenge, this is the second year in a row that VTANR has received an award,” Rubinstein added. “And, last year it earned Bronze, so the Agency has notably enhanced its stewardship operations and achievements in the course of a year,” she noted.
“We joined the SEC in 2007, and have seen a lot of growth in the Agency and support from the management team here,” Bob Hammerl noted. Hammerl is the Information Technology (IT) Director and is responsible for the initial registration of VTANR with the State Electronics Challenge. “While there has been great support from the Secretary, meeting these standards would not have been possible without establishing partnerships internally.”
Hammerl refers to efforts made by the Solid Waste Management Program to promote the SEC and ensure the required annual reporting is completed. “Bryn Oakleaf, in the Solid Waste Management Program, has truly taken the reins on these efforts,” stated Hammerl. “Now IT works mainly as support, implementation, and tracking to see that the standards are met.” In response to how VTANR feels about the recognition Hammerl indicates that they are already setting their sights on next year. “We’ve gone from Bronze to Silver in one year. We hope to keep up the momentum.”
In its time in the SEC program VTANR saved enough energy to power almost 140 households per year, avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 210 cars from the road, avoided almost 1,500 pounds of hazardous waste from being created, as well as avoiding the generation of almost 38,000 pounds of trash.
VTANR achieved these results by purchasing only computer equipment qualified by the Electronic Procurement Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT®) standard, extending the life of its computer equipment, and by reusing computer equipment.
The State Electronics Challenge assists state, regional, tribal, and local governments to reduce the environmental impact of their office equipment. It annually recognizes the accomplishments of Partner organizations. The Challenge is administered by the Northeast Recycling Council. Currently, 116 state, regional, and local government agencies, in 36 states, collectively employing 160,000 people, have joined the SEC as Partners. For more information on the SEC, including a list of current Partner organizations, visit www.stateelectronicschallenge.net.