Sustainability in Action

Great Lakes Region GSA (Region 5) is proud of its efforts to reduce usage of energy and water, increase use of green processes and products, and expand recycling efforts.


Energy, Water Use Plunge Below 12-Year Targets

Tasked by Congress and the President to reduce energy usage 30% and water usage 20% by 2015, federal buildings in the Great Lakes Region easily surpassed both targets, lowering energy 30.8% and water 43.9% versus 2003 and 2007 baselines, respectively, in 2015.

Energy usage for 2015 was 61,000 BTUs per gross square foot, down from nearly 90,000 in 2003, for a 3.1% annual drop.

Meanwhile, 2015 water usage was 7.2 gallons/GSF, down from 13 in 2007. This 7% annual drop has saved the region more than 400 million gallons of water.

The region's conservation of energy and water has produced tremendous cost savings as well. Though energy prices rose an average of 2.4% annually from 2003, the region's utility expenditures are roughly the same today as they were then. And since 2009, costs have decreased roughly 20%, saving the region nearly $32 million over the past six years.

Energy usage has continued to decrease through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2016. Relative to the previous fiscal year, energy usage is on pace for greater than a 10% reduction. Water usage, however, has risen slightly as hotter temperatures have increased the need for cooling tower evaporation and irrigation.

Other Great Lakes Region Sustainability Statistics for FY 2015

  • Achieved an aggregated regional diversion rate of 58%
  • Recycled more than 8,000 tons of material
  • Avoided $380,000 in landfill costs
print Share Icon Last Reviewed 2017-08-13