7G Going Green: Energy, Environment, Design
7Green is an initiative to create a "green" culture at the Chicago Fed's 7th District offices by promoting environmental awareness and practices. The program focuses on conserving energy, water and resources to benefit the planet, improve the health and welfare of people and reduce the Bank's operating and maintenance costs.
The Year in Review: 2011 Going Green Report
7Green is commissioned to encourage environmental responsibility within the Chicago Fed and among our employees. As part of this process, our building is being upgraded to twenty-first century environmental standards. We also produce an annual environmental report outlining resource and cost savings from our environmental efforts. Highlights from 2011 include:
- The recycling program was broadened to include toner cartridges, writing instruments and other office products waste, diverting 270 pounds of petroleum from the waste stream.
- Approximately 86% of construction waste was recycled totaling 71 tons of metal, 17 tons of wood and 4 tons concrete saving this material from going to the landfill.
- 300,000 gallons of water have been saved since upgrades to our cooling and plumbing systems were implemented in May which is enough water to fill half of an Olympic sized swimming pool.
- Our Digital Print Center saved about one ton of wood through its use of recycled paper and was awarded a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
- 80% of chemicals used to clean the Bank are Green Seal Certified.
- Employees have been encouraged to use public transit or bike to work. 62% of eligible Bank staff take public transportation to commute,reducing estimated emissions of hydrocarbon by 5,004 lbs, nitrogen oxide by 2,780 lbs and 34,750 carbon monoxide by lbs.
Looking to the Future: LEED
The Bank is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Desgin (LEED) Certification at the Chicago office this year. LEED is a third party certification that signifies high performance green buildings in key areas of human and environmental health. LEED certification is internationally recognized as a mark of environmental excellence in green operational practices.
Benefits of LEED
LEED certified buildings are designed to lower operating costs and increase asset value, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, improve health and safety for occupants, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Upgrades continue throughout the building. Policies and procedures will also be developed and implemented as necessary. Our performance as a green building will be tracked between May and July during which time staff will be surveyed about alternative transportation and indoor air quality. Then an application attesting to the sustainability of ongoing operational performance will be reviewed by the certifying body, the Green Building Certification Institute and then LEED certification will be awarded around December.