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Environmentalism

The Chicago Fed's Seventh District offices promote 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.

Reserve Center Awarded LEED Gold Certfication

The Chicago and Detroit facilities were awarded two distinguished sustainability and green design honors. Chicago was given the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status. Detroit Branch earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® rating.

On November 1, 2012, the Chicago Fed's building, the Reserve Center, was originally awarded silver certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This designation, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, provides a third-party verification of green buildings and works as a tool that identifies and promotes best-in-class building strategies. This makes the center the second oldest building in Illinois to receive this certification. On January 10, 2017, it was announced the Chicago Fed's building had been elevated to the gold LEED certification.

“We are extremely proud that the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has earned LEED Gold Certification, as it reflects our commitment to creating a sustainable workplace for our employees and building occupants, and demonstrates our responsibility to the community and environment,” said Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago First Vice President Ellen Bromagen.

Detroit Branch Awarded ENERGY STAR® Rating

The Detroit Branch’s ENERGY STAR® rating validates that the building performs in the top 25% of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency, while meeting strict EPA-regulated energy efficiency performance levels.

The Detroit engineering staff improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically and making cost-effective improvements to its building, including installing a more energy-efficient boiler, replacing older lighting with LED fixtures, and modifying the control systems to maximize energy-efficiency. These improvements reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use from 306 households.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR® energy performance scale has helped organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy since 1992, when the program was introduced as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, the ENERGY STAR® label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants. Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR® certification use an average of 35% less energy than typical buildings and also release 35% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Some Highlights

Sustainability

Sustainability refers to the renewal of resources at a rate equal or greater than the rate consumed. Since 2006, the Bank has been evaluating its operations to encourage environmental awareness. Some steps taken are

  • Upgrading the HVAC system to reduce energy use
  • Replacing lighting with LED or high efficient fluorescent
  • Installing lighting sensors to eliminate wasted energy
  • Installing a reflective roof to reduce cooling needs
  • Equipping restrooms with high-efficiency faucets to conserve water
  • Using environmentally friendly cleaning products to improve workplace air quality
  • Recycling of paper and shredded currency

We save approximately 400,000 gallons of water annually by diverting the drain back into our cooling towers.
To put that into context, an Olympic size swimming pool holds approximately 660,000 gallons.

LEED pool

 

Our Fan Wall and Chiller projects save enough energy to power ~92 households for an entire year.
This results in a reduction of 186,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.


LEED energy


Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413, USA. Tel. (312) 322-5322

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