County reports ongoing sustainability goals, successes - Tucson News Now

County reports ongoing sustainability goals, successes

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By Corina Gallardo, Tucson News Now intern

TUCSON, Ariz. (Tucson News Now) – Pima County officials report its continued progress on sustainability goals upon completion of the fifth year ofimplementing its action plan.

The Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations was adopted by the Pima County Boardof Supervisors in 2008 made several advances to increase sustainabilityand efficiency of its operations during the fiscal year 2012-2013. Officials said the action plan:

  • Increased the number of environmentally friendly vehicles so that 44 percent of the County's fleet vehicles are now flex-fuel, alternative fuel, or hybrid vehicles.
  • Added more than 5 megawatts (MW) of solar to its renewable energy portfolio.
  • Expanded the recycling options for employees and the public; and sent 46 percent less waste to the landfill than in 2008 and 31.5 percent less than FY 2011-2012.
  • Completed the Pima Emergency Communications and Operations Center, which meets 60 percent of the water efficiency credits to qualify for LEED Silver designation. The Center is part of Pima County's Wireless Integrated Network that will provide a regional communications center to operate during public safety emergencies.
  • The Green Building Program, sponsored by Development Services, offered ten training sessions last year with 347 building professionals and members of the public attending, surpassing its target.
  • Acquired 2,354 acres of land for open space conservation purposes. 
  • Increased equipment testing of 100 percent post-consumer recycled content paper to determine compatibility with County-operated copiers and printers.
  • Increased the number of times employees participated in one or more wellness programs by 64 percent over the last year.
  • Published its second greenhouse gas inventory.

The highlights of the 5-year project from the years of2008-2013 include:

  • Savings of $7,136,000 in energy costs to Pima County.
  • Production of 7 megawatts of renewable energy for use in County facilities.
  • Acquisition of 27,354 acres of natural open space lands for conservation.
  • Some 22 County parks are now served by reclaimed water.
  • Hybrid vehicles comprise 44 percent of County fleet and 60 percent in Sheriff's fleet.
  • Solar One Stop Center opened in Public Works Building.
  • Employee alternative modes of transportation increased by 41 percent.
  • Installation of 16 electric vehicle charging stations for public and employee use.
  • LEED Silver standards achieved for all new County facilities over 5,000 square feet.
  • Pima County awarded LEED for Homes provider status by U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Increase of 318 percent of purchase and use of "eco-friendly" office supplies.
  • Waste sent to the landfills from County facilities reduced by 46 percent.
  • Increased employee participation in health andwellness programs by 64 percent

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