Energy team earns 2016 USACE sustainability award

U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
Published June 20, 2016
Jeffery Watts speaks during an Energy Huntsville meeting in April 2016.

Jeffery Watts speaks during an Energy Huntsville meeting in April 2016.

The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville’s Energy Division has earned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2016 Good Neighbor Award for its collaboration and partnership with Energy Huntsville, a non-profit dedicated to growing the region’s economy in the energy sector and establishing the city as the “go-to technology center for solutions to energy programs and projects.”

The team award, part of the Army Corps of Engineers’ national Sustainability Awards Program, recognizes Huntsville Center’s success in sharing experience and technical expertise with the local community in five key segments: local, industry, utilities, government and academia.

“We had a tremendous competition, and it is inspiring to see all of the great work that supports our first USACE Environmental Operating Principle: Foster sustainability as a way of life throughout the organization," said USACE Environmental Division Chief Karen Baker in a June 12 email announcing the winners. This program “provides the opportunity to mark significant contributions the USACE is making in implementing energy efficiency and sustainable solutions to reduce our impacts to the environment and surrounding communities, and preserve the quality of our natural resources.”

Through the Energy Huntsville forum, Huntsville Center has been able to deliver an important message for local neighbors on long term energy sustainability and economic growth for businesses by leveraging and implementing products and services that support Executive Order 13693 “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade,” according to Paul Robinson, chief of the Energy Division, who was named in the award.

Robinson and former Huntsville Center Commander Col. Robert Ruch actively coordinated with Energy Huntsville on the November 2015 Energy Summit, which featured participants and speakers from across the federal sector - to include Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment, presenting the “Army Energy Program, Government and Industry State of Energy Markets and Opportunities.” Jeffery Watts, chief of the division’s Energy Planning Branch, who was also named in the award, delivered a presentation on Executive Order 13693 (EO13693) and how Huntsville Center programs build a vision for the future.

Huntsville Center “has been an important member of Energy Huntsville,” said Jay W. Newkirk, Energy Huntsville Initiative’s Board Chairman, in a recommendation letter to the award panel. “The organization’s presence here has been rewarding for our community… This collaborative relationship brings combined solutions to the Corps’ constituents and supports them in satisfying their energy conservation mandates and at the same time supports the private sector energy companies growing in the energy sector.”

One of the Energy Division's Strategy and Business Management Branch missions is to help other agencies and communities develop similar partnerships to achieve federal sustainability goals detailed in EO13693. As a result of the Center’s partnership with Energy Huntsville, other members from the city of Huntsville, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S. Army Materiel Command, and the U.S. Army Garrison Redstone Arsenal and its tenants are now also proactively sharing lessons learned and strategies for meeting federal sustainability requirements.

Additional 2016 USACE Sustainability Award recipients:

  • Sustainabilty Hero - Neil Anderson, Pittsburgh District
  • Climate Champion - Patrick O'Brien, San Francisco District
  • Green Dream Team Award – U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineering Research Lab (CERL) for their partnership with U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, on the installation’s sustainability program
  • Green Innovation Award - Net Zero Planner and CAMPS Tool Integration, a partnership between Fort Worth District and ERDC-CERL
  • Lean, Clean and Green Awards - USACE Logistics Activity’s Transportation Division Fleet Management and the Washington Aqueduct Sustainability Team, Baltimore District
  • Building the Future Award - Omaha District for their partnership with the 13th Combat Aviation Brigade on the ASB Hangar at Fort Carson, Colorado

Huntsville Center is scheduled to receive the award during a virtual awards ceremony hosted by USACE Headquarters this fall.