Meet the new faces of sustainability at Y-12
Jeremy Price and Chloe Green are helping Y-12 be environmentally responsible and prepared for the impacts of climate change.
“Their roles support the Y-12 mission by working to ensure that Y-12 becomes a more resilient site, including everything from sustainable procurement to supporting the development of sustainable, resilient solutions to address the identified climate impacts to Y-12’s critical assets and infrastructure,” said Aprell Patterson of Y-12’s Pollution Prevention Program.
The recently hired sustainability engineers support various initiatives across the site, including the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan, the Vulnerability Assessments and Resilience Plan (VARP), the Sustainable Climate Ready Sites (SCRS), identifying more sustainable solutions and products, determining waste minimization opportunities, supporting sustainable acquisition initiatives, and promoting a new carpooling program.
As a U.S. Navy veteran, Price became intrigued by a post military career in sustainability after traveling the world and seeing first hand the effects acidification, pollution, and climate change have on the environment. He is the new program lead for VARP and SCRS.
“We are all stewards of our environment and, as such, we have a duty to take care of it,” Price said. “Caring about site sustainability has a direct link to conservation of land and resources. The fewer resources we take, the more there are for future generations. I also think Y-12ers should feel a sense of pride knowing that we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Green is the lead for the new carpool program, which has already shown promise as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In just four months, carpooling at Y-12 has saved more than 2,000 gallons of gas, 47,500 miles traveled, and 20.3 tons of CO2 emissions.
In addition, Green has taken an interest in sustainable acquisitions. “I didn’t realize the different types of sustainable products available, nor how big of a role it plays at Y-12,” she said. “The program has acquired many items used here on site, such as cut resistant gloves made of plastic bottles, zero tree paper, and picnic tables and other furniture made of recycled materials. Sustainable acquisition will continue to grow and [through these efforts] procure more sustainable items to help reduce the footprint we create here.”
Sustainability efforts such as these have been recognized. Y-12 was recently bestowed the United States Department of Agriculture BioPreferred Program’s first Excellence in Biobased Procurement Award because of a bio based FR3 fluid it used to retrofill 20 transformers and for recycling nearly 20,000 gallons of transformer fluid.
The award is part of a nearly four decade sustainability history at Y-12. The first waste minimization and pollution prevention program was launched on site in 1985. From there, the Sustainability team has consistently shared initiatives to increase employee involvement. The overall goals are to establish and maintain services to support sustainable operations, including stewardship practices that take care of legacy issues, while protecting employees and promoting the wellbeing of employees, the public, and the environment.
“Since 1993, Y-12 has completed more than 2,220 sustainability activities, obtained a cost efficiency of more than $120.9 million, and achieved a waste reduction/avoidance of more than 3.17 billion pounds,” said Jan Jackson, Sustainability and Stewardship Program Manager.
“Sustainability isn’t about living a 100% green life,” Green said. “Sustainability is about finding the balance in order to continue to conserve and preserve resources and the environment for future generations. We have the power to make positive, sustainable changes that can help the mission and society.”