Tally is in: 2013 Chicago Green Office Challenge Winners Announced

2013 Chicago Green Office Challenge Winners Announced

Chicago Green Office Challenge Round 3 Award winners











CHICAGO, Ill. (June 18, 2014) – Delta Institute CEO Jean Pogge joined City of Chicago Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert and Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental & Supplier Diversity Strategy for Office Depot, to announce the final results and winners of the 2013 Chicago Green Office Challenge, a friendly competition to support Chicago businesses in adopting sustainable practices that promote efficiency, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Green Office Challenge is an impact-focused competition that works with local companies and their employees to reduce environmental impact while saving money and driving positive business results,” said Weigert.  “Congratulations to all participants, and thank you for your concrete efforts to make Chicago even more sustainable.”

“With over 1,000 individuals completing over 4,800 activities as part of the Chicago Green Office Challenge, it is clear the program has had a direct and positive impact on environmental sustainability in Chicago,” said Siddiqui. “It is the clear and tangible results that this Challenge and the City of Chicago have delivered that Office Depot applauds and is proud to continue to support.”

“In addition to greening offices across the City, the Challenge is also providing participants with the tools and know-how they need to take these sustainability lessons into their homes,” said Pogge. “Delta Institute is proud to help inspire that sustainability ripple effect across the Chicago Metropolitan Region.”

In Round 3, technology played an expanded role, as the Challenge offered an innovative online activities tool that allowed participants (including buildings, offices, and – for the first time – individuals) to log their activities and earn points. This new, “gamified” approach stirred up inter- and intra-office competition, driving sustainable activities across the city.

Chicago Green Office Challenge Awards

Awards were presented in the following categories:

  • Building energy reduction award winner: U.S. Equities, 515 N. State
  • Tenant energy reduction award winner: Mayer Brown
  • Best 3-year energy performance: Hines, 333 W. Wacker
  • Building waste reduction award winner: U.S. Equities, 515 N. State
  • Tenant waste reduction award winner: Perkins + Will
  • Building water reduction award: 555 W. Monroe
  • Tenant participation award winner: Perkins+Will
  • Tenant participation runner-up: Hyatt Center, 71 S. Wacker Drive Holdings
  • Building participation award winner: Hyatt Center, 71 S. Wacker Drive Holdings
  • Building participation runner-up: Means Knas Partners, 300 South Riverside Plaza
  • Social Media Master: Brigitte Cox, Messe Dusseldorf North America
  • Most activities logged: Nicole Lawler, 71 S. Wacker Drive Holdings
  • Property manager with most engaged tenants: Susan Hammer, AMA plaza

Green Office Challenge Impacts

Some notable accomplishments of Round 3 of the Challenge include:

Energy Impact

  • For the first time, the Challenge encouraged tenants to not only reduce energy use, but also to quantify their impact, resulting in 59 businesses tracking energy use and 32 businesses reporting a collective 11% reduction in energy use.
  • 42 businesses made permanent changes to their office spaces during Round 3 of the Challenge by retrofitting energy systems, including lighting efficiency upgrades and lighting controls installations.
  • 56 businesses installed appliances controls to reduce energy used by copiers, kitchen appliances, computers and more.

Waste Impact

  • 15 businesses and 17 buildings collectively recycled 7 million pounds of office paper, cardboard, and recycled bottles/cans, equivalent to preserving 36,871 trees.
  • Many participants assessed and redesigned their approach to recycling, including 20 businesses that added composting and 28 businesses that changed their recycling infrastructure to improve results.
  • On Earth Day in 2013, the Chicago Green Office Challenge worked with the City of Chicago and Abt Electronics to collect 10,000 pounds of e-waste from businesses citywide.

Water Impact

  • Participants found creative ways to reduce their water impact, including 38 offices that eliminated plastic water bottles and 18 offices that reduced water consumption through behavioral changes.
  • The Merchandise Mart led an ambitious effort to change out 188 of its highest-use water fixtures, saving over 4 million gallons of water.
  • Participating building, 222 South Riverside Plaza, managed by Behringer Harvard, installed a customized system to reclaim condensation from the cooling system, reducing their water consumption by tens of thousands of gallons last year.

Participation Impact

  • Round 3 welcomed 185 new tenants and 21 new buildings to the competition.
  • In total, the over 1,000 individuals registered for the Challenge completed over 4,800 activities to improve office sustainability, ranging from purchasing of greener office supplies to retrofitting lighting and water fixtures.
  • The Challenge expanded its geographic reach, with buildings and offices from over 20 new zip codes participating in Round 3.

Originally launched in 2008, this citywide competition has expanded in participation year after year and has served as a model for over a dozen similar sustainability competitions across the country.

The Challenge creates participant value by: providing tools and information to improve resource efficiency, reduce operating expenses, and avoid greenhouse gas emissions; creating high-impact opportunities to engage employees in achieving corporate sustainability goals; recognizing and celebrating leading businesses and facilities through friendly competition; empowering local businesses to help achieve citywide environmental goals outlined in the Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda.

The City of Chicago, Office Depot, and Delta Institute expect to launch Round 4 of the Chicago Green Office Challenge in September 2014.

To learn more and sign up to participate in the 2014 Chicago Green Office Challenge, visit ChicagoGOC.com, Facebook.com/ChicagoGreenOfficeChallenge, and Twitter @ChiGreenOffice.

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About Delta Institute: Delta Institute is a nonprofit organization that works to catalyze environmental sustainability and economic development throughout the Great Lakes region. Delta works in partnership with business, government and communities in the Great Lakes region to create and implement innovative, market-driven solutions that build environmental resilience, economic vitality and healthy communities. This work supports Delta’s strategic objective to catalyze ecosystem stewardship in the Great Lakes region. Visit online at https://delta-institute.org.


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