Harris County Engineering Department
Facilities & Property Maintenance

Energy Management

Houston Green Office Challenge (HGOC)

The objective of the Program is to inspire the participants to reduce energy consumption, waste generation and water use. FPM is committed to implementing energy efficiency measures which help Harris County save money, improve the environment and further contribute to the County’s commitment to sustainability. 

Waste and Recycling Management: What are the benefits?

» Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recycling reduces emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change by using less energy to make new products, reducing incinerator and landfill emissions and slowing the harvest of trees. 

» Energy Conservation: Recycling saves energy by reducing the need to process new material, which usually requires more energy than the recycling process. According to a local recycling firm, recycling aluminum saves approximately 92% of the energy required to make the material from scratch. 

» Pollution Reduction: Products made using recycled rather than raw materials use significantly less energy, which translates into less burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. When burned, these fuels release pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide, into the air. 

» Land Conservation: Recycling minimizes the materials going to the landfill, thereby extending the life of our landfills. Harris County is currently partnering with two local companies to maximize benefits of waste management and recycling. 

» Economic Benefits: Recycling programs typically translate into reduced waste costs for businesses. Nationally, recycling is responsible for 850,000 U.S. jobs and $86 billion in gross annual sales according to one recycling report. 

Waste and Recycling Management: How Can You Help?

» At the Top of the List! The best way to help is to raise awareness on waste and recycling management. If more people adapt to the "Green Houston Office Challenge" in their daily work life, the positive benefits will multiply. Start by making more personal decisions with the environment in mind. Then help increase awareness by spreading the word to your colleagues, teams, bosses, suppliers and tenants. Harris County will benefit as a whole. It all adds up! 

» If one of your department or division co-worker buys three cups of coffee every workday for one year - that represents over 600 coffee cups that have ended up in the trash! Help replace that waste by choosing reusable coffee mugs for your promotional giveaways. Mugs also tend to be kept and used regularly by recipients. 

» Energy Star computers, printers and other business machines power down when not in use. They can help you conserve up to 75% of your electricity compared to standard models. By automatically switching equipment to "sleep mode" when not in use, Energy Star products saved Americans billions of dollars in energy costs! 

» In 2005, over 50% of all ink and toner cartridges were sent to landfills in the U.S. But it's simple to recycle. You may get money back on certain eligible cartridges at the nearest store, and they will also send FREE ink jet and toner cartridge recycling boxes to individual or organizations. Please view our link below for details. 

» Only about 50% of all the paper used in North America is recycled. And there is a growing shortage of paper available for recycled products as Asian countries demand more recovered fiber. Consider partnering with the Houston Green Office Challenge a paper recycling program at your office. 

Future Topics Include...

» Reducing energy use and purchasing renewable - TBA
» Reducing water use and alternative energy - TBA
» Engagement of green and office supplies and management - TBA
» Sustainable transportation - TBA
» Green certifications – sustainable design - TBA