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GreenerGov CT Awards Honor State Government Leadership in Sustainability Efforts

Agency Initiatives and Individuals Making Government More Efficient, Environmentally Friendly Recognized at Ceremony

(HARTFORD) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM), and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) proudly hosted the annual GreenerGov Awards Ceremony today. This event celebrated the exceptional work taken on by agency staff to reduce their agencies’ environmental impact and advance Connecticut’s climate and sustainability goals.

The ceremony recognized the various initiatives that “Senior Sustainability Officers (SSOs)” implemented to reduce their agencies' environmental impacts and make them more efficient and environmentally friendly.

“We are so proud of the hard work and creative solutions that staff across state agencies have deployed to reduce environmental impacts and save taxpayers’ money,” DEEP Commissioner and GreenerGov Co-Chair Katie Dykes said. “This initiative demonstrates the potential projects that Connecticut residents and businesses can embrace to save money, use cleaner energy supplies, and throw away less waste.”

“DAS is proud to participate in this year's GreenGov award ceremony and congratulates all award winners and nominees. In support of the Governor's directives, our agency prioritizes 'green' solutions across our construction, procurement, fleet and facility management initiatives each and every day,” said DAS Commissioner and GreenerGov Co-Chair Michelle Gilman. “We work hand-in-hand with our partner state agencies to implement these important efforts and to create a more sustainable Connecticut for all our residents.”

“The recipients of these awards represent some of the finest in state government and I appreciate the thoughtful collaboration with many agencies to achieve Governor Lamont’s sustainability vision,” said OPM Secretary and GreenerGov Co-Chair Jeffrey Beckham. “Their commitment to protecting our environment through new and innovative processes is a model for others to follow. I applaud all those who are willing to find new ways of doing things that save taxpayer money and provide for a greener state government.”

This year GreenerGov recognized four award categories. Those award categories and the winners are:

  • Agency Change Maker Award (Recognizes individuals striving to transform their state agency to generate significant and measurable improvements in environmental, energy, and water conservation, or waste management benefits.)

  • Joseph Danao, Department of Veterans Affairs - exceptional contributions to improving energy, water, and waste management within the state agency. He led various projects, such as upgrading outside lighting to energy-efficient LED lamps and optimizing outside lighting timers to reduce energy consumption.

  • Zach Giron, Department of Transportation - developed the Department’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure plan for fleet vehicles and conducted a rooftop solar analysis of the Department’s facilities.

  • Ryan Ensling, Department of Administrative Services - a trusted resource for all project improvements in energy and water efficiencies on projects. He pushes for new initiatives, and supports existing efforts not only for DAS, but for all state agencies.

  • Innovation Award (Special distinction recognizing exceptional public sector sustainability innovation) 
  • UConn Health – Along with Shelton-based Budderfly, and Connecticut Innovations, has led a 12-month pilot program with the goal of achieving net zero emissions in its Child Care Center in Farmington.

  • Department of Transportation - the new Stamford Transportation Center opened earlier this year with electric vehicle (10% of all available spots) and bicycle charging (50) stations, pedestrian access to the community, and the ability to accommodate 70 parked bicycles.

  • Impactful Project Award (Recognizes state projects that generated significant and measurable improvements in environmental, energy, and water conservation, or waste management benefits)

    • DEEP and DAS Quinebaug Fish Hatchery project team a facility that produces an impressive 80% of Connecticut's stockable trout population, completed a water conservation project that will reduce water consumption by 10% by 2030, reduce electricity consumption by nearly 8%, and cut annual operating expenses by $100,000.


  • GreenerGov Challenge (recognizes agencies’ SSOs that have made the most effort related to the volume of actions, level of impact and/or innovation)

  • Emily Pysh and Peter Zelez, Department of Transportation

  • David Barkin, Department of Administrative Services

  • Edward Howell, Department of Labor

This year, there was a new category for the GreenerGov Challenge winners. The Challenge provided SSOs with resources and a curated set of actions such as exploring efficiency options, learning about solar, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, minimizing building waste, and use cutting-edge technologies available for their agencies. During the challenge, DEEP hosted a webinar series in which SSOs had the opportunity to hear from experts on actions they could take to make progress on energy, waste, water, transportation, and decarbonization targets.

GreenerGov CT is a collaborative effort led by leadership at OPM, DAS, and DEEP, with SSOs from each executive branch agency leading sustainability initiatives within their departments.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 1, signed in 2019, called on agencies to recommit to – and expand – the state’s Lead by Example program to reduce energy use, water, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions while lowering operating costs in state government facilities and operations. The governor’s sweeping climate Executive Order No. 21-3 set eight new sub-targets for state agencies to meet regarding clean electricity procurement, organics and food waste diversion, electric vehicle deployment, and more.


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