On October 5, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance. EO 13514 established “an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government” by requiring all Federal agencies to achieve a series of sustainability goals “in order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation’s prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment.”
Sustainability projects that reduce the United States Mint’s energy, water and material use during coin production cut costs. These sustainability projects have the added social benefits of reducing air pollution, water pollution, solid waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the past few years, the Mint has made substantial changes to our buildings and production operations to lessen our carbon footprint, and our sustainability projects have shown positive results. Over the years, we have reduced or recycled waste, conserved energy by retrofitting several plants, and eliminated some carcinogenic chemicals used in production. The Mint had the following recent major sustainability accomplishments:
- The San Francisco Mint reduced water consumption in the chemical washroom, eliminated ethyl alcohol usage, and reduced blank and coin quality issues. As a result of the team’s efforts, we reduced water consumption in the chemical washroom by more than 90 percent and reduced overall building water consumption by 42 percent (an average of 126,785 gallons per month).
- The Denver Mint also reduced water usage and was awarded its fifth environmental Gold Award in April by the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, the wastewater treatment authority for much of metropolitan Denver and parts of northern Colorado. The Gold Award recognizes Denver for being in full compliance with pretreatment requirements and a having a demonstrated commitment to environmental excellence. Although these are strict requirements, the Denver Mint received the award previously in 1999, 2007, 2010, and 2011.
The Mint’s 2011 Sustainability Report is the first sustainability report published by the Mint, which updates the bureau’s stakeholders on its performance in achieving EO 13514’s sustainability goals. It also includes the Mint’s first detailed, public disclosure on workforce health and safety.
The Mint looks forward to making further progress towards achieving its sustainability goals in the coming years.