LEONARDTOWN, Md. (June 10, 2011)—On Tuesday, June 7, St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) received a 2011 Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award. Maryland's Department of Environment Secretary Robert Summers, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Joe Gill, and Department of Business and Economic Development Clean Technology and Sustainability Manager Elaine McCubbin presented the second-annual Maryland Green Registry Leadership Awards to SMCPS, CSX Corporation, E-Structors Inc., the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and the University of Maryland, College Park during a ceremony held at the Green Building Institute in Jessup.
"I am truly honored to receive this prestigious award along with other forward thinking and environmentally aware organizations," said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools. "This award represents the school system's commitment to a sustainable future for the youth of our community, our state, and our nation. The collaborative effort of our green team, which combines education and best management practices, is the key to our success and provides a sound foundation for others to learn from and develop a successful program."
The Maryland Green Leadership Awards are presented to organizations that have shown a strong commitment to sustainable practices, measurable results, and continuous improvement. Although the winners represent a variety of facility types and sizes, they all have several key factors in common that contribute to their success—each organization has a green team, has organization-wide commitment to environmental performance, sets annual environmental goals, and measures their results.
"I am proud to present these awards to organizations that have displayed outstanding leadership," said Secretary Robert Summers. "Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award Winners work every day to conserve resources and protect our environment, evaluating their practices and measuring their success on a continual basis. Their commitment is outstanding and, as we can see, they are really getting results."
The Maryland Green Registry is a voluntary program launched by Governor Martin O'Malley as part of the state's Smart, Green, and Growing initiative that promotes and recognizes sustainable greening efforts by organizations throughout Maryland. In order to join the Registry, businesses are required to complete an application detailing their involvement in at least five environmental best practices and provide at least one measurable result. There is no cost to join.
"Maryland continues to make choices that protect our environment and public health—working to restore the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, protect drinking water, promote clean energy, create green jobs, improve air quality, and preserve land for future generations," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Our partners in this effort are Maryland Green Registry members whose organizations are leading the way in sustainable business practices as they save money and conserve natural resources."
Maryland businesses, government, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and facilities of all types are encouraged to join the Maryland Green Registry. All members receive an online profile demonstrating their commitment to environmental practices, a window decal, use of the Maryland Green Registry logo, and eligibility to apply for the annual leadership awards.
The St. Mary's County Public Schools Green School Program is a balance between the local ecology, economy, and social culture. In order to achieve sustainability, the school system focuses on changes that can be made to its infrastructure. Also, SMCPS focuses on long-term changes it needs to make to its environmental habits. Through a comprehensive and integrated sustainability program that focuses on changing energy use and environmental awareness habits, as well as optimizing facility performance, SMCPS is doing its part to reduce its impact on the environment, conserving its valuable resources, and managing its operating budgets during challenging economic times.
"We are proud of the conservation efforts that we have achieved through our educational program in our schools, community outreach through our mobile classroom, and our integrated approach to the planning and operation of our facilities, allowing us to reduce our electric consumption by 8,487,560 kWh, for a cost savings of $1,152,938 since FY 2007," said Dr. Martirano.
As part of the nomination submission, SMCPS highlighted several key initiatives that are part of its Green School Program:
-- St. Mary's County Public School's mission to "Work, Live, and Learn for Tomorrow" is a collaborative effort between the Division of Supporting Services, teachers, and students. Each school has a designated Green School Coordinator and 14 of 27 schools have been named Maryland Green Schools. The goal is to have all schools certified by 2013.
-- A program called Utility Direct by SchoolDude tracks and analyzes energy usage by school and by square foot. Utility waste, savings opportunities, and billing errors are identified, analyzed, and made available to the Green School Coordinators. This information allows the coordinators to work with their school teams to reduce energy consumption. As an incentive for these efforts, there is a monthly Capture the Flag contest.
-- Energy conservation is promoted through a mobile classroom and through our Green School Detective mascot, Wattson the terrapin.
-- The school system has reduced energy consumption by 5 percent annually for the past four years at a cost savings of $1.2 million.
-- The school system has built a LEED Gold certified school that serves as a sustainable teaching tool.
-- The school system recently completed a 500 kW solar panel installation that will provide 80 percent of the annual electrical consumption of the school and generate savings of $1.4 million over 15 years.
The St. Mary's County Public Schools' 2011 Maryland Green School Leadership Award Profile may be viewed at: http://www.mde.state.md.us/marylandgreen/Pages/2010LeadershipWinners.aspx.
Source: St. Mary's County Public Schools