CDFW Going Green: Sustainability Superstars!

CDFW’s Going Green team, initially comprised of a handful of members, has grown to include over 150 staff at different times and in varying capacities since it’s inception. As a result of their efforts, the Going Green core team was recognized by CDFW with an Employee Excellence Award. The Going Green team was one of only two recipients of this award in 2012. To highlight some of the activities that have made the Going Green initiative what it is today, we have compiled the list of stories below that demonstrate some of the actions being taken by CDFW Going Green team members and other staff to increase sustainable operations at CDFW.

If you would like to recognize an individual or group of CDFW staff that are making a difference as sustainability superstars, please contact us at

Crilly Butler, IT Branch: Paper to Electronic Form Migration Project

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CDFW believes that converting internal paper-based forms to an automated, electronic document format utilizing electronic signatures will save time and money, improve speed and efficiency, and reduce CDFW’s overall carbon footprint. Crilly Butler has taken a lead role in migrating older-generation fill-and-print forms to an all-electronic form-processing technology. This will eventually enable forms to be routed around the department through their entire lifecycle using digital signatures and an automated workflow engine following the business rules specific to each form. One by one, forms are being converted to use this new technology, and ultimately most of the department's forms processing will be digital.


Melissa LaPorte, Business Management Branch (BMB): Kitchen composting experiment


Over the past few years, Melissa has worked tirelessly to promote sustainability at CDFW and has been a core member of CDFW’s Going Green team since its inception. In 2009, Melissa started an experiment in the BMB office, with a staff of about 22, to separate the common-area kitchen garbage in order to bring awareness to current office waste management practices. She designated containers for cans and bottles, wet garbage, soiled paper products, and plastic bags. The importance of composting cannot be overstated. Soiled paper and food scraps (which emit greenhouse gases as they decay) account for nearly 46 percent of commercial trash in the landfill. Even when composting pick-up costs are factored into the waste disposal service, it still costs much less to compost food scraps than it does to landfill them. The experiment that Melissa initiated is ongoing and continuing to make a difference at CDFW!


William Condon, Gordon Leppig and Mark Stopher: Regional memo on reducing unnecessary paper use

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In December 2009, a Senior Environmental Scientist in Region 1 sent a memo to the Acting Regional Manager, Mark Stopher, and Region 1 Program Managers for Administrative Services, Fisheries, Wildlife and Habitat Conservation regarding “Reducing the Department’s Carbon Footprint by Avoiding Unnecessary Paper Use.” The memo called to attention the region’s use of paper and opportunities for cutting down on paper use through duplexing, scanning, and decreasing margin size. The memo served as a call to colleagues for active direction and support to help the Region set an example of action for others. Employee-initiated actions such as this can go a long way towards reducing our collective carbon footprint in the workplace.


Jeff Stoddard: CDFW Bikes! initiative

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In 2011, a group of 33 CDFW staff led by Wildlife Area Manger Jeff Stoddard, began a new initiative called ‘CDFW Bikes!’. This dedicated team has been working to encourage employees to bike to work more frequently in order to reduce the Department’s carbon footprint and increase employee morale around an activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle. This group is also currently researching ways to incentivise bicycle commuting for CDFW staff. A new CDFW Bikes! website is now online, along with an internal CDFW Bikes! discussion forum where staff can post and discuss various biking and commuting resources. These activities illustrate the importance of biking and bicycle commuting to CDFW staff and their continued commitment to supporting this issue. Stay tuned for updates on more CDFW Bikes! sustainability efforts in the future!


Nancy Foley: Leading a Law Enforcement Green Team

CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division led by Nancy Foley has adopted several work place practices that are reducing the CDFW’s carbon footprint. From increasing paperless practices to electronic tracking and reporting, Nancy’s team has taken a proactive step to increase Department sustainability and is currently developing additional resource-saving projects to implement in the near future. Learn more (PDF)


CDFW Bikes! Hard During “May is Bike Month”

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Biking and bicycle commuting efforts at CDFW have greatly expanded over the past several years. These efforts not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but increase health and happiness at CDFW. For example, in the past three years staff from CDFW participated in the annual May is Bike Month event in the Sacramento region. In 2011 more than 7,000 riders in the region pledged more than 1.5 million miles for this event. In 2010, CDFW had a team of more than 30 riders who pledged more than 5000 miles and exceeded that goal. Individuals, businesses, agencies, teams, schools, and bike clubs all participated. For the last three years, the effort has produced more than 1,000,000 miles of bike riding and has had a very positive effect on traffic congestion, air quality, individual health and all-around fun (more information at