Clean Air awards recognize Maize schools, Cessna, WDM

The Maize school district's clean diesel lawn equipment, Cessna Aircraft Co.' s energy saving audits and WDM Architects' diligent recycling will be recognized as some of Wichita's top environmental moves on Friday, the city announced.

Mayor Carl Brewer will present the groups with 2010 Clean Air and Sustainability Awards at the Energy Summit and Fair on Friday.

The fair, at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 29th North and Oliver, will focus on business energy efficiency. It runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $65, including lunch.

Saturday, the fair is free and aimed at the community. It will feature demonstrations on such topics as home energy audits, sustainable lawns and home renovations. It will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. An optional luncheon is available by reservation for $10.

For information, go to www.wichita.gov or www.greenwichita.org.

The winners were selected by the city and the Metro Air Quality Improvement Task Force for "efforts to improve and preserve air quality... and for incorporating sustainability measures in their organizational structure," according to a media release.

Here's how the city described the groups' efforts:

* The Maize school district replaced gas-fueled turf equipment with clean-diesel equipment that resulted in a 50 percent reduction in fuel consumption along with reduced fuel emissions. It also hired a full-time energy manager and invested in a computer-controlled building energy monitoring system. The actions saved the district more than $1.5 million over four years.

* Cessna established an environmental strategy council; that council conducted energy audits, installed light occupancy sensors, upgraded thermostats, and meets LEED standards for new construction. The company saw a 5 percent reduction in energy consumption, a 1.2 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 6 percent reduction in waste generation in 2010.

* WDM Architects enhanced an existing paper-recycling program. It also changed all company printer settings to use recycled paper and required vendors to do the same. The result was a reduction of 43 reams of new paper, diversion of 1.83 tons of office paper to recycling and conservation of energy, water and fuel. It also started using electronic transfer of documents instead of paper mail.