The Army and Air Force Exchange Service won the Sustainability Team Award at the Installation Management Symposium in San Antonio, Texas April 19, 2011.

The Hon. Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, presented the award to the Exchange commanding general Maj. Gen. Bruce A. Casella on behalf of the Secretary of the Army. The award recognizes innovative techniques and technologies that work toward sustainable practices. The service, better known as AAFES, also won at the Department of Defense level.

The Exchange, which is the DoD's largest and oldest retailer, has 1,300 facilities in 33 countries and serves 12.2 million customers. The service aims to reduce energy operating costs, reduce the carbon footprint and market energy-efficiency products, such as Energy Star appliances.

The Exchange incorporates sustainability in its business practices, like using fuel-efficient vehicles for transportation of goods and requiring that 20 percent of the beverage machines on vending contracts renewed each year are Energy Star-rated. The organization even established its own sustainability award program to recognize superior sustainability performance.

A $10-billion business, the Exchange is ranked in consumer reports as the No. 5 business in the United States, ahead of top competitors Wal-Mart and Target.