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Shows & Panels
Greening of the Government
It's been a year since President Barack Obama issued the executive order requiring agencies to reduce the amount of energy they use. Over the past 12 months, agencies have been putting the infrastructure in place to begin to tackle these goals. So, just how much of a difference are these mandates making? Is it lip service or real change? Federal News Radio analyzes the impact the programs and policies are having in making the government more green in our series Greening of the Government.
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Federal agencies are turning to web sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to reach out to the public regarding their mission. But many agencies have also turned to social collaboration and networking sites to reach out to their own staff when it comes to President Obama's Green Government initiatives.
More than 400 employees will spend another fiscal year setting their own schedules and focusing on performance instead of worrying about where they are working. OPM is redoing performance plans to incorporate the Results Only Work Environment approach.
Subhead: Administration honors sustainability efforts by seven agencies with the 2010 GreenGov Presidential awards.
Council on Environmental Quality issues new guidance giving agencies instructions to measure greenhouse gas emissions. Council chair Nancy Sutley said the directive includes approaches used inside and out of government. Agencies have until January 2011 to complete an initial baseline inventory.
With the majority of federal employees located outside of the Washington, D.C. metro area, how are feds in regional offices answering the White House's mandates regarding the greening of government? The answer: the Federal Executive Boards organized groups of executives who find ways to collaborate across agency lines.
Agriculture plans to update its second version of its green IT strategy this year. State is implementing power management tools and could save almost $2 million. Both agencies are making headway to change the culture of how IT is used by their respective employees.
From the soon-to-be renovated headquarters of the General Services Administration, to the green roof of the main New York City Post Office, the federal government is making energy-efficient-and-sustainable buildings a top priority. But a little over three years ago, one federal building in the D.C. area led the way in the design and construction of a new generation of green buildings.
DoE wants to make all of its roofs white or light color to help reduce the amount of heat buildings absorb. GSA is testing solar panels, geo-thermal and solar chimneys in different buildings around the country. The goal is to help reduce the government's $25 billion annual energy bill.
Chris O'Brien is the director of sustainability at American University in Washington. He offers some advice for federal workers who want to green their offices. O'Brien said to go easy dishing out the guilt and instead serve up solutions that make work easier and more efficient, and heap the praise on everyone who helps.
The agency seeks to improve the government's energy efficiency through internal and external initiatives. GSA is leading the effort to modernize federal buildings as well as provide customer agencies with sustainable products and services. Read an op-ed by Stephen Leeds, the General Services Administration's senior counselor to the administrator.
The agency purchased more than 9,000 alternative fuel cars in 2010 and plans more in 2011 and beyond. GSA estimates $40 million in savings and the prevention of 340 million pounds of greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere over the next seven years because of the purchases.
A Federal News Radio survey of federal employees and contractors found most are optimistic about reducing the government's carbon footprint, but not many believe the efforts are making a difference. About 40 percent of the respondents say President Obama's executive order to reduce energy usage is a lot of talk and not a lot of action, and 73 percent are not familiar with their agency's sustainability plan.
Federal News Radio has compiled a list of dos and don'ts when it comes to making your agency or company more green.
A list of important resources for agencies and contractors interested in the greening of government.