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Eighteen agencies gather in Seattle to accept EPA’s "Federal Green Challenge"

Release Date: 09/30/2008
Contact Information: Viccy Salazar, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-1066, salazar.viccy@epa.gov; Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

Attendees pledge to cut federal waste, reduce "carbon footprint" and save money

(Seattle, WA – September 30, 2008) When senior executives from 18 Pacific Northwest federal agencies gather at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture tomorrow(Wednesday, October 1), their goal is ambitious. They plan to reduce the federal government’s “carbon footprint” in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest by approximately 9 million pounds by next year (roughly equivalent to 450,000 gallons of gasoline saved). The program is also expected to save approximately $1.8 million.

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this gathering will provide a venue for leaders to “talk shop” and share strategies to meet their reduction goals. To meet their own challenge locally, the EPA regional office has conducted an energy, water, transportation and waste management inventory and is challenging other federal agencies in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to do the same.

According to Elin Miller, EPA’s regional administrator in Seattle, Washington, this symposium has been designed for partners to meet and explore new ways to collaborate and accomplish measurable savings.

“The federal government is the country’s largest energy consumer and purchaser,” said EPA’s Miller. “We believe that the Federal Green Challenge will help agencies, offices and military bases reduce energy consumption, cut greenhouse gases and save taxpayer dollars.”

Federal Environmental Executive to Speak

Meeting attendees will also hear Joe Cascio, U.S. Federal Environmental Executive, illustrate the dramatic impact of the federal government’s consumption of goods and services and how that purchasing power can be harnessed to create positive environmental change. For example, the government:

  • is the country’s largest buyer/user of energy ($3.5 billion/year)
  • accounts for 7% of the world’s information technology purchases
  • controls a real estate portfolio of more than 1.2 million assets, including more than 550,000 buildings

“Champions of Environmental Leadership and Green Government” Awards Presented

The meeting will also feature the awarding of two “Champions of Environmental Leadership and Green Government” awards, one to Kenai Fjords National Park, and the other to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Western Washington Fish and Wildlife Office Recycling Team (see: attached fact sheets).

Participating Federal Green Challenge agencies, entities and facilities include: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; General Services Administration, U.S Army Corps. of Engineers; the National Park Service; Bureau of Land Management; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Aviation Administration; Social Security Administration; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service, National Resource Conservation Service, Rural Development); U.S. Department of Transportation (Federal Transit Administration) and the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army (Fort Lewis, WA).
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* Note to Reporters: Event begins @ UW center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98105) @ 9:00 AM PDT
For more information on EPA’s Federal Green Challenge:
http://www.federalgreenchallenge.net
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange

For more on Joe Cascio & the Office of the Federal Executive:
http://ofee.gov

OFEE.Joe.doc

Champions of Environmental Leadership and Green Government award winners' background:

FWS 2008 Champions.docxNPS 2008 Champions.docx

For more on the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture:
http://depts.washington.edu/urbhort/