GSA is Greening by Example
Posted April 21, 2003
Over 40,000 tons of recycled materials recovered, four buildings achieved green building certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and two federal buildings powered exclusively by wind power. It’s just another year of environmental leadership by GSA!
Every year, this week in April gives GSA the opportunity to look back on its environmental efforts and set its sights on another year of exceptional environmental performance. Earth Day, April 22, is the day on which GSA recognizes its environmental accomplishments, and reaffirms its commitment to environmental stewardship.
In 2003, the agency continues its position in the vanguard. On Earth Day, GSA Administrator Stephen Perry will release a new GSA environmental policy that stresses continuous improvement in safety and environmental management throughout the agency.
The seventh annual GSA Environmental Awards will also be presented on Earth Day. These awards recognize GSA associates whose activities preserve and protect the natural environment, while improving GSA’s operations. The winning projects go on to compete in the White House “Closing the Circle Awards.” That competition looks across the entire federal government community to recognize federal employees and efforts that exemplify significant environmental accomplishments.
In its ongoing pursuit to minimize construction waste from building projects, GSA created the Demolition Derby Awards. The winners are projects that aggressively work to reduce construction waste by showing impressive reuse rates, recycling rates, and educational opportunities.
GSA has established recycling programs in almost 1,300 government-owned and leased buildings that serve over a half-million federal tenants. In calendar year 2002, those recycling programs recovered 40,250 tons of materials that would have otherwise been deposited in landfills. Most impressive in GSA’s federal recycling program is the $304,000 that was collected from private recycling and reprocessing firms. This money was used to further support the activity and returned to our Federal agency partners who participated in waste recycling.
GSA is, of course, a procurement agency for the federal government. Recognizing this role, GSA created the Affirmative Procurement Program (APP) that guides the agency toward more “green” purchases. Through this program, products containing recycled materials, "environmentally preferable" products and services, and bio-based products are available to all federal purchasing offices. Over 5,000 of these environmentally friendly products can be purchased through the GSA Environmental Products and Services Guide.
GSA’s sustainable design program has been the catalyst for the agency’s success in green building design and construction. Four GSA buildings have achieved the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system recognizes “those building projects that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability by meeting the highest performance standards.” This recognition is a significant accomplishment for GSA. It shows once again that GSA is among the nation’s best in innovative building design and construction.
GSA has a strong record of environmental stewardship, and the agency is proud to celebrate its successes. As another Earth Day arrives, GSA’s commitment to environmental excellence is reaffirmed.