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GSA Buys, Builds, Drives, and Saves Green

GSA #9480

April 22, 1998
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, DC - David J. Barram, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, and other top agency officials introduced "Planet GSA" at the agency's annual Earth Day celebration. "Planet GSA" will focus GSA's efforts on buying green products, building green buildings, driving green vehicles and saving energy and resources.

"Every single employee in GSA has some role in Planet GSA," said Barram. "Because, to make the kinds of changes we want to make, for our future and our children's future, we need everyone's help. In the end, I hope that when people think of GSA, they will think 'green.'"

Through GSA's Federal Recycling Program, 643,000 Federal employees recycled about 41,260 tons of material in 1,044 federal buildings during fiscal year 1997. When high-grade paper is sorted and recycled, GSA can sell the paper for $145 per ton. Despite poor markets paying 25 percent of the previous year's prices, sales of this material generated about $261,000 which was returned to federal agencies. By recycling paper at the source, GSA has saved $3.8 million in trash removal fees and landfill charges.

GSA's interagency fleet operates more than 14,500 alternative fuel vehicles that run on ethanol, methanol, natural gas and electricity.

GSA's new Environmental Products Guide lists over 3,000 products and services -- 1,000 are recycled paper items with sales of over $200 million each year. This guide contains information on products that address pollution prevention, waste minimization and resource conservation issues. The products are available through GSA's Stock, Federal Supply Schedules, and Customer Supply Center Programs, as well as online through GSA Advantage!�

GSA continues to maintain an innovative energy and water management program that has reduced utility costs, protected the environment and ensured quality workspace for clients. Working with the Environmental Protection Agency, GSA encourages the use and purchase of energy efficient equipment by federal agencies. GSA promotes the procurement of energy-efficient computers and related equipment such as printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines. Under the Energy Star logo, over 2,000 such items are available on GSA Federal Supply Schedules.

GSA also uses light sensors that save energy by automatically turning off lights when people leave the office; refurbished furniture, which is 70 percent less expensive than new furniture; recycled carpeting made from plastic bottles; recycled paint; green cleaning products that are environmentally safe; and the least toxic technologies for pest-control problems.

"First, we want everyone to know what we're doing to protect the environment," said Jackie Robinson, Special Assistant to the Administrator. "Second, we want employees to know how they can help, and why their involvement is important. Third, we want to energize the entire GSA community around the environment. When it comes to protecting the environment, we want everyone to have a proclivity towards action."