Pacific Northwest Feds Accept Green Challenge

Senior executives from 18 Pacific Northwest federal agencies gathered at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture to discuss their goal of reducing the "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, the gathering provided leaders with a venue to "talk shop" and share strategies to meet reduction goals. EPA's 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, Wash., 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."

The U.S. government:

• is the country's largest buyer/user of energy ($3.5 billion/year),

• accounts for 7 percent 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.

In addition to those already mention, participating Federal Green Challenge agencies, entities, and facilities include 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), the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army (Fort Lewis, Wash.).

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