Ranking among the top performing participants, the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) was awarded a Gold Award – the highest level of recognition – for its participation in the Arlington County Green Games competition.
The Arlington County Green Games began in 2011 as a year-long competition for the commercial office sector to reduce energy use, waste and water use, as well as set other environmental goals. OBO competed against more than100 other office tenants, property owners, and property managers.
At the start of the program, competitors established a baseline of environmental performance for energy, transportation, waste, water, materials, employees and outreach, and innovation. Points were earned in each category by implementing any change, from low-cost initiatives to full-scale retrofits.
OBO’s efforts to reduce electricity and water consumption, divert more waste to recycling, and conserve material resources contributed to the Green Games participants’ collective savings of $2 million in avoided energy and water costs, and the prevention of the release of 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide – equivalent to taking 1,996 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
Furthering the Department’s commitment to its greening efforts through the Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI), OBO presented Best Practices to other Green Games participants during an Arlington County event, and was subsequently invited to speak at the Environmental Protection Agency to share ideas between two Federal agencies facing similar challenges in greening efforts. OBO also hosted events for environmental holidays, such as Earth Day, World Water Day and America Recycles Day.
Since 1999, as part of the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, OBO has completed 88 new diplomatic facilities and has an additional 41 projects in design and construction. The program has successfully moved more than 27,000 people into safer facilities, furthering OBO’s mission to provide safe, secure and functional facilities that represent the U.S. Government to the host nation and support our staff in the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives. These facilities should represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution. For further information, please contact Christine Foushee at FousheeCT@state.gov or (703) 875-4131, or visit www.state.gov/obo.