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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Greening Diplomacy

Bureau of Resource Management
December 16, 2009


Illustration of the earth with grass growing over all the continents to indicate a green world.

The United States and other countries that have been the biggest historic emitters of greenhouse gases should shoulder the biggest burden for cleaning up the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Secretary Clinton launched the Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI), a new commitment to lead by example, and improve the sustainability of the State Department’s facilities and operations. The GDI will harness the Department’s policy, management, and public diplomacy to advance our greening efforts and incorporate greening and sustainability into the Department’s everyday operations.


  • Develop and implement strategies that reduce the Department’s carbon footprint.
  • Empower employees to contribute to and participate in greening efforts.
  • Leverage best practices internally and externally, and monitor progress of ongoing Department greening efforts.
  • Connect the management of the Department with the work we do in diplomacy and development.

Greening in Action:

  • There are now 104 solar panels located on the Department of State’s main building, the Harry S Truman (HST) building roof.
  • The HST building recycles nearly 250 tons of waste annually and on August 1, the cafeteria completely phased out styrofoam cups, trays, and dishes.
  • The Department is recycling or reusing over 75% of all construction and demolition waste from the ongoing HST renovations.
  • To help reduce energy costs and lower carbon dioxide emissions, the Department’s Bureau of Information Resource Management currently has consolidation and virtualization efforts underway and continues to deploy desktop computers that operate off a central server, known as thin-clients.
  • All new embassy and consular building projects must receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
  • Members of the League of Green Embassies are working with both the Departments of State and Energy toward a goal of cutting energy usage at their embassies by 30 percent by 2015.


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