For over a decade, the Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) has catalyzed climate solutions within the U.S. State Department’s management and operations to help conserve natural and financial resources, build climate resilience, and showcase U.S. innovation. The winners of the 2022 GDI Awards highlight the teams and individuals who have best exemplified the U.S. and GDI commitment to lead by example in addressing the climate crisis.
U.S. Embassy Baku is the winner of the 2022 GDI Award for Excellence in Team Sustainability Performance. Embassy Baku developed a strong Green Team with cooperation and action at every level across the embassy. Among their accomplishments, the Embassy expanded its recycling program, and put the proceeds from the sale of recyclables toward supporting environment-related community activities. The Embassy was also the first diplomatic mission in Azerbaijan to purchase a fully electric vehicle, which can help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. To showcase the benefits of going electric, the embassy filmed a carpool karaoke video in the vehicle. The embassy also started informing residents of their utility consumption and ways to reduce their energy and water use; installed an air quality monitor to provide data that will drive personnel health decisions and engagement with the local government on air quality issues; and planted 355 trees, one for each of their Locally Engaged Staff.
Over 1,400 Department employees voted for their top choice among the team nominees, electing the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) as the winner of the 2022 People’s Choice Award for Team Sustainability Performance. CA converted paper inserts mailed with new passport issuances into QR code stickers, eliminating approximately 20,000 boxes and 600,000 pounds of material per year and saving the Department around $1 million annually. The effort also reduces the Department’s environmental footprint by eliminating emissions associated with transportation of the paper inserts.
Jenna Faupel, an Energy Manager from the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, is the winner of the GDI Award for Excellence in Individual Sustainability Leadership for Domestic U.S. Direct Hires. She pioneered the Department’s transition to EnergyCAP, a system that automates capturing utility bills. Through her tireless efforts over the last two years, she helped enroll 244 embassies and consulates and captured data from over 630 service providers in 45 languages and 106 currencies. Going a step further, Jenna also started analysis of utility bills and has already saved $74,000 annually and identified over $500,000 in potential annual savings.
Olivia Fisher, the Facility Manager at U.S. Embassy Asuncion, is the winner of the GDI Award for Excellence in Individual Sustainability Leadership for Overseas U.S. Direct Hires. Olivia established multiple metrics to develop a power demand profile to plan out energy efficiency projects. She oversaw the creation the Embassy’s Zero Waste Program which works collaboratively with the local community to ensure proper recycling. Olivia also incorporated sustainable policies into her facilities team, including green cleaning and preventative maintenance.
Naresh Jindal, an Engineer and Resource Conservation Unit Supervisor at U.S. Embassy New Delhi, is the winner of the GDI Award for Excellence in Individual Sustainability Leadership for Locally Engaged Staff. Naresh led the Embassy’s effort to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint in 2021. By implementing a water recovery system, he helped save almost 70,000 gallons of water in the first five months of the project, which expects to save 2.1 million gallons annually. He has also led efforts to implement several energy saving initiatives including LED lighting transition and installing solar lights and water heaters. Naresh also established the embassy’s waste recycling center, which recycled 105 tons of waste and brought in $35,000 in 2021. Those funds are being invested in further greening efforts.
The Greening Diplomacy Initiative is managed by the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M/SS). Learn more about GDI and M/SS at www.state.gov/eco-diplomacy.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.