Leading by Example

The Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) aims to improve the environmental sustainability of the U.S. Department of State’s global operations and to encourage foreign embassies in Washington to do the same. Advanced by the Department’s senior-level Greening Council, GDI challenges the Department to develop and implement policies and actions that lessen its overall environmental footprint, reduce costs, and ensure sustainability remains at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy. This extends from building design – the Department requires LEED Silver certification for all new buildings and extensive renovations – to behavior.

Green Building

The Department of State’s certified green building portfolio continues to grow, and now contains:

  • 27 LEED Certified embassies and consulates around the world – 16 of which were the first LEED certified building in their host country.
  • 6 domestic LEED Certified buildings in our owned and leased portfolio, including a LEED Platinum, net-zero building in Charleston, South Carolina, and a newly certified LEED Silver renovated building in Washington on Potomac Hill.


The Department headquarters holds 104 solar panels on its roof and is among the oldest and largest Energy Star Certified buildings. The Department’s Washington and Maryland-area facilities receive more than half of their power from solar and wind farms built through a Power Purchase Agreement with Constellation Energy.


The Department also works to reduce its impacts from commuting by subsidizing employees’ public transit costs and encourage telecommuting, carpooling and biking. American embassies and consulates around the world are also encouraging biking.

Learn More

For more about the work being done on embassy buildings overseas, visit http://www.state.gov/obo/green/.