Browsing: green government

GSA to create virtual meeting centers

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Starting early next year, federal agencies will have access to telepresence centers at General Services Administration buildings across the country. The technology will initially span across 14 GSA buildings including 11 regional offices and central offices, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson told reporters today at the Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va. “People appear much more life like” and “they engage in eye contact with each other,” said Johnson about the new technologies. “The sound really works, and you feel as if you’re sitting at the same table even though you’re sitting virtually.” The systems will be set up in rooms throughout…

Don't forget to power down

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If all 16,000+ participants follow through with their pledge tonight, Power IT Down Day 2010 should be a huge success. The initiative has nearly 500 supporters on Facebook, more than 100 Twitter followers and thousands who have signed up directly on the site. The nationwide event encourages government and the private sector to shut down their computers, printers, monitors and other devices at the end of the work day to save energy. I was told that about two-thirds of those who have registered are from government agencies. Citrix, HP, Intel and GTSI are sponsoring the initiative and will make a…

OK, we get it, you're going green

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So yesterday at the GSA Expo, Administrator Martha Johnson was walking around in a black and white outfit, if I remember correctly. But by the time she arrived at the Coalition for Government Procurement dinner to announce GSA’s new goal of eliminating the government’s carbon footprint (good luck with that, by the way), she had changed into — you guessed it — a green jacket. Johnson’s speech received what sounded like polite applause last night, from a crowd made up mostly of vendor representatives. And CGP president Larry Allen was fairly critical of Johnson today, even after he’d had a…

On the floor at the GSA Expo

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Green is the name of the game here at the GSA Expo in Orlando. The training session schedule is rife with the words “green” and “sustainable” and it’s all that any of the GSA folks here can talk about. It seems clear that new administrator Martha Johnson is taking President Obama’s green-government agenda to heart, and that Johnson’s commitment is trickling down to all levels. We’ll see whether government agencies and vendors are willing to get on board. The exhibition floor had its share of environmentally friendly stuff — many booths had green products prominently displayed — according to Federal…

Getting the 411 on cutting energy use

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The Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program is offering free online training sessions to help federal energy and environmental professionals learn the basics about cutting energy consumption in their facilities and operations. The sessions, held the first Thursday of each month, will discuss requirements to report greenhouse gas emissions, install advanced electrical meters on facilities, cut water consumption and make existing buildings more energy efficient, among others. The 90-minute sessions will be offered live via satellite or through streaming video at your desktop. Registrations are now being accepted online. The first session was an overview of the executive order President Obama issued in…

CFOs, CIOs…and now CGOs?

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The General Services Administration is adding to the government’s alphabet soup of executive-level acronyms with the newly created position of Chief Greening Officer. GSA currently is seeking applicants for the position, which will report directly to the commissioner of the Public Buildings Service. The Chief Greening Officer will develop and execute greening strategies for all new construction and for GSA’s existing inventory of 1,500 buildings, according to a job posting. The new position “will define a nationwide strategy to ensure that PBS becomes ‘the most sustainable real estate organization in the country,'” the posting says. GSA apparently is seeking an…

Leading the (green) way

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Federal agencies having a tough time meeting the plethora of green government mandates should take a close look at the 15 federal teams who have been recognized this year for spearheading environmentally sustainable practices at their agencies. Winners of the 2009 White House Closing the Circle Awards — handed out Wednesday during the middle of the three-day 2009 Federal Environmental Symposium East in Bethesda, Md. –  are demonstrating best practices in areas such as recycling, green purchasing and fuel conservation. The big winner was the Air Force, which received four awards for initiatives under way at local bases and headquarters. The…

Video tour of federal green roofs

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Last week, I wrote about how federal agencies are using some of the billions of dollars in stimulus funds flowing to them for facility and energy projects to replace or retrofit their building rooftops with green alternatives. Options being considered include thin solar films that are imbedded into roofs, additional insulation to repel heat, and vegetative roofs such as a 5,000-square-foot garden patch atop the seven-story Interior Department headquarters building in Washington. Other agencies have outfitted their roofs with vegetation, recognizing both the environmental and economic benefits. Our videographer, Colin Kelly, recently toured two examples outside the nation’s capital in Suitland,…