Monday, October 05, 2009

VA Goes Green

Secretary Shinseki Announces "Green Routine" Initiative

WASHINGTON (Oct. 5, 2009) - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki has announced a new "Green Routine" campaign to kick off Energy
Awareness Month at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The
campaign is designed to increase the awareness among VA employees of
their environmental impact as individuals and as members of the federal
government.

"Easy changes in our daily routines can make a substantive impact on the
environment," Secretary Shinseki said. "By being good stewards of the
environment, we can enhance the lives of our Veterans and their
families."

The campaign, which kicks off in October, includes VA's new "Green
Routine" Web site devoted to helpful environmental tips --
www.va.gov/greenroutine -- release of a video featuring the VA Chief of
Staff educating employees on how to "green" their workplace and a
toolkit designed to help VA employees implement the Green Routine.

Through VA's Green Routine Web site, VA's Office of Asset Enterprise
Management and the Greening VA Working Group are providing tips and
tools that help employees make the Earth a better place in which to
live. It includes links to other VA and government-wide "green"
resources.

The video includes a challenge set forth from the VA Chief of Staff for
all employees to do their part in reducing their environmental impact
and contains examples from fellow VA employees on how to accomplish
this. It also highlights success stories from VA facilities across the
country.

Additionally, a reference tool for managers and employees entitled the
Greening Action Guide and Toolkit recommends actions such as selecting a
"green champion" in each office to help promote environmentally friendly
steps including printing double-sided, holding electronic meetings
without paper handouts, turning off cubicle lights when not in use,
unplugging cell phone chargers, and recycling printer cartridges and
other items.

As a Department, VA is making strides toward operating more energy
efficient facilities, using more renewable energy sources, and
"greening" its vehicle fleet. VA has reduced energy consumption in
buildings by 11 percent since 2003.

VA's path is focused on reducing its carbon footprint as an agency while
enabling and supporting its primary mission -- to provide the highest
quality care and services to our Veterans and their families.

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