GSA Makes Moves to Drive Sustainability Across Government

Feb 22, 2010, 12:44 ET from U.S. General Services Administration

Office of High-Performance Green Buildings Broadens Focus Governmentwide; Public Buildings Chief Greening Officer to Concentrate on Sustainability Innovation across GSA Portfolio

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. General Services Administration took two major steps to strengthen its role in President Obama's commitment to make the federal government a leader in sustainability. The Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings has moved from the Public Buildings Service to GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy, and GSA's Public Buildings Service established a new position of Chief Greening Officer. The President issued an executive order on sustainability in October 2009 calling on the federal government to lead by example in greening and modernizing the nation's infrastructure; these changes expand GSA's capacity to respond to the President's challenge.

"GSA continues to answer President Obama's call to create a more sustainable government by becoming a leader in innovative, greener solutions and technologies for federal agencies," said GSA Administrator Martha N. Johnson. "As part of Governmentwide Policy, the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings will broaden its reach to provide federal agencies with the necessary measurement tools and policies they need to meet their own sustainability mandates under the Executive Order. PBS's Chief Greening Officer will aggressively pursue sustainable practices within GSA's large portfolio of government-owned and leased buildings to ensure that we are enabled to better meet our mandates."

The Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings sets policies and standards for building construction, operations, and maintenance across government. It was established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to ensure all federal buildings meet sustainable design and energy-reduction targets mandated in the Act. Since its inception the office has resided in GSA's Public Buildings Service. Kevin Kampschroer, a veteran GSA official and a recognized leader in the sustainability movement, served as acting head of the office since its creation and has now been tapped as its permanent director. Kampschroer has been leading GSA's activities in response to the 2005 and 2007 Energy Bills and Executive Order on the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy Conservation. 

"By making High-Performance Green Buildings part of Governmentwide Policy, GSA can deliver on our commitment to make better performing, greener building standards and operations a federal imperative," said Michael Robertson, Associate Administrator of Governmentwide Policy.  "Kevin's work in expanding the scope of sustainable design and training and focus on the relationships among the physical environment, individual and group behavior and organizational performance are invaluable to helping take this office to the next level."

GSA's efforts in sustainable building design and management go back to the 1970s. These changes build on the increased sustainability momentum GSA picked up in its investment in 260 Recovery Act-funded modernizations to federal buildings across the country. Currently underway, these projects range from small-scale mechanical improvements to major building rehabilitations to brand new buildings.  

"PBS's new Chief Greening Officer will accelerate our momentum to drive sustainability by aggressively seeking out and incorporating proven greener, more efficient building technologies and practices throughout our entire inventory of 1,500 owned and 8,000 leased buildings," said Robert A. Peck, Commissioner of Public Buildings. "The Chief Greening Officer will deliver our goal of becoming a 'Green Proving Ground' for the American building industry by measuring the cost-, resource- and greenhouse gas-reduction effectiveness of myriad innovative green design, construction, and management approaches."  

Scott Conner, Director of the Denver Federal Center for GSA's Rocky Mountain region, will act in this position until a permanent Chief Greening Officer is named. Scott has over 20 years of government experience and most recently served as the Acting Regional Commissioner for the Rocky Mountain Region. GSA is advertising inside and outside the government to fill the position on a permanent basis.

GSA is not only the manager of thousands of federal properties it is also one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the world. GSA is able to leverage the tremendous buying power of the government to foster innovation, drive markets, and save taxpayer dollars.  

In January, GSA's Federal Acquisition Service cleared the way for federal agencies to fulfill their goals under the President's sustainability executive order by setting energy service agreements that provide agencies with necessary resources to achieve LEED certification for government facilities; ensure that all buildings and renovations are designed to reduce fuel consumption as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; and help agencies plan, monitor, and report results with Energy Star and other energy efficiency initiatives. In addition, GSA is one of only two government organizations selected to participate in the pilot test of the greenhouse gas supply chain measurement protocol managed by the World Resources Institute (WRI); 60 other companies and non-profits are in participation worldwide.

SOURCE U.S. General Services Administration