Re: Planet GSA

RecycleWorlds (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:26:55 -0500

Re the following (below): perhaps recycling officials and organizations
should petition GRRN to offer an incentive preference for exclusive
contracts for sale in government military and civilian facilities and
buildings to beverages sold in containers with more than 25% postconsumer

-----Original Message-----
From: David A. Kirkpatrick <>
To: GreenYes@UCSD.EDU <GreenYes@UCSD.EDU>
Date: Friday, August 21, 1998 8:22 AM
Subject: Planet GSA

Agency Initiative Focuses on Buying, Building, Driving, and Saving Green

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. General Services
Administration (GSA) this week continues to roll out Planet GSA, the
agency's nationwide initiative to protect the environment, with events in
New York and Atlanta. GSA Administrator David Barram, who introduced the
program earlier this year on Earth Day, said that Planet GSA focuses on
interrelated areas in which GSA has a federal responsibility -- "buying
green," "building green," "driving green," and "saving green."

"With the help of Planet GSA as a rallying point, we will meet President
Clinton's environmental challenge," said Barram. "We're partnering with the
public and private sector to test new technologies and develop new
strategies to protect the environment. We're doing away with the myth that
protecting the environment is not good economics. GSA has shown that it is
possible -- and makes good business sense -- to protect the environment and
save money at the same time."

GSA's mission is to provide expertly managed space, products, services,
solutions, and policy leadership, at best value, to enable federal
to accomplish their missions. GSA complies with and promotes environmental
policies within each of these areas.

"Planet GSA and other partnerships can help educate and inform employees
and the general public about what the federal government is doing to combat
climate change, and more importantly, empower them to take a personal part
in protecting the environment," said Kathleen McGinty, Chairman of the
House Council on Environmental Quality. "These partnerships are excellent
examples of how well government works when agencies collaborate to help
protect the environment. Furthermore, they are a very good example of how
protecting the environment can lead to significant savings for the taxpayer
as well."

Buying Green

To help other federal agencies comply with environmental laws, regulations
and Executive Orders, GSA offers thousands of environmentally oriented
products and services. The agency's Environmental Products Guide alone
contains over 3,000 items. Among those items are energy-efficient
and office products, as well as "Energy Star" computers and printers.
Moreover, GSA offers paints, cleaners, and other products that have been
reformulated to be less environmentally detrimental.

In support of President Clinton's Executive Order 12873 on Recycled Paper
Content, GSA sells copy paper with no less than 20 percent post-consumer
content and writing paper with a minimum of 50 percent post-consumer

Together, sales of GSA's environmentally oriented products generated more
than $400 million in fiscal year 1997.

GSA also manages a nationwide recycling program for 643,000 Federal
employees in 1,044 federal buildings. In fiscal year 1997 alone, GSA
collected and sold 41,260 tons of paper, aluminum cans, glass, and packing
materials. According to Barram, sales of this material generated $261,000,
and GSA saved $3.8 million in trash removal fees and landfill charges.

Building Green

GSA is beginning to incorporate sustainable principles in the design,
construction, modernization and disposal of federal buildings. The agency's
commitment to "building green" runs the spectrum from retrofitting historic
buildings with energy-efficient lights to designing and building the
courthouse in Denver, which GSA plans to use as a model for sustainable
buildings in the future.

Sustainable design means creating environmentally sound and resource-
efficient buildings. It includes the site's accessibility to mass transit,
pedestrian pathways, and bicycle paths; landscaping with indigenous plants
to minimize upkeep and dependence on water, herbicides, and pesticides; and
reducing waste generated during construction. It also means using recycled
content products such as insulation, cement and concrete, latex paint,
carpeting made from plastic bottles, and restroom partitions in the

Driving Green

GSA "drives green" with its use and procurement of alternative fuel
vehicles (AFVs) and promotion of teleworking. AFVs run on ethanol,
natural gas or electricity, thereby reducing dependence on foreign oil.
also emit fewer greenhouse gasses and pollute less than conventional
gasoline-powered vehicles. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) requires
the federal government to procure large numbers of AFVs. EPAct requires
that, in 1998, 50 percent of the government's new vehicles in America's
largest cities be AFVs. In 1999, the mandate will increase to 75 percent of
new purchases.

GSA facilitates the federal government's implementation of EPAct through
its governmentwide vehicle policy, acquisition, and management functions.
GSA has purchased more AFVs from auto manufacturers than any other
organization in the country. According to Barram, GSA has purchased
approximately 18,500 AFVs for federal agencies since 1991. GSA's
fleet management system operates more than 8,000 AFVs. This aggressive
procurement has allowed GSA to exceed EPAct requirements. EPAct required 33
percent of new vehicle acquisitions in 1997 to be AFVs; 42 percent of the
new vehicles purchased by GSA were AFVs.

To conserve fuel and reduce air pollution, GSA promotes teleworking. GSA
makes it easier for its employees to telework from home, from 18
telecommuting centers, or from wherever they happen to be with a computer
and cellular phone.

Saving Green

GSA "saves green" by overseeing an innovative energy and water management
program that reduces utility costs, protects the environment, and ensures
quality workspace for clients. Since 1985, GSA has cut energy use in
buildings by 17.1 percent. GSA estimates that its energy conservation
measures in federal buildings have kept 130 billion pounds of carbon
-- the equivalent of the carbon dioxide emitted from all the passenger cars
in Los Angeles County over the past two years -- from entering the

GSA uses energy-efficient lighting and equipment, has added energy
management control systems, and tests new technologies. The Department of
Energy has named four GSA buildings "Showcase Buildings" because of the
energy-efficient or renewable energy technologies they use.

Regional Rollouts

Each of GSA's 11 regions is having a Planet GSA rollout that will focus on
GSA's local environmental roles and partnerships. Kansas City has already
kicked off Planet GSA in the Midwest. Regional rollouts to follow in cities
across America are:

September 24 -- Denver, Colorado
October 1 -- Chicago, Illinois
October 5 -- Fort Worth, Texas
October 14 -- Portland, Oregon
October 22 -- Oakland, California
December 7 -- Washington, DC
To be announced -- Boston, Massachusetts

-- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania SOURCE U.S. General Services Administration

=A9 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.