Greening of Government
February 2011 • Volume 3 • Number 2

The Greening of Government
Focus on Sustainability: A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

Download your interactive PDF featuring videos and resources now.

In this OTFL, read how Executive Order 13514 is already producing specific gains in the government's sustainaiblity and Green efforts. 


For example, George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability at NIST is working hard to save you money on the job, on the road and at home. In an OTFL interview, Arnold tells you how in Smart Grid 101.
 
Then there is help from Kevin Kampschroer, High Peformance Buildings director at GSA. He talks about GSA's FY 2010-2015 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan where GSA “will exceed the requirements of all environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders, and will use its expertise to help other Federal agencies exceed these standards.”  

Finally, there is Vaughn Noga, EPA Chief Technology Officer. He talks about your future as part of a Green mobile workforce. "It’s about using IT to enable the Green environment. And this is where we see a lot of opportunity, enabling the mobile workforce. Putting the technologies out there and reducing our impact on the environment. That’s a huge opportunity for us.”


Plus, Paul Brubaker from Cisco, Bob Middlebrooks from Autodesk, John Sindelar from HP and Terrance Clark from CA Technologies share what their companies are doing to reduce the government's evironmental footprint.

Articles include:

Sustainability: A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity
The first item on an agency's “to do” list is to look the whole lifecycle of sustainability — in terms of energy con­sumption and carbon footprint — from the design, to the supply chain, to its real world use, to the end of life of whatever the asset.

Getting Down To Green Business

At GSA and EPA—and throughout government—the climate for sustainability is getting progressively Green.

 

Smart Grid 101

It’s time to smarten up the core structure of the nation’s electric power grid, basically unchanged since invented more than 100 years ago.


Interview: George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability, NIST
Arnold talks about a variety of topics including how the benefit of having open standards is to unleash the innovation of the consumer electronics and home automation industries to develop devices and applications to monitor and control energy usage.


The Perfect IT Sustainability Forecast: Cloudy with a 100% Chance for Green
Energy management, the mobile workforce and IT virtualization/data center consolidation policies are driving an increasingly Green forecast.

Taking On A Darker Shade of Green

When it's a renovation or new construction, model your existing government buildings, analyze them for energy use and potential and then prioritize where you are going to focus your money on.


All this, plus videos and the the Resource page.

Download your Greening of Government now.




The Greening of Government
GSA's GREEN PROVING GROUND
By Jeff Erlichman, Editor, On The FrontLines


The renovation of GSA Headquarters in Washington, DC will be a test bed for net-zero design and workplace flexibility.

 

Kevin Kampschroer is the director, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings at GSA. He recently spoke to Jeff Erlichman, On The FrontLines editor about the renovation and its ramifications. The work is being done in two phases and scheduled for completion in 2015.

 

Jeff Erlichman, OTFL: Is the GSA headquarters renovation a prime example of a high tech renovation?

 

Kevin Kampschroer, GSA: A lot of cool things are happening in this building, but there is more than just high tech; it’s a combination of high tech, low tech and no tech.

For example, one of the no tech things we are going to do is have what the building had when it was built in 1917—windows that open and close. That’s practically no tech. So, on those 100 plus days in DC where all you need to do is open the windows that’s what people will do. There will be a lot of communication to tenants telling them this is a good day to open the windows, but people are smart; in DC when it’s 95 degrees with 95% humidity, no one thinks of opening the windows.

 

JE, OTFL: How are you going to use solar energy to meet your power requirements?

 

Kevin Kampschroer, GSA: We are putting some solar panels on the roof. While it is not exactly new technology, solar panels do produce direct current and computers need direct current.

 

Typically you take AC and put it through transformer and convert to DC and you lose a little efficiency that way. What typically happens with solar is it produces DC, then you convert it into AC and then pump it into building system. What we are going to do is run a line straight from the panels down to the Data Center, so we power the servers DC to DC; that way we will save 10% in efficiency in use of power.

 

We are looking at other things to test out and we will see what our budget allows when we get the bids in. There are many options, but we might try some aspects where we have a DC grid—which the lighting, computers and security systems all of which eventually use—where we are distributing DC throughout the building; in other words have one big transformer distribute the direct current rather than a bunch of little transformers.

 

JE, OTFL: How are you handling lighting and its effect on energy use?


Kevin Kampschroer, GSA
: We are going to have shading that is tied to the sun. All of the places that you work in the building have daylight. We are going to have total daylight harvesting throughout the building with lights that dim automatically. But they will have user overrides.

 

We found in one pilot in San Francisco if you give users the ability to override the control system, people actually turn lights down lower than the computer system is choosing, thus getting more savings. In fact we got a 60% savings in lighting energy in that pilot.

 

In addition, the building has an atrium that has no shading. We examined some different shading options; it turns out the best overall cost effective option for shading that atrium is to put solar panels on the glass roof of the atrium. The panels are not completely opaque; they filter the light and generate the electricity and is cheaper than the mechanical shades that were part of the design, plus there is lower maintenance over time.

 

JE OTFL: How “carved in stone” are your design concepts? And how will they affect employees?

 

Kevin Kampschroer, GSA: We have a concept, but we going to allow a fair amount of flexibility to the people who actually get the construction contract to modify and make it even better; this is a jumping off point;

 

This is a design that was pretty much complete 5 years ago. We challenged design team to go back and relook at every aspect. As a result we were able to gain another 50% energy savings below what they had already gotten. We think we will push it even more.

 

We will discover a lot of things. During the renovation, we are moving half of our staff out into swing space. We are going to be experimenting on how people work including looking at more alternatives like hoteling and different ways of exploiting different ways of mobility and connectivity. We may discover in a couple of years—when they are ready to do interiors—that we may want something more bold, more radical that than what was before.

 

JE: OTFL: Can you describe what kind of building performance you are seeking?

Kevin Kampschroer, GSA: This is going to exceed every measurement we can.

First of all, we want this building to be exemplar as to what really can be done. Number two, if you think about it, one of the things we have to do with our portfolio is drop 30% of our energy consumption of the whole portfolio; so this building has to do a lot more than 30% because we don’t have enough money to renovate every single building to this extent.

We are expecting a 50%—I’m hoping for even more—reduction in energy consumption and it may be even greater.

 

When it comes to water conservation, we are putting some cisterns, hoping to capture and reuse 100% of rainfall. All rainwater that hits the building will go into cistern and be reused at least twice before hitting storm water system. We are reusing the grey water as well; using some for cooling tower evaporation and to flush toilets.

 

JE, OTFL: How are you going to demonstrate your successes—and failures if there are any?

 

Kevin Kampschroer, GSA: The headquarters are an integral component of GSA’s proving ground. So, we are going to prove it; we are going to publish everything and put out for everybody to use, not just other government agencies. This is something the private sector can use. We are working with National Labs across all the country and spreading the word.

 

Let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t, so people will know not to do what we did.

The proving ground is going to have at least one failure or partial success and we are going to have to recognize that. By taking this on we won’t be 100% successful, because if we always succeed we don’t push the knowledge envelope.

 

Our goal is by 2020, that all the buildings going into the pipeline will use no fossil fuel. We are still not sure how to do that for existing buildings; we want technological breakthroughs. We are driving to get as close to the definition of net zero as we can. 

###

The Greening of Government
Summer 2010 • Volume 2 • Number 3
The Greening of Government
Getting To Net-Zero Using Energy Efficient Technologies

In this edition of On The FrontLines --The Greening of Government: Getting To Net-Zero Using Energy Efficient Technologies -- read, watch and hear firsthand how government leaders from Energy, FAA, State and GSA are reducing the footprint of Data Centers nationwide.
 
Learn how with the help of industry, these on the frontlines leaders are aggressively pursuing construction projects such as the renovation of GSA Headquarters in DC and the new National Renewable Energy Laboratory Research Support Center (NREL RSF) in Golden, Colorado. 

Those interviewed include:
Martha Johnson - GSA Administrator
Stephen Leeds - GSA Senior Sustainability Executive

Will Lintner - DOE Project Leader for the Laboratories for the 21st Century program
Paul Scheihing - DOE Technology Manager
Chuck Powers - NREL RSF IT Operations Manager
Kevin Eber - EERE Network News Editor

View videos from:
Gary Albert - FAA
Charles Wisecarver - State Department

Plus read about the renovation of GSA Headquarters in an interview with GSA's Kevin Kampschroer.



Read/Download

Green Is Busting Out All Over

Using a combination of high tech, low tech and no tech, government is accelerating its efforts to reduce the energy footprint of Data Centers and the buildings they inhabit, ushering in a new era of workplace flexibility says GSA's Stephen Leeds. Read More

 

Challenge Yourself


Don’t sit on the sidelines, participate and challenge yourself and your organization to be more energy efficient. That's what GSA Administrator Martha Johnson is doing when with the goal of a net-zero environmental footprint for GSA, which she calls "GSA's moonshot". Read More

 


Diagnosis Green


DOE's Paul Scheihing and Will Linter
 provide agencies with Data Center assessment tools and help guide them to use funding more effectively in meeting their energy management objectives. Read More

 


Green Chronicles

Helping chronicle energy efficiency and renewable energy is longtime EERE Network News editor Kevin Eber. Read what Eber says is trending Green in the near future. Read More

 

The Lean Green Data Center Machine


Chuck Powers, IT Operations Director
at NREL RSF shows how the new Data Center is consuming and providing energy as a part of the lab’s new net-zero sustainable green building. Read More

 


Green Proving Ground—Interview with GSA’s Kevin Kampschroer


In an On The FrontLines interview, the High Performance Buildings director describes why the renovation of the GSA HQ in DC will be a test bed for net-zero design and workplace flexibility. Read More

 



On The FrontLines
Volume 1 • Number 2 • December 2009


The Greening of Government

From the expanses of Yellowstone National Park to the urban neighborhoods of Washington DC, the Greening of Government movement is alive, well and growing daily.

 

At one of the country’s national treasures, National Park officials have set out lofty goals as part of their Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship (YES!) Initiative.

 

At the same time, at the historic site of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington DC, DHS and GSA are working together to create the new Green DHS Headquarters.

 

Both of these programs reflect the government’s commitment to Greening because it’s the right way—in fact the only way—to do business that ensures sustainability.

 

So, get ready. If you haven’t already been, then you are now being recruited to be “On The Frontlines” of the Greening of Government movement.


The Greening of Government is the second in a series of “On The Frontlines” digital reports using Turn-Page technology.

Each “On The Frontlines” digital report is produced using “Turn Page Technology” allowing you to read and turn the pages electronically on your computer just as you would with a print publication.

 

Additionally, embedded links give you direct access to websites and white papers; you can watch video clips of leaders on the Green frontlines such as Ed O’Hare at GSA, and Donald Bathurst at DHS. Or view a slideshow detailing the sustainability efforts at Yellowstone National Park.

 

And of course, you can download and/or print a PDF version. We hope you find the report useful and share it with your colleagues.


Greening Where It Is Green: Yellowstone National Park


With the Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship or YES! Initiative, the Park is demonstrating that the world’s first national park is also a world leader in its sustainability programs.

Read More View/Download Yellowstone Slideshow 


Read More “The Greening of Government”

A Sustainable Strategy

Executive Order 13514 sets the goals. Leaders from EPA, DOE, GSA and DHS talk about what they are doing.

 

Buying Green Saves Green

The emphasis on buying Green products for government use and plus buying from suppliers who are Green themselves is only going to grow.


Embrace Telework

Telework today! Reduce your agency’s carbon footprint. Visit www.telework.gov to start now!

 

Your Green Advantage

GSA’s Emile Monette tells you how to use GSA Advantage to your (green) advantage. 

 

Who Certifies The Certifiers?
Who ensures that if a company says their product is Green, it truly is?

 

Greening Via Virtualization

Go Green, boost performance and spend less in the process with virtualization technologies.


Follow My Example

Many in Industry are Greening themselves because it is not only good for the environment, it’s good for business.
 

Viewpoint -- Jim Flyzik

When you think about it --- it really is a “no-brainer” since there really are very little downsides to the so called “Green” initiatives.



Greening Where It Is Urban: DHS HQ in DC

At St. Elizabeths in Washington DC, the site of the new DHS headquarters campus, DHS is proving homeland security can be Green, historic – and secure. Read More


Where New Construction and Historic Rehabilitation Meet

The St. Elizabeths DHS headquarters is the largest project that GSA has ever undertaken says GSA’s Bart Bush.  Read More

 


 

A Sustainable Strategy

Leaders are counting on education, communication, cooperation, technology and partnerships to be the clean fuels powering the Greening of Government.

 

White House Executive Order 13514 establishes an integrated strategy towards Federal sustainability and makes reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority for agencies.

 

We all know intuitively that Green is good for the environment. Green is good for your health. Green is good for your budget. Green reduces your carbon footprint. Green saves you money.

 

Most important: Being Green ensures sustainability—fulfilling our needs now while making sure future generations are able to meet their own needs.

 

Currently, the government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, employs more than 1.8 million civilians, and purchases more than $500 billion

per year in goods and services. With that kind of physical, human and financial impact, when government goes Green, the entire nation will follow.

 

The Obama Administration took another huge step towards Greening government with its October 5, 2009 Executive Order 13514: Federal Leadership In Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance.

 

The order says: “to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority for Federal agencies, the Federal Government must lead by example.”

 

Developed by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE), with input from the Federal agencies, the new Executive Order requires agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets.

 

It describes a process by which agency goals will be set and reported to the President by the Chair of CEQ. The Executive Order also requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, including:

 

      30% reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020;

      26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020;

      50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015;

      95% of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements;

·       Implementation of the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement;

·       Implementation of the storm water provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 438; and development of guidance for sustainable Federal building locations in alignment with the Livability Principles put forward by HUD, Transportation and EPA.

 

Implementation of the Executive Order will focus on integrating achievement of sustainability goals with agency mission and strategic planning to optimize performance and minimize implementation costs.

 

It directs each agency to develop and carry out an integrated Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that prioritizes the agency’s actions toward the goals of the Executive Order based on lifecycle return on investments. Implementation will be managed through the OFEE, working in close partnership with OMB, CEQ and the agencies.

 

Government is mobilizing all its resources and finally has the will to lead by example.

Leaders are counting on education, communication, cooperation, technology and partnerships to be the clean fuels powering the Greening of Government.

 

The final additive—and the most important ingredient for success—is you being involved—”on the frontlines”—now! 
 

Source: Executive Order 13514, October 5, 2009.

###


 


Greening Where It Is Green: Yellowstone National Park

With the Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship or YES! Initiative, the Park

is demonstrating that the world’s first national park is also a world leader in its sustainability programs.

 

Why are these elk so happy?

 

Because this bull and his entire harem have 15 acres of prime Kentucky blue grass—cut, watered, fertilized and meticulously maintained with nary a weed—to graze on leisurely.

 

“An animal jam”—which could be anything from a chipmunk to a grizzly bear, but in this case elk —is the first thing you might encounter when you drive into Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, home of Yellowstone National Park Service headquarters.

 

I know I did. Magnificent to behold, they are the center of attention of both visitors who want to get “up close and personal” and Park Rangers whose duty is to keep them at a

safe distance and while directing “animal jam” traffic.

 

I came to talk with Jim Evanoff, Environmental Protection Specialist at Yellowstone. He graciously agreed to spend a few hours educating me about Yellowstone’s history, environmental challenges and what Yellowstone is doing to meet them. Then he took me on a tour of Yellowstone that was truly spectacular. If you’ve been there you know what I mean. If not, go.

 

In his 29 years in the NPS, Evanoff has worked in the Grand Tetons and at Mount Rushmore, where one of his duties was to repel down the faces of the Presidents and pull plants from cracks in the carvings.

 

The past 20 years he’s been at Yellowstone. Now, as Environmental Protection Specialist, he is on the frontlines of Greening of Yellowstone efforts. A big part of that job is building

and maintaining relationships both public and private.

 

“When Congress passed legislation for Yellowstone as the nation’s first national park in 1872, there was a double mandate— preserve and protect the park and provide for the enjoyment of the people. That’s a really tough balancing act that we still are given today,” explained Evanoff.

 

Preserve and Enjoy

 

Evanoff recounts a Yellowstone history that is full of pendulum swings between “preserve and enjoy”. Today everyone is working hard to establish a balance that enhances both. (What’s more, when you look at some of the historic photos – especially of how visitors used to be encouraged to feed the bears and fish with no limits – you wonder: “what were we thinking?”)

 

In 1997, during Yellowstone’s 125th Anniversary, Evanoff said the staff was asking the hard question: “What we were going to do for the next 125 years to preserve the park?”

Out of those discussions Evanoff said “we developed a program called the ‘Greening of Yellowstone’. That program is still alive and well today.

 

Back in 1997 we identified a whole list of initiatives we wanted to undertake in all the major categories— transportation, energy, waste and education. A lot of those projects have been completed, a lot are still in the planning stages, but we are very, very active in our sustainability program.”

 

“Instead of operating in a vacuum, we just love to see what we do in the Park trickle out into the surrounding areas,” noted Evanoff. “I’m the chairman of our sustainability committee and we are looking at projects that could be applicable throughout the ecosystem and not just in Yellowstone. So we are taking that bigger view.”

 

Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship Initiative (YES!)

 

In 2008, the Park launched its “Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship Initiative (YES!). Working with its fundraising partner, the Yellowstone Park Foundation (www.ypf.org), they identified 26 projects where private support from individuals, foundations and corporations can make a difference and accelerate progress.

 

According to the YPF, YES! “is a multi-year initiative and action plan designed to achieve significant greening and sustainability goals by 2016… (and) will further reduce its ecological footprint, increase operational efficiencies and better preserve Park resources for future generations.”

 

Yellowstone is part of the last big intact ecosystem left in North America. “When you combine the all the National Forests and the Grand Tetons, it comprises 10 million acres it has every big intact species that was here in prehistoric times, which was not true 15 years ago before we reintroduced the wolf,” said Evanoff.

 

That brings us back to the elk munching and relaxing on the lawns outside Park HQ —and the power of public/private partnerships.

 

Elk and Smart Sprinklers

 

In 1886 the US cavalry was brought in to Mammoth Hot Springs, then known as Fort Yellowstone, to control exploitation of Yellowstone’s resources by the public. My interview with Evanoff took place in one of those buildings constructed of all local materials back in the 1890s. By the way, each building is still being used today as either offices or employee housing.

 

“One thing that we didn’t like was that the cavalry planted 15 acres of Kentucky blue grass to keep the dust down,” said Evanoff.

 

“Now that Kentucky blue grass is a part of the National Historic District and by law we have to maintain the integrity of that historic district which means cutting, fertilizing maintaining that lawn so in terms of the feeding frenzy for the elk who have no natural predator

here because the wolves won’t come in that close to the buildings.”

 

“Currently, we go through half a million gallons a night watering this lawn. They run off a timer. The sprinklers come on at 10 at night and go off at 6 in the morning, whether it’s raining or not,” said Evanoff.

 

“So, working with the Yellowstone Partnership Foundation, we’ve partnered with Rain Bird, a leading manufacturer of irrigation products. Rain Bird has proposed to install a ‘smart’ sprinkler system that will cut our water consumption by 70% by using state-of-the-art controls to sense the moisture in the ground and the humidity in the air or if there’s an oncoming storm to decide how long the sprinkler should go on.”

Negotiations are moving ahead so that installation can begin in the spring of 2010. This project, coupled with the Mammoth Hot Springs hydro-power clean energy project (which recently received $1.6 million in ARRA funding and the YPF is helping secure the balance) will reduce water consumption by 16 million gallons and save $125,000 annually.

 

Evanoff could not hide his enthusiasm describing the benefits of the new irrigation and hydro-electric power upgrades. His excitement only grew when the topics of snow, transportation, trash and propane came up.


YES! Goals

By 2016 reduce

      Greenhouse gas emissions by 30%

      Fossil fuel consumption by18%

      Water consumption by 15%

      Electricity consumption by15%.

 

Plus divert 100% of solid waste from landfills. Learn how you can help. Contact the Yellowstone Park Foundation at www.ypf.org.


###


 

 

 

Greening Where It Is Urban: DHS HQ in DC

 

At St. Elizabeths in Washington DC, DHS is proving homeland security can be Green, historic and secure.

 

The event was groundbreaking —literally.

 

On September 9, 2009, DHS and GSA leaders broke ground on the new DHS consolidated headquarters at the St Elizabeths Campus in Washington DC.

 

The first phase of the campus will be the new, energy efficient 1.18 million-square-foot Coast Guard headquarters facility. It will receive a minimum of a Silver LEED certification

from the U.S. Green Building Council.

 

The building uses state-of-the-art efficiency technologies, including green roofs and landscaped courtyards to capture and reuse surface water runoff. It also uses innovative heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

 

DHS needs in excess of 8 million square feet of space in the DC area. GSA has developed a master plan to put 4 ½ million square feet at St. Elizabeths. Currently DHS is housed in more than 35 offices around the DC area and the consolidation is expected to save taxpayers $163 million over the next 30 years according to DHS.

 

The building of the DHS campus, in Washington DC, is the largest building project since the building of the Pentagon after World War II.

 

Sustaining a Historic Landmark

 

The groundbreaking is “the culmination of a lot of planning and just plain hard work over the past five years,” exclaimed Don Brathurst, Chief Administrative Officer at DHS in a recent interview.

 

St. Elizabeths is a national landmark with historic and architectural significance, not just in the buildings but also in the setting. The hospital was founded by Dorothea Dix in the

mid 1850s and was instrumental changing the treatment of psychiatric patients. Rather than locking them away never to see the light of day again, her idea was to create an open interactive campus where patients could walk and be in the fresh air and work outside.

 

Dix’s vision became the jumping off point for designing the DHS campus.

 

“We’ve got those types of features with the views, openness and walking paths, that really starts our whole journey on sustainability,” said Bathurst.

 

“We look at sustainability as not just the greening of the operation, but adding to the quality of life for our employees, which then adds to the productivity, which ultimately focuses

on their attainment of our mission, which is to protect the homeland and the citizens of this great country.”

 

“We have this historic campus which really was designed to be sustainable in 1850s parlance and under Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act, we are really required to do as much as we can to retain the historic fabric and that includes the walking nature of the campus and the like. So that is our canvass, if you will. Now we have to overlay our pallet, if you will, with that.”

 

Existing buildings total around 900,000 square feet of space, much of that is actually historic building. GSA’s plan will actually retain about 96 to 98% of the historic square footage of space that contributes to the national landmark status.

 

“St. Elizabeths gives us tremendous opportunity; there’s a myriad of opportunities for sustainable development,” Bathurst said.

 

“Those warehouses coming down, but not much of them is going to leave the site. They are concrete brick and block and they are being demolished right now. Everything that can be

recycled is being recycled to the extent that the walls and floors and all the concrete that is associated with those buildings is going to be crushed and kept on site and used for aggregate for concrete and roads back in the development of the other new buildings.”

 

Going For Gold (LEED)

 

The Coast Guard building is nearing the 30% design phase. It is then handed off to the contractor who finishes the design as part of the construction process.

 

“This is so that we can move the whole process along a little bit faster,” Bathurst said.

 

“But the initial design of the Coast Guard building is quite incredible. Overall we’ve worked with GSA and GSA is aiming for a LEED certification for the entire campus at the Silver level, which is pretty significant for a large campus like that with so many historic buildings. As we work on the design for the Coast Guard building, it is actually trending towards Gold and we are pretty sure that it by itself will probably end up with a Gold LEED rating.”

 

Bathurst described how the building design makes use of the natural terrain and be built back into the hillside, so there will be a tremendous amount of natural light to wash in on all floors that add to energy conservation as well as wellness of employees and all.

 

The entire roof of the Coast Guard facility will be about 5 acres in size. It is going to reduce storm water run-off and create an insulation factor that the building will take advantage of in terms of being able to reduce energy usage.

 

“There’s a whole use of storm water management and water conservation, energy efficient lighting,” said Bathurst.

 

“GSA, as part of their development plan with our urging, is building a co-generation plant which will help support taking some load off the grid, allow us to help support the community as necessary, but also allow us to have an ongoing reliable source of power; again, to protect our mission.”

 

That’s going to have the potential to reduce our energy consumption by upwards of 20%.

 

Build Public/Public Partnerships

 

Bathurst stressed that what DHS is doing to be Green shouldn’t be out of the ordinary; it’s just the right way to do business.

 

And he offered this advice to others who are undertaking Green projects.

 

“The first thing is you’ve got to have a plan and vision. You’ve got to know what you are trying to achieve. It doesn’t have to be perfect but you’ve got to know what you are trying to achieve.”

 

And of course, you have to have the money.

 

“Then you have to communicate. You have to communicate within the organization so people know what to expect and what their responsibilities are; you have to communicate to the community, again so they know what to expect and how they can help; and then certainly you have to communicate with all the various stakeholders.”


St. Es Status Update

 

Bart Bush is Regional Commissioner for GSA’s Public Buildings Service for the National Capital Region. During a recent interview I asked him: “Where does the St Es project stand right now?”

 

“We have awarded our construction contract. The design is nearing a state that will go to the National Capital Planning Commission in a couple of months. That design requires NCPC approval so that we can begin construction.

 

Demolition has begun already on the site for the footprint of the Coast Guard facility which will be in excess of a million square feet when it’s constructed, so we’ve got a very aggressive plan here in terms of demolition, soil erosion control on the site in preparation

for approval of our design for the Coast Guard facility which should be presented to NCPC in January, 2010.”


###



 

 

Where New Construction and Historic Rehabilitation Meet

 

The St. Elizabeths DHS headquarters is the largest project that GSA has ever undertaken says GSA’s Bart Bush.

 

In a recent interview, GSA’s Bart Bush made it clear that the St. Elizabeths DHS headquarters is the largest project that GSA has ever undertaken.

 

Bush is also confident that when all is said and done – in the year 2018 – the project will “most certainly culminate in the success that Homeland Security is looking for in terms of

a consolidated headquarters operation where they can create one culture for their organization, as well as, equally important, protect and defend our nation’s boarders by being together in times of crisis.”

 

Here are more excerpts from the interview.

 

Jeff Erlichman, Public Sector Communications:

Why was St. Elizabeth’s site chosen?

 

Bart Bush, GSA:

We looked at the minimum size needs for the DHS permanent headquarters. Their housing needs are in excess of 8 million square feet in the DC area, with the goal of reducing probably close to 100 locations into somewhere between 7 and 10 locations in the DC area.

St Elizabeths provided us an opportunity to house a Federal agency in DC. It is really the only federally owned site in the District large enough to accommodate DHS’s headquarters campus which called for 4+ million square feet.

 

 

JE: What were some of your design concerns?

 

Bush:

As an agency that manages a lot of historic property, we wanted to be careful not to diminish the great qualities that that site has. So, with the Coast Guard building location

for example, we looked at moving it further down the hill or moving it more into the hill to take advantage of some of the natural characteristics that you have when you to depress

a building and don’t have to cool it as much as you normally might. So there was a lot of that work took place to try to best understand how we might best place buildings around the campus.

 

JE: Are you concerned with LEED certifications? Are they standard operating procedure?

 

Bush:

Silver LEED is the minimum standard for all GSA modernization and new construction projects. For the Coast Guard, we believe that attaining gold is a distinct possibility.

 

Obviously the LEED process is an ongoing effort through the design, we are a little bit more than 30% designed now and as you continue that effort you begin to do cost benefit analysis work on many of the features that could help you attain a higher LEED rating. So we will meet our standard of silver LEED rating and believe that we may be a few points from a gold rating. We are seeking triple-platinum LEED.

 

JE: Is sustainability one of your primary objectives in the ongoing development of the site?

 

Bush:

Clearly; not only in long term   in the upfront portion. It starts with how we recycle product already on site if we were demolishing a warehouse and what we were doing with that concrete; and then it goes to the retention of many of the historic buildings, being able to protect those buildings so we can use them in the long term plan for Homeland Security.

 

JE: Are you going to recycle as many of the materials from the demolition to reuse somewhere else on site?

 

Bush:

Sure. A lot of that concrete gets ground up, gets used in the road infrastructure on the site. A lot of the soils get retained and reused. The biggest recycling portion of that project though is the restoration of the historic buildings. We are retaining upwards of 98% of the rentable square footage, or the square footage of the existing historic buildings and they are going to be used again.

 

That really is the ultimate sustainability. Not only do we think about today as we build the Coast Guard facility, its sustainability over the next 30 to 50 years.

 

JE: What plans to you have for historic rehabilitation of buildings?

 

Bush:

We are looking at buildings that are double that age and how we are putting them back into productive use. We obviously are cognizant of the historic features, mostly exterior features

of those buildings and we work very closely with our consulting parties with respect to the design of those buildings.

 

When you begin thinking about interior corridors and offices, you have to think about the modernization of that space so that it is actually functional.

 

Then there’s a level of creativity that comes into play as you look at buildings in terms of what type of use they might provide for DHS into the future and we’ve pegged a number buildings to be what you might think of as common use space, whether they be auditoriums, dining halls, conferencing rooms, conferencing centers where the layout just isn’t going to work for today’s office environment but their location on the campus might make a lot of sense as a place where people can, via the sidewalk network, make their way over to a dining hall or to a conference center or a fitness center to take advantage of that.

 

JE: So with the rehabilitation of the buildings and the beginning construction of the Coast Guard headquarters, you are really talking about an effort that’s going to be taking place for a number of years.

 

Bush:

Absolutely! We have an 8 or 9 year time horizon on the project. That takes us well into nearing 2018 or thereabouts. It will be ongoing substantial completion deadlines for a variety of the phases.

 

We have both a great opportunity and challenge here at St. Elizabeths with new construction and historic rehabilitation that allow us to use our green standards, our expertise in this area and really challenge us. But at the same time I think we are going to produce a great product for the Department of Homeland Security.
###



 

 
 

Embrace Telework

Telework today! Reduce your agency’s carbon footprint. Visit www.telework.gov  to start now!

 

78 Executive Branch agencies submitted data for OPM’s 2009 Telework status report to Congress.

 

The report said trends have remained relatively stable over time, with incremental increases and occasional decreases showing overall slow but steady growth.

 

For 2008, agencies reported that:

 

• 102,900 employees were teleworking

• 64% of these employees were teleworking relatively frequently (either 1-2 days a week, or 3 or more days per week)

• Almost half of the agencies had not fully integrated telework into their Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning

• Office coverage and management resistance were considered the largest barriers to implementation

 

In terms of sustainability, those numbers have to rise dramatically for us to ensure we are preserving the environment for future generations. So, if your agency has not embraced telework, the question becomes: How much more do proof do you need?

Proof: Telework Saves Energy There are many statistics proving how telework saves, but here’s one more.

 

In August, when the air conditioning and energy consumption is usually the largest,

Citrix, HP, Microsoft, Intel got together as corporate sponsors for Power Down IT Day.

 

The day was organized as an awareness campaign of how much energy can be saved if we just turn off our computers, monitors and printers when we leave the office.

 

They determined that doing that would save 13 kilowatt hours for those government workers who go home at 5 o’clock and come back at 9 o’clock the next morning. 5,600 staffers participated. It resulted in a savings of 73,000 kilowatt hours.

 

That’s $73,000 in savings. You multiply that across a working year, that’s over $2.6 million that we save in energy costs. And that’s only 5,600 employees.

 

Imagine the savings if these staffers teleworked and their computers weren’t turned on at all!

 

Objection Overruled: Productivity Suffers

One primary objection often cited by management is that productivity suffers.

 

But you’ll never know until you really, really try. For example, at DHS, Chief Administrative Officer Donald Bathurst told the Federal Executive Forum audience that DHS has been working to get on the telework bandwagon.

 

“You may have heard our Undersecretary for Management has declared that this week (September 28, 2009) at all components anyone who can telework must telework or

should telework one day this week. In fact my entire office, except about 3 or 4% that needed to be on the grounds, ground, will be out on Friday. So again getting cars off the

road and testing our networks and our productivity and our ability to work in a distributed fashion.”

 

Houston Taylor, GSA’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Acquisition Management, put it

this way in a recent interview.

 

“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, not just with goods and services,

but even down to the behavior within the workforce, such as how we embrace the concept of telework. When you talk about Greening the government, it’s just not goods and services; it’s the behavior inside the organization and outside.”

 

“So, it’s one thing to say an agency supports telework, it’s something else to actually execute it. So, what does that have to do with Greening? If you are driving your car less and you multiply that by the people in the workforce that telework, then you’ve just reduced the carbon footprint.”

 

Telework is a part of the solution. You reduce the emissions gases; you reduce the overall congestion; and you reduce the time it takes the rest of those that need to be on the road to get to work, so there’s a huge ancillary Greening benefit from telework projects.

What are you waiting for? Be part of the solution. Go to www.telework.gov now!
###

 

 

 
 

Buying Green Saves Green
The emphasis on buying Green products for government use—plus buying from suppliers who are Green themselves is only going to grow.

 

Growing Emphasis

 

The emphasis on buying Green products for government and buying from suppliers who are Green themselves is only going to grow.


The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Presidential Executive Order 13423 (January 24, 2007)

require federal agencies purchase products that meet Energy Star and other environmentally responsible standards. Now there is the Obama Executive Order 13514 on sustainability to follow.

 

Beginning in FY2011 each agency will produce a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that will prioritize agency actions based on lifecycle return on investment.

 

Both the Plan and annual update need OMB approval. Adhering to the Plan changes the criteria program staff and their contractor partners use to choose product solutions.

 

It will also put new pressures on Contracting Officers to follow regulations that take into consideration environmental measures as well as economic and social benefits and costs in evaluating projects.

 

Educating Contracting Professionals

 

On the frontlines of Green procurement programs at GSA is Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Acquisition Management, Houston Taylor.

 

“We’ve got a work force in the federal contracting community that we ask to do an awful lot,” Taylor said in a recent interview. “We ask them to understand all the rules and

regulations of the Federal Acquisition Regulations and now we are really pushing them with Green.”

 

Taylor stressed it’s going to take a concerted effort to teach Green purchasing skills because everyone has to change their behavior.

 

“It changes behavior of contracting officers and changes behavior of industry; it changes how GSA offers our goods and services. And so to that point, we need to get out to industry, to the contracting officers, to the federal agencies and show them how to do it.”

 

So, what does Green mean to a contracting officer that’s putting out a request for quote?

 

How do you take a statement like “Green your procurement” and create performance measurements and issue an RFQ that embraces Green?

 

“When you break that down even further, now we are trying to reduce our energy consumption 3% annually through 2015 or 30% by the end of 2015,” explained Taylor.

COs are just starting to figure out what goods and services Industry has to offer. It’s an ongoing learning process for both government and Industry. When you don’t know all

the answers, desired outcomes are always moving targets.

 

Executing A Green Procurement

 

“Right now our contracting officers need to understand better how to effectively execute a Green procurement,” said Taylor.

 

“It comes back to the fundamental concept of evaluating the necessary consistency between their RFQ and what’s in the technical evaluation that results in an award that is the best value to the government—and is in fact Green. We are learning. Agencies and program officers are learning as well.”

 

Attention Government Credit Card Holders

Every day, buyers with a government credit card buy items up to $3000 with no competition needed. “We call it nickels and dimes, but that’s billions of dollars,” explained Taylor.

 

Through education, Taylor wants to change behavior at the grass roots level. “That’s where you have to get too. It’s one thing to say you recycle at home; but that’s not Green. It’s a step but that’s not Green. If we are truly going to embrace this and have a passion, the first thing let’s talk about us as stewards and tax payers. How do we get out and change that behavior?”

 

The challenge is to educate the credit card holder to think Green consciously before buying a $50 item or that $200 item. While that’s nickels and dimes from a government perspective, there are a lot of buyers who can make a huge difference by Greening their buying habits.

 

“Let’s change that behavior. Let’s track that. Let’s educate. It needs to be a normal behavior to buy environmentally safe goods or services when I am making the purchase,” added Taylor.

 

“Yes it is only $100, but let’s buy it the right way. And I think that’s a fundamental grass roots thing and I think until we get to that level we are not going to be totally successful.”

 

Strategic View

 

Taylor said from a strategic view the key elements of the Greening of government are partnerships, relationships and communications.

 

“The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) has over the last year established partnerships with strategic agencies such as the Office of Environmental Executives, EPA, DOE and OMB, making sure they understand from a policy view and from a customer view what goods and services we offer.”

 

Taylor described how the GSA FAS has immersed itself into a working group with the Office of the Federal Environmental Executives (OFEE) to share what GSA can deliver across the board.

 

Further, GSA is moving ahead on a comprehensive energy support program offering everything from baselining energy usage in a facility all the way through providing the products and services needed to reduce an agency’s carbon footprint.

 

Stay tuned for these new programs. Right now you can visit www.gsa.gov/green to find all current GSA Go Green Environmental Initiatives.

 

Works In Progress

 

In addition, Taylor said a work in progress is an environmental management system which would offer one portal, one stop shopping where agencies, where the contracting specialists can go to get the information they need.

 

“If you are looking for something under PBS you could probably find everything that’s functionally under the PBS; Fleet has their piece; FAS has their piece. That’s part of them maintaining their business lines, but acquisition management role is to bridge all that and bring it in to one common portal. And we are building that right now as we speak.”

 


Green Education

GSA’s Houston Taylor had talked about the importance of educating the Contracting Officer community.

 

“We are in the process of rolling out formal training; providing a one day training course on Green. We’ve actually done it and it’s in a pilot phase right now in the FAS, Treasury and VA.”

 

Taylor said the course covers how to put performance measures in your SOW that are quantifiable in terms of quality, quantity, timeliness, whatever the measure is.

 

“We have some examples and templates, so it’s heavy on facts and it is light on fluff. I say it’s in the development phase because quite frankly we’ve gotten feedback on

the course on things we need to do better, and we are working that.”

 

Taylor hopes to have a formal course formal course that will be available to federal agencies across the spectrum in the very near future.
###




 


Your Green Advantage

Attention contracting officers, program managers and credit card buyers!

Visit the Environmental Aisle on GSA Advantage today!

 

GSA Advantage (www.gsa.gov/advantage) is a powerful tool people can use

for research and find sources for environmentally friendly or compliant items available on GSA contracting vehicles. It is a platform for federal agencies to build a relationship directly with firms already pre-qualified with GSA contracts.

 

On the frontlines of GSA’s Green government efforts is Emile Monette. He is the director of Program Analysis for GSA Advantage. He first came to the GSA Advantage program office

in 2004 after working as an Air Force Contracting Officer. In 2005 he went on detail to OFPP; then he worked for Representative Tom Davis for two years, followed by a short stint this year at the Executive Office of the President.

 

He recently re-joined GSA. Recently we talked about GSA Advantage and how it is helping government make better Green buying decisions.

 

Jeff Erlichman, Public Sector Communications:

Describe the GSA Advantage Environmental Aisle?

 

Emile Monette, GSA:

What we’ve done within GSA Advantage is set up this sub web page that’s called the Environmental Aisle. If you go on to the front page of GSA Advantage on the left hand side there’s a link that says ‘Go Environmental or Go Green’ and that link will pop you right into the Environmental Aisle.

 

It is basically a web page within GSA Advantage that buyers can select which environmental attributes they are looking for a given product. It’s a very simple interface for the user to gain access to products that are either ENERGY STAR or EPEAT or FEMP or the various other designations that we have there.

 

JE: Can you describe the navigation?

 

Monette:

There are little radio boxes there and they check next to ENERGY STAR, so if you are looking for ENERGY STAR appliances for example, type appliances in the search box and check the little ENERGY STAR box and hit the search button and it would pull up a list of all the ENERGY STAR compliant appliances that are on the schedule.

 

This is a simple tool. As a former contracting officer I know that you are buried in work…there is a thousand things you have to do and boxes you have to check and somebody comes along and says, make sure you check the green procurement box, it’s just another headache.

 

But it’s something that will make a significant and real impact, on not just on how we live but on how generations to come will live and it’s a simple tool that we’ve put together. You go in; put your search criteria in; click a couple of boxes and you get a list of products that meet your environmental criteria.

 

JE: But if somebody were coming to GSA Advantage, they could bypass this page, couldn’t they?

 

Monette:

That’s correct. But say someone was buying some sort of appliance and went to purchase that piece of equipment…when the customer goes to their shopping cart to check out,

if the item has ENERGY STAR or FEMP products available and this person is selecting to purchase one that is not green, when they go to check out a little pop up screen will come up and it will say, there is an ENERGY STAR or FEMP compliable product is available here and you are not purchasing it be aware and if you want to continue then you have to hit continue.

 

But it is a notification that tells them there are these products available and you are not buying one right now. We don’t mandate that people only buy these types of products but

they are preferable. And the Advantage website does a pretty job of alerting people to the fact that.

 

JE: What’s in the future for Advantage?

 

Monette:

We are constantly looking to make it better. We are continuously engaged in getting feedback from our customer agencies, from our contractors to make sure that we are putting something out there that is the best thing available that we can do. We try to make this a collaborative effort between all of our federal agency customers and our contractor community. If we don’t do that we are falling short.

 

This collaboration amongst agencies is trying to drive a more sustainable government in terms of acquisitions. And so we collaborate with these other agencies to put the

designations out there so that other acquisition professionals can find easy access to them and get quicker search results from GSA Advantage, more meaningful search results, and

what they do with that information is up to them. We are trying to give them the tools they need to be more sustainable in their acquisitions.
###



 

Who Certifies The Certifiers?

Who ensures that if a company says their product is Green, it truly is?

 

Put on your consumer hat. When you shop, let’s say for a washer/dryer, as a wise consumer, you check the ENERGY STAR ratings before spending your dollars, don’t you?

 

Last year alone, according to DOE, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR®, saved enough energy to power 10 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions from 12 million cars. All while saving $6 billion.

 

But while ENERGY STAR is certainly a success, it has not been without controversy.

 

As reported by the Environmental News Service in its December 31, 2008 article, ENERGY STAR Climate Change Claims Misleading, Audit Finds, the EPA Inspectors General

released its report on the ENERGY STAR program. The audit found the program claims regarding greenhouse gas reductions were inaccurate.

 

This raises questions not about whether or not ENERGY STAR is worthy, but about “who certifies the certifiers?” Who ensures that if a company says their product is ENERGY STAR compliant, it truly is?

 

GSA’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Acquisition Houston Taylor says government is working hard to figure it all out.

 

“There’s no easy answer. There’s a proliferation of certifications going on right now. People are showing up and saying, ‘I’m certifying my goods, I’m certifying my products’.”

 

Taylor stressed the fact that when you talk Green, you have to talk about certifications.

“You are talking about does the item do what it’s advertised to do? These are the things we are getting out in front of right now. We are sitting down with EPA and Energy trying to establish memorandums of understanding with regard to ENERGY STAR and the definition of those items.”

 

No one is suggesting eliminating ENERGY STAR certifications. In fact the opposite is true; government is trying to bolster the credence of the certification. No matter the definition, buying ENERGY STAR is a good thing.

 

GSA has already taken steps to aid buyers. On the GSA Advantage website there are icons describing different types of certifications. So, if you went on to Advantage today to buy an

ENERGY STAR refrigerator, if the item wasn’t ENERGY STAR you would get a pop up box warning.

 

“It would tell you ‘contracting officer, you are about to buy an item that is not ENERGY STAR.’ That is a shift in knowledge with education trying to change behavior,” Taylor explained.

 

“What we are looking for the CO to do at that point is to stop and look at the other products that are ENERGY STAR. That’s a big step for us. We didn’t have that 6 months ago, and we’ve got that now. So we are executing a vision and we are trying to change behavior recognizing that that’s not something that you do overnight.”

 

Green Standards Vary

 

There are certifications all over the place, but there is no one standard; and that’s part of the challenge when you talk about Greening the government. Where do you go? What is the baseline?

 

According to Taylor, if you are talking about buildings, you are talking about LEED (Leadership and Energy Environmental Designs). If you are talking about a product, you are talking about ENERGY STAR in some instances – but not in all instances.

 

“You can even step back further than that. From the time that you start planting a seed, there are certifications on how you grow a tree, how you harvest the tree, how you mill it, and turn the product that comes out all the way back to the backside of it which is the recycling piece of it.”

 

“There are certification points all along the way. That’s something government has to figure out, who is going to regulate that and control it, because there are varying degrees of certifications. That’s not an easy question to answer. I think it depends on the environment that you are in and the type of procurement that you’ve got.”

 

“Right now there is a patchwork of entities controlling these certifications. I would say that it is industry controlling certifications right now. The Federal government doesn’t establish those. That’s part of the challenge, that those certifications are popping up and there is no regulatory body, with the exception of ENERGY STAR and FEMP. If you move away from them, even LEED is commercial for that matter. So industry is a big player here.”

 

Go to the Advantage website and you’ll find 30 or so icons that a buyer can use to see how environmentally friendly a product or service it. Few are regulated by government. So, we

need to figure out a way to regulate and control certifications and answer the question, “who is certifying the certifiers?” n

 

There are certifications all over the place, but there is no one standard; and that’s part of the challenge when you talk about Greening the government. Where do you go? What is the baseline?



Sustainability: A Smart Buy

 

Sustainability is not just buying the right product, it’s taking a whole approach to the problem says GSA’s Ed O’Hare.

 

“We’ve identified a set of products—green products— within a sustainability framework that IT people can buy what they need to do power management right down to the desk top,” said O’Hare.

 

“So I’m a CIO and I have a desk top infrastructure of 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 PCs. They consume a lot of energy. We have identified—under what we call a “Smart Buy” procurement—those power management tools readily available to the federal government.”

A Smart Buy is a secondary procurement around a specific requirement. For power management, GSA issued a BPA.

 

“Then we make an award off the Schedule at better than Schedule prices and group them together so agencies can find them right away and get them at lower than Schedule prices,” noted O’Hare. “And they can even potentially get additional discounts.”


Get this good deal at www.gsa.gov.


###



 

 

Follow Our Example

 

Many in Industry are Greening themselves because it is not only good for the environment, it’s good for business.

 

You could say they “practice what they preach”. At facilities all over the nation, IT companies are Greening their own operations and in the process building a body

of knowledge they can share with their government partners.

 

At a recent Greening of Government Roundtable (conducted by conference call so that no one would have to travel), those on the frontlines at Citrix, HP, Juniper and Symantec talked about their own organization’s Greening programs and how they can

take what they have learned and share it with you.

 

“Power Down Day” A Success


Rue Moody of Citrix described how Citrix along with HP, Intel and Microsoft sponsored the August 27 Power Down Day. The goal was to raise awareness of how much power is wasted when you don’t turn off your computer at night.

 

Moody said that each computer turned off would save 13 kilowatt hours. 5,600 participated and it resulted in a savings of 72,800 kilowatt hours. That’s $73,000 in savings. You multiply that across a working year, that’s over $2.6 million that could be saved in energy costs. And that’s only for 5,600 employees.

 

There are 1.8 million civilian staffers. Do the math.

 

Let’s hope more take part next year. Even better, you can start right now by making sure your computer is turned off when you are not in the office. Having your that fact that if you are not at the office, but still working, then the computer is not turned on at all.

 

Telework makes it possible to keep productivity up, while reducing energy costs. Moody added that Citrix’s Greening efforts include utilizing telework. Workers are teleworking at least 2 of the 5 week days and thus directly reducing greenhouse gases.

 

Citrix is one of the key government suppliers of data center, desktop and remote access virtualization technologies that provide a concrete way to reduce energy use in the data center and on the desktop.

 

“Internally, we use our whole virtualization strategy and server consolidation strategy that we promote as products to the outside world,” said Moody. “So we are reducing the amount of equipment in our IT systems internally. That reduces power consumption somewhere in the 60% savings between our virtualization, our server consolidation and our NetScaler products that sit in front of those servers.”

 

IT: Part of Problem, Part of Solution


“2% is basically the carbon footprint for IT (plus another 2% to produce the IT), equivalent to the airline industry,” said HP’s John Sindelar. “But the thing that’s probably most important is, you can affect the other 98% with that 2%.”

 

Sindelar stressed that you can actually optimize your business processes by using IT to move to a Greener, more sustainable, less energy consuming operation. “IT is part of the problem but it’s also part of the solution,” noted Sindelar. He pointed out that the difference IT has from other industries is “while the data center is one of the biggest consumers of electricity, energy efficiencies have almost an immediate impact that you can measure—particularly if you perform energy assessments and benchmarking ahead of time.”

 

Sindelar explained that part of what HP’s energy reduction strategy is to design efficiencies in to data center components and the data center itself. “Our dynamic smart cooling is actually from chip to chiller, where we build it into the design to reduce the energy consumption. We can get anywhere from 33 to 40% to energy savings through that design work.

 

Moreover Sindelar said “IT is on a life cycle of 3 to 5 years, so greening your investment doesn’t take decades to take hold.”

 

At HP they are already reaping the benefits of optimizing their business processes. They have reduced their greenhouse gas and increased their energy efficiency by 25% below their 2005 levels and they did that a year ahead of schedule. Not content with that success, Sindelar said HP set new goals to reduce the greenhouse gas and energy consumption by 40% in absolute numbers by 2011.

 

HP is Greening all of its lines of business including developing an eco-system which includes greening the supply chain that includes 600 suppliers and also focusing later on the tier 2 suppliers.

 

Software Is A Key Green Ingredient

 

At Symantec, the CEO challenged the organization to a 15% carbon footprint reduction based on 2008 consumption by 2012.

 

Jose Iglesias said that as a software development company, Symantec has “only three levers to play: the people, building, and IT. We implemented all our energy saving technologies inside our own IT environment and we were able to demonstrate that by doing that IT was able to get us, along with some of the building facilities’ efforts, 8% of the 15% that our CEO has signed us up for. By the way that netted us $ 1 million a year of electricity savings by being able to reduce the amount of hardware we used.”

 

Internally, Symantec has staff that is focused on Green and has set up Green teams focused on Greening at sites worldwide. Jose Iglesias said “as an example we have about 17,000

employees and our Green newsletter had about 10,000 hits internally during the first two days it was out.”

 

Symantec views software is part of the solution because software is an enabler for Green, leading to better usage of power and increasing data center efficiency. “We even have

a campaign about stop buying storage—and we sell storage— because our focus is on how do you manage it more efficiently and leverage that.”

 

Plus to help consumers, Symantec has built a return on investment (ROI) tool where for free, they will help you evaluate what steps you could take and how much those steps will yield in savings.

 

Gone Green

 

Juniper Networks has also ‘gone Green’ in its business practices, particularly through its promotion of telework among its employees.

 

“As a networking solutions provider, we’re clearly in favor of telecommuting—we enable it with our SSL VPN and network access control solutions, and encourage our employees to practice what we preach,” Juniper’s Tim LeMaster said.

 

 LeMaster noted that “more than 90% of Juniper’s workforce telecommutes for at least a portion of their time—and 10% are telecommuting on any given day.”

 

In addition to offering mass transit incentives, as a member of the Waste Reduction Awards Program, Juniper has committed to become a ‘zero waste’ company, currently diverting from landfills about 70% of its office byproducts—paper, cups, cans, bottles, batteries, and other items.

 

Juniper’s commitment to sustainability is also reflected in its participation in a variety of ‘green’ initiatives. Juniper is also one of the growing numbers of government partners that is focused on energy and climate issues in their product design and business practices.

 

“We recognized that our customers not only needed to increase the performance of their information networks and data centers, but also needed to reduce their energy and space requirements. This has helped us to design energy and space efficiency into our routers, switches, firewalls, and other networking solutions—from the network core to its edge, Juniper solutions consume far less energy and require much less rack and floor space than our competitors.

 

LeMaster said that Juniper is now bringing to market a significantly simplified data center architecture that consolidates routing, switching, firewalls, intrusion detection and network

access solutions onto a single plane, or ‘fabric,’ requiring much less power, space, and maintenance.

 

“This ‘single-fabric’ data center can save up to 53% in capital expenditures, 44% in power and 55% in rack space—and greatly simplify data center operations and maintenance,” said

LeMaster.   

Learn more how these IT providers can help you “Go Green.”

www.citrix.com

www.hp.com

www.juniper.net

www.symantec.com 
###



 

 

Greening Via Virtualization

Go Green, boost performance and spend less in the process with virtualization technologies.

 

In recent years, skyrocketing energy costs and a universal dependence on information technology (IT)—which requires more and more energy to sustain—have highlighted the need for Green initiatives. Potential energy savings and the resulting positive impact on the bottom line make Green IT even more attractive for government. And initiatives from the current White House administration make it clear that Green IT in government

is here to stay.

 

Virtualization technologies, which can improve government’s carbon footprint from the

datacenter to the desktop, present a cost-saving, performance boosting answer to government’s Green IT needs.

 

Virtualization for a Greener Datacenter

 

The move toward IT centralization has created an undeniable power surge in the datacenter. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that energy consumption of federal servers and datacenters costs taxpayers approximately $450 million each year.

 

Some estimates assert that, for every kilowatt of energy consumed by a server, roughly

another kilowatt is used to cool that same server. The key to carbon footprint reduction in the government datacenter lies in reducing the number of physical servers—thus cutting the energy needed to power and cool the datacenter—and optimizing server utilization.

 

By separating the physical from the logical, virtualization frees computing resources from their previous hard-coded linkages. Server virtualization enables one physical server to

process multiple virtual servers, with each handling different applications, if needed. Server utilization rates increase, while the datacenter runs far fewer servers. This dramatically reduces the power needed to operate, cool and maintain equipment by as much as 75%, while datacenter efficiency increases as much as ten times over.

 

Virtualization for a Greener Desktop

 

Desktops draw a considerable amount of power on their own, even in sleep or standby mode, with the more powerful machines consuming the most energy. When scaled to thousands of agency users, the desktop energy drain and its resulting power bill become critical.

 

The cradle-to-grave environmental impact of these devices poses another Green concern, particularly in terms of replacement and disposal of obsolete machines. Desktops—some

of which yield only a two-year life span under traditional use—contain hazardous materials,

such as lead, cadmium and mercury, and require special (and expensive) handling for disposal.

 

Desktop virtualization technologies reduce the computing power needed and provide broader options when purchasing new end devices. Virtualization enables management of the desktop as a “golden image” stored in the datacenter and securely delivered to the end device over the network or the Internet. Low-power alternatives, including thin clients, can also be deployed at a much lower cost while the end-user experience remains speedy androbust. End devices last longer, and even older, outdated desktops can be re-deployed as thin clients—further extending the lifecycle of expensive equipment from two to up to five years.


Green IT: Real solutions for the real world In the end, the goal of Green IT is simple: to leave behind a better environment than the one we inherited. Today, virtualization
stands as the government solution of choice for going Green without compromising performance. Simply put, virtualization gives government the opportunity to experience the possibilities of Green IT and its universal benefits.

 

Thanks to Tom Simmons, Citrix Systems, Inc. for his assistance with this article.
###



 

 
 

Going Green Makes A Lot Of “$ense”

 

By Jim Flyzik, The Flyzik Group

 

Energy conservation and environmental issues are not new. Growing up, I constantly heard “close the refrigerator door”; “turn off the lights”; “save the grocery bags for other uses” and many other energy and environment friendly phrases.

 

I remember a Professor of Biology in college in the 70’s urging students to get involved with energy conservation and environmental conservation before we face major problems in the future. It just seems that all of a sudden “Going Green” has taken on a higher level priority and sense of urgency.

 

But when you think about it—it really is a “no-brainer” since there really are very little downsides to the so called “Green” initiatives.

 

Corporate Executives are concerned about generating revenues, lowering costs and maximizing shareholder wealth. Government Executives are concerned about stewardship of the taxpayer’s money and eliminating unnecessary expenses. Initiatives geared at energy savings and environment improvements are all supportive of these directions. Save energy—reduce costs. Use hybrid vehicles and reduce carbon emissions—reduce travel costs.

 

Information Technology is a great enabler of Going Green. Virtualization, Telework, Data Center Consolidations, Video Teleconferencing, Cloud Computing and Passive Optical Fiber

Networks are but a few initiatives that immediately come to mind that can have major energy and cost savings.

 

Consolidating storage requirements, not just servers, makes good business sense. Studies show about 80% of data stored in data centers are read once and stored for long periods of time.

 

Move that data from high energy use primary storage devices to lower cost on-line idle disks and reduce power and space requirements—and save money.

 

Video Teleconferencing Technology has come a long way with high-speed converged technology. The technology is so good that it almost appears that individuals far, far away are in the same room with the local participants. We are almost at a “beam me up Scotty” technology realization. Why spend valuable time and travel money when the face-to-face meeting can be accomplished via video conferencing?

 

Telework can be used to raise productivity, reduce carbon emissions, and save great deals of time and money. Now that I am no longer in government and focus on maximizing the value my time can provide clients, it is clear to me that I can get far more work done at my home office in front of the computer and using teleconferences whenever possible. Travel time spent in cars really offers little productive value—and with the safety concerns of texting while driving, working from home or telework locations really is a good idea for many reasons.

 

The business cases for “Going Green” initiatives are not difficult to justify. So then, why haven’t we done these things already? It is not the technology or the money—it is the “culture issue” that has remained in the way of progress.

 

Using information technology to reap the advantages of “Going Green” requires changing

behaviors and the ways we have been doing things in the past. It means giving up some of the silos and sharing data centers with other component agencies. It means integrating disparate operating systems on servers. It means running open source solutions and hybrid environments versus pure proprietary solutions. It means moving persistent data from primary data storage to lower cost, higher density platforms that reduce power consumption and save space.

 

It also requires new levels of trust—trust that telework can be a better way of doing business. Trust that data can be secured in the “cloud”. Trust that a public/private partnership can get better results. I always said that if you want trustworthy employees and contractors, the first thing you need to do is trust them!

 

As younger generations move into the workplace, “Going Green” will no longer be an initiative—it will be a standard operating principle. Now that I completed this article from my home office, I need to do a few teleconference calls to meet information requests, and then turn off the lights and power down my computer.

 

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