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VA Green Routine

VA Goes Green

October 5, 2009

Posted to the VA Public and Intergovernmental Affairs News Releases site on October 5, 2009

WASHINGTON — 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.