We’ve written before about General Services (GSA) Administrator Martha Johnson and how she’s taken on the task of making the government a Zero Environmental Footprint entity.
It was easy to imagine people being skeptical. It’s a major endeavor to be sure, and when it comes to the government things often end up being more bark than bite. But not, it appears, in this case – a year after the plan was announced, there’s been substantial, measurable success.
Martha Johnson has been a major supporter of sustainability on President Obama’s staff. For the last year she has gone across the country urging people to be smarter with their purchasing and to make the most of their existing assets – a motto the Refinishing Touch firmly believes in.
The GSA has shown its commitment to the initiative by the help it’s bringing in. Chief among the new hires is Eleni Reed, the Federal government’s first Chief Greening Officer. Ms. Reed has played a pivotal role in greening initiatives with major real estate development firms and metropolitan areas. She’s shown the aptitude to bring about a substantial change to our government’s environmental footprint.
Outside of the hiring, the GSA has been taking steps to make others aware of what’s needed to protect our environment. To advance the ZEF movement the GSA has:
- Embraced virtual work, which avoids having to heat or cool entire floors of workspace
- Helped small businesses tackle the challenge of tracking and accounting greenhouse gas emissions
- Launched a Smart Buildings program
While we see these steps already happening in businesses across the country, having the clout of the Federal government behind these initiatives gives them even greater importance.
The government’s ZEF initiative is ambitious, yet it appears to be making solid progress. Thanks to strong leadership and the commitment of our commander in chief, we’re no longer merely hopeful that we’ll see widespread change in environmental practices in the US. Now, we’re expecting it.