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Bibb Shares GSA's Commitment to Support Earth Day

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
David L. Bibb
Acting Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
GSA Earth Day Celebration
4/20/06

Thank you very much, Ann, for that kind introduction.

Good morning everyone!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to GSA’s celebration of Earth Day.

This year marks the 36th anniversary of Earth Day. On this day, we give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon our nation. We also renew our commitment to protect and preserve our natural resources for this and all future generations.

Having these children present reminds us that the actions we take today have an impact on the future. Our resources, while plentiful, are not unlimited.  We must be smart, we must be sensitive, and we must be respectful if we want to ensure the long-term health of our environment.

We must, in short, celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year.

Those of you who work at GSA know that one of our agency goals is to act responsibly with regard to the environment. All of us should take this responsibility seriously. While written goals are important, we must always consider the impact of our actions on our natural resources.

President Bush has said, “Our prosperity as a nation will mean little if our legacy to future generations is a world of polluted air, toxic waste and vanished forests.”

At GSA, we are committed to maintaining our position as an environmental leader in the Federal community, and to increasing opportunities to collaborate with the private sector to address environmental concerns.

What role does GSA play?

GSA actually helps lead the way by promoting sustainable business practices, particularly in the area of green buildings and workplaces. We promote healthy, high-performance work environments, and the use of environmentally responsible materials, methods and principles. We encourage the use of alternative work strategies, such as Telework, which allows employees to work wherever and whenever they can be most effective - and which also reduces commuter traffic.

GSA associates show their concern every day

  • By negotiating the purchase of renewable energy;
  • By offering environmentally sound products;
  • By recycling building materials or office products;
  • And by setting an example with buildings designed for sustainability.

Let me mention one project that’s especially interesting:

I know you children have heard of (and have maybe even visited) the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The statue was given to America by the people of France more than 100 years ago, and it remains one of our greatest symbols of freedom and democracy. But of course the monument and Ellis Island need electricity. (They get more than 5 million visitors a year!) GSA has awarded a contract to a company called Pepco Energy service. Pepco will supply 27 million kwh of electricity to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. What’s really terrific, though, is that this energy will be generated by windmills! That’s why they call it “green power,” because it’s a 100 percent renewable energy resource.

Such projects not only demonstrate GSA’s commitment to the environment, they’re also making a difference – not just today, but for tomorrow as well.

Thank you and happy Earth Day.