Skip to main content

Bibb Addresses Govenergy Conference

Remarks by
David L. Bibb
Acting Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Govenergy 2008
Phoenix, AZ
August 4, 2008


Thank you, Commander Hancock.

And thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us this week in Phoenix.  As I look into this huge audience, I’m pleased and a little amazed at how successful Govenergy has become.  Some may not know that in 1998, GSA and Department of Energy joined up to create our first multi-agency energy conference in Bellevue, Washington.  We had about 500 attendees and 50 exhibitors.  This week we’ll have over 2,200 attendees and two hundred exhibits. This is also the fifth year that we’ll “walk the talk” by offsetting our carbon emissions. I’d like to thank fuel cell energy for the donations that will make that possible.

This event has become increasingly important because of the superior training that GSA and our cosponsors provide to the energy and environmental community. So my first order of business is to acknowledge our co-sponsors:

  • The US Department of Energy;
  • The Department of Defense;
  • The Environmental Protection Agency;
  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and;
  • The Department of Homeland Security.

I’d also like to thank:

  • Mark Ewing of GSA’s Public Buildings Service;
  • Leslie Nicholls, of  Energetics, Inc., who has served as project manager, and;
  • All of our private sector exhibitors, who have been so supportive of our training efforts. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t say a word about all of you energy, facility, transportation and environmental managers from both government and the private sector:

President Bush talks about our need to work toward energy security by focusing on “renewables, accelerating technological breakthroughs, and expanding traditional sources to reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”  Those are tall but familiar orders to our federal energy and facility managers.  And I know that all of you will leave Phoenix with new ideas on how to save energy and water at your respective facilities. 

I am pleased that this is the second year we’re offering education credits for the classroom sessions.  And I’m thrilled that for the first time, our federal fleet programs have been integrated into the Govenergy training sessions.  Welcome to the Govenergy family!

Last year, President Bush issued Executive Order 13423, which states that: “It is the policy of the United States that federal agencies conduct their environmental, transportation, and energy-related activities under the law in support of their respective missions in an environmentally, economically and fiscally sound, integrated, continuously improving, efficient, and sustainable manner.”

GSA is committed to helping our client agencies comply with the requirements of this Executive Order and establish an environmental stewardship program that serves as a model for the federal community. This initiative requires a “One-GSA” approach that leverages the strengths and resources of the entire agency.

All of us know our nation is blessed with numerous resources. We know, too, these resources are not unlimited.  As chief environmental executive, I want GSA to use its position as the government’s top procurement agency to aggressively promote green goods, services and workspace, and I want our client agencies to take advantage of these offerings.

Improving our environment through governmentwide green initiatives has truly been an agency-wide undertaking at GSA. We have, for instance:

  • 10,000 green goods and services offered by GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, and an on-going push that has made eco-friendly procurement easier and easier for federal agencies;
  • On the other side of the house, our Public Buildings Service continues as a leader in incorporating the principles of sustainable design in all federal buildings, courthouses, and buildings leased for federal government use;
  • This year we completed installation of a photovoltaic power plant which not only saves electricity at our Denver Federal Center but provides GSA with additional revenue from the sale of solar energy credits to the local utility company.   We have 118 Energy Star rated buildings.  And all new construction is required to meet the LEED Silver requirements;
  • FAS and PBS are working together like never before in many areas, particularly sustainability . . . . Just watch us as these two GSA organizations move forward together with an exciting array of green data center offerings;
  • GSA is leading by example in the what-is-now-vital area of telework. Telework not only helps preserve precious natural resources, keeps cars off the road, helps with employee attraction and retention, but also gets us better prepared for times of national emergency. We’re now at nearly 30% of our GSA workforce teleworking at least one day per week;
  • For fiscal year 2008, GSA Fleet purchased over 22,000 alternative fuel vehicles for our client agencies, plus 239 hybrid electric vehicles. Moreover we sold 13,862 AFV’s at public auctions, putting more of these energy efficient vehicles into the hands of private consumers, and;
  • A new initiative has even begun to green up our 110 child care centers. Our facilities operators are watching their carbon footprints, and choosing recycled and environmentally friendly materials. In addition, we are implementing a "Learning Healthy Early" initiative designed to help parents and children make healthier choices and become more environmentally aware!

Commander Hancock mentioned that I’ll soon be leaving GSA. It’s been a great run with many wonderful memories. I leave secure in the knowledge that all of us have committed anew to become better stewards of our planet’s precious natural resources. No single individual, organization or government entity can clear the path to a pristine environment or American energy independence. GSA is making progress, but these are enormous, difficult objectives. Everyone must chip in. Your presence at Govenergy gives me real hope that momentum has swung our way, and that we are up to the challenge.

In closing, don’t forget this is your workshop. Take advantage of the expertise that’s been assembled. Challenge our presenters.  Visit our exhibitors.  Our objective is professional development training, and to encourage agencies at all levels to share best practices and solutions to common problems.

Thanks very much and on behalf of all our co-sponsors, have a great three days in Phoenix.