Johnson Expands on Zero Environmental Footprint Goal
In a keynote address to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Federal Summit on May 18, 2010, in Washington, D.C., Administrator Martha N. Johnson identified GSA as a fulcrum that can leverage its “massive buying power to impact the government’s environmental footprint.”
Citing the president’s Executive Order 13514, Johnson highlighted the agency’s mission to assist other federal agencies to make greater strides in sustainability, excel at greening initiatives, and increase federal building performance. Johnson proposed that the federal government move to a zero environmental footprint, and she stressed that GSA is setting its sights on “eliminating the impact of the federal government on our natural environment.”
In her remarks, delivered to an audience of USGBC members, government employees, contractors, and green building representatives, Johnson outlined a number of areas in which GSA could take the lead toward greening the government. These include cultivating green-centered public/private partnerships, aiming for only green products on the federal supply schedules, and using the federal building portfolio as a green proving ground for new sustainable building and design technologies. Johnson stressed GSA’s important role as the federal landlord in the greening mission, and she clarified GSA’s comparative advantage in sustainable building by mentioning the deep history that GSA has with green innovation.
A key theme of Johnson’s speech was that in the search for a zero environmental footprint, industry, and government had to be willing to fail and to learn from and share those experiences. She concluded by challenging the audience to “try new things, take risks, and be bold. Use the tools that we develop together. Find new partners and leave no stone unturned.”
Also participating in the summit was PBS Commissioner Robert Peck and the Director for the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, Kevin Kampschroer. The annual summit concentrated on sustainability and advances in federal green-building.