Each year, the Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) Awards recognize innovative leadership within the Department of State in energy and environmental diplomacy. For nearly a decade, GDI activities have helped the Department catalyze energy and environmental policy through showcased action at U.S. embassies and consulates and partnered engagement on sustainability in host nations. The Department is proud to announce this year’s winners.
Embassy Kabul is the 2018 GDI Award winner. Despite facing a constant critical-threat security environment with limited infrastructure, Post remained committed to reducing their environmental footprint. In partnership with DynCorp, the Embassy recycled 364,000 pounds of waste in 2017. Local partners turn the recycled material into items such as plastic furniture, toilet paper, and dishes. This partnership expands private sector-led economic growth and provides employment alternatives to those at risk of radicalization and violent extremist messaging. Post also encouraged the use of reusable water bottles and improved its IT infrastructure to save energy.
Embassy Sarajevo was named the Runner-Up, thanks to its work to establish an array of projects and campaigns to improve post’s environmental footprint, such as a community recycling challenge, “Turn-It Off” campaign, tree planting with a local organization, and raising awareness through a “green section” in the post welcome book.
Other GDI Award winners, chosen by agency-wide employee voting, included Consulate General Cape Town, which prioritized water conservation in 2017. This effort was critical for consulate staff as the city experienced a third consecutive year of record drought. The Consulate was able to reduce their municipal water consumption by 70%. Information Resource Management’s Global Information Technology Program was awarded an honorable mention for their ClassNet Regionalization project. The project leveraged regional server consolidation to reduce the Department’s energy usage by an estimated nine million kilowatt-hours – the amount of energy required to manufacture servers and power them through their life-time.
In honor of this year’s Overseas Cost Containment Initiative’s “Year of the Vehicle,” Embassy Valletta was honored with the Motor Pool Efficiency Award. Embassy Valletta utilized “all of the above” approach in increasing efficiency and “greening” in motor pool operations. Post worked both internally to improve their own motor pool with a fully electric vehicle and solar panel carport, and externally with the public and private sector to encourage car-sharing and electric vehicle charging stations.