Regional federal agencies to develop sustainable practices network

Looking to make "smarter environmental and business decisions"

provided by US Navy

ommander Navy Region Southwest's Naval Facilities Engineering Command in San Diego is among six federal agency offices announcing that they are embarking on an unprecedented effort to understand and demonstrate sustainable environmental and business practices.

In a statement of unity signed at the Earth Day celebration at Seattle Center on April 22, the directors said, "Federal agencies can demonstrate leadership and by their example can inspire all of society to advance an agenda for sustainability."

As the world's largest purchaser of consumer products, the agencies recognize that the federal government needs to model the behaviors and actions it encourages or mandates in the private sector.

"The Navy continues to take active steps in enhancing its operations by collaborating with other Federal Agencies on their successes in sustainable practices," said Capt. Bob Phillips, Commander, Southwest Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command in San Diego. "While we as government agencies have done a lot individually to support the environment, we're excited about working together to leverage the opportunities to make real environmental gains," said Chuck Clarke, EPA's Region 10 Administrator. "We'll examine a number of potential actions, such as bulk purchasing of products, to see what the government can do to help further open the door to sustainable practices."

"We can make a huge difference by capitalizing on the impact the government has on purchasing environmentally sensitive products and services," said L. Jay Pearson, Northwest/Arctic Regional Administrator of the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for making government purchases.

Purchasing recycled products, constructing energy efficient buildings, instituting pollution prevention measures and increasing recycling efforts are all part of the information sharing the agencies plan to pursue.

The West Coast offices of the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, the General Services Administration, the US Department of Energy, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and the Air Force office of Environment, Safety and Health are signatories thus far. Other interested federal agencies are encouraged to participate in the Federal Network for Sustainability.