Last Tuesday, January 31, 2012, the DC Greening Embassies Forum had their official signing ceremony. During the event, representatives from international embassies here in Washington, DC and the DC government signed a pledge outlining what steps they will take to green their embassies and give back to the city in a sustainable way. We got several short interviews with Ambassadors and embassy representatives, as well as prominent officials from organizations like the State Department, the World Bank, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Today and tomorrow, we will be releasing these videos for you to view here on the blog! Here are a few:
Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management, U.S. Department of State
Amy Fraenkel, Regional Director (North America), United Nations Environment Program
Shivanti Patel, Representative from USAID
Renee Jones-Bos, Dutch Ambassador to the United States
Arturo Sarukhan, Mexican Ambassador to the United States
Gilles Noghes, Monaco Ambassador to the United States
In the videos below, Pauline Roukens, the Facility Manager at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, talks about what the embassy is doing to green its operations. From composting to reducing water pressure in faucets, watch these short clips to learn more about simple steps to green your own home!
For more about what the embassy is doing to give back to the local community of Washington, DC, and the DC Greening Embassy Forum event they are hosting tonight, click here!
The D.C. (District of Columbia) Greening Embassy Forum is a partnership between the Washington, D.C. Government, the U.S. State Department, and foreign embassies located in D.C. The Forum released this statement to describe what they do and their mission:
The District of Columbia ranks among the top 10 greenest cities in the US. With more than 175 Embassies representing nations from around the world, the District of Columbia also enjoys one of the world’s highest densities of foreign missions within its jurisdiction. As the District plans to implement its “Sustainable DC”, its ambitious sustainability program for the District, cooperating with these foreign missions is of great importance. In parallel, many of the District’s foreign missions have asked for ways to work with the city and contribute to the environmental and sustainability goals of their local community – making the District of Columbia even greener.
To kick off the forum officially, the Royal Netherlands Embassy is hosting the signing ceremony and reception for the Mayor of D.C., Vincent Gray, the Under Secretary for Management, Patrick Kennedy, and dozens of Ambassadors and other country representatives. The signatories will sign a pledge stating their intent to work together to make their embassies and the city of D.C. greener and more sustainable. The really exciting part about the Forum is the fact that all of the governments and partners will be sharing their best practices and greening tips for addressing energy and water conservation, recycling, pollution, and a number of other issues. They will also be working with the city to make it more beautiful and give back to its residents, through exciting programs like planting rain gardens to help with storm water runoff and filtration, and working with school children on “edible schoolyards” that allow them to grow their own food and learn how to prepare it.
At the signing event itself, we will be getting interviews with ambassadors and other representatives to find out for you what those embassies are doing to green their facilities and Washington, D.C. We will share photos, quotes and videos with you soon!
The videos below of Pauline Roukens, the facility manager of the Royal Dutch Embassy, tell you a little more about what the embassy, as host to the signing ceremony, is doing to give back to the local community. Check back tomorrow for more videos of Pauline showcasing everything from composting in the kitchen to taking out light bulbs in overlit areas: the actions they are taking to make exciting progress in their greening efforts.