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.