Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gettin’ government greener

Colorado is always making a “top 10” list, and we couldn’t be prouder. Whether it’s because our state -- or one of its cities -- has the healthiest residents, best beer, highest number of start-ups, or is the greatest place ever for dogs, Colorado pretty much gets a spot on the list.

Coloradans are helping out in so many ways in this quest to be the best, and we think one state effort in particular is really inspiring: the greening of state government.

Three months ago on Oct. 28, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Executive Order D 2015-013 to establish responsibility for environmental leadership in all Colorado state agencies and departments.

This. Is. Awesome. We all know the importance of reducing our negative impact on the planet, but government isn’t always the first one to arrive at the party -- so we love this big step in Colorado.

The daily activities of state government have a significant impact on the quality of Colorado's public health, environment and economy. The Governor’s executive order focuses on engaging employees and fostering a culture of resource sustainability and stewardship within Colorado State Government. With support and leadership from the cross-agency Greening Government Leadership Council (GGLC), state government departments are being asked to achieve statewide resource reduction goals through education, training, and participation.

The GGLC website introduced these goals and directives in October with the executive order signing, learn more about them here:
  • Energy: Reduce energy consumption per square foot by a minimum of 2 percent annually and at least 12 percent by FY20*
  • Greenhouse Gas: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent annually and at least 5 percent below FY15 levels by FY20
  • Petroleum: Reduce average petroleum-based fuel consumption per vehicle by 4 percent annually and at least 20 percent by FY20
  • Purchasing: 90 percent of white office paper must contain a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer waste content by FY20
  • Recycling: State agencies and departments must develop and submit a plan for waste prevention and diversion
  • Water: Reduce potable water consumption by a minimum of 1 percent annually and at least 7 percent by FY20
*The State of Colorado’s fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30 each year. FY20 begins on July 1, 2020.

There is much more to come on this effort as the GGLC puts together the action plan for meeting these statewide objectives, and we can’t wait to see it.

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