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EPA sets example by using green environmental management

Release Date: 1/6/2005
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      DENVER -- The green energy purchase announced today by the U.S. EPA and Western Area Power Administration adds fuel to Region 8's efforts to improve its own environmental performance using an environmental management system approach.

The idea behind EMS is to examine all the activities that an organization or company performs that negatively impact the environment and develop strategies to reduce those impacts.

EMS works best if all employees are involved and, as is the case with EPA’s Denver offices, top management advocates and is involved in making EMS a success.

Region 8 Administrator Robbie Roberts said, “It is gratifying to see the results of EPA employee enthusiasm for environmental management. EPA Region 8 strives to lead by example – showing that organizations and companies can accomplish their mission while being good citizens of the planet.”

Areas where EPA Region 8 is reducing its impact on the environment include:

• Vehicle emissions – Region 8 recently purchased two hybrid Honda Civics for its fleet

• Energy efficiency – Region 8 is building a new headquarters in the downtown Denver area known as LoDo that is designed to be one of the most energy efficient buildings in Colorado

• Green purchasing – Region 8 is now purchasing office supplies through a national agreement that gives preference to items with environmentally friendly attributes, such as high recycle content and a reduction in the use of toxic substances

• Public transit – Region 8 employees are among the very top users of public transportation

• Recycle more – Region 8 is working toward its goal of a 50 percent recycling rate by 2006.

“Environmental protection is our business,” Roberts further commented, “but our commitment is not just a paperwork exercise. We intend to be the greenest operation in the six states that comprise our region.”

EPA is committed to the idea of continually improving its environmental performance and is willing to work with other organizations and companies who want to improve their environmental performance by adopting a similar EMS approach.