New Zealand Embassy signs pledge to “go green” at the D.C. Greening Embassies Forum signing ceremony
The D.C. Greening Embassies Forum signing ceremony, hosted by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, attracted more than 30 embassies and international institutions in the Washington, D.C. area on 31 January to sign a charter that makes a commitment to sustainability.
Dutch Ambassador to the U.S. Renée Jones-Bos, U.S. Department of State Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy and District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray all made remarks and shared their own energy cost savings with the district saving more than $1 million.
Consul General Lyndal Walker, who signed on behalf of the New Zealand Embassy, noted our own Embassy’s sustainability efforts to go green. “The New Zealand Embassy has taken several measures already - we have a recycling programme; energy is conserved via sensors on all office lighting and timers have been installed on the heating and air conditioning units; we no longer purchase polystyrene or plastic plates and utensils, said Walker. "Staff are also encouraged to leave their cars at home and cycle to work,” said Walker. “We plan to do more this year.”
In her remarks, Ambassador Jones-Bos boasted her Embassy’s LEED (Silver) certification status and noted that due to the embassy’s “greening” efforts produced $50,000 in savings on their yearly energy bill. The ceremony closed with the signing of the charter by Embassy representatives and Mayor Vincent Gray. The pledge, coordinated by the U.S. Department of State’s D.C. Greening Embassy Forum, is the first collaborative initiative of its kind to help make the district the greenest city in the United States.