CIA Goes Green: Directorate of Support Leads Environmental Efforts
What do rubber mulch, no-VOC paint and recycled carpet tiles have in common? These are all ways that the Directorate of Support (DS) is continuing to make strides in reducing the Agency's impact on the environment.
Such advancement in CIA green initiatives would never have been possible without the teamwork of the DS. Here are some of the offices that are making CIA a “greener” place to work:
- Office of Medical Services (OMS) – The Environmental Safety Group, within OMS, provides oversight to several green projects while monitoring compliance to the numerous environmental laws that impact day-to-day operations at CIA.
- Logistics Support – The Logistics Operation Center established a recycling program with an emphasis on recycling excess equipment, such as metal, electronics, hard drives, toner, furniture and wood.
- Office of Security – The Office of Security installed dust collection units in their shooting ranges. The units trap toxins produced during firearms training before they can be released into the environment.
- Facilities Support – Facilities Support replaced wood mulch on the Headquarters compound with rubber mulch made from recycled tires. This saves money and trees used in traditional wood mulch. They also worked with the Agency’s food services contractor to paint the cafeteria with no-VOC paint and purchase new eco-friendly signs made out of bamboo.
CIA Efforts Receive Recognition
The Agency’s attempts to reduce its carbon footprint have not gone unnoticed. The Virginia Water Environment Association’s (VWEA) Industrial Waste and Pretreatment Committee presented its Platinum Award to the Agency on February 25.
The Platinum Award is VWEA’s highest honor given to an industry. The award recognized the Agency’s dedication to pollution prevention, waste elimination and reduction, implementation of an environmental management system, and perfect compliance with its pretreatment permit for more than five consecutive years. Fourteen awards were given and only four of them were platinum.
A Reputation for Being Green
The Platinum Award wasn’t the first time the Agency was recognized for being environmentally conscious. The design of the CIA’s newest campus in Northern Virginia was so effective that, in 2008, the buildings earned certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The first office building constructed on the campus earned LEED Silver certification, while the visitor center and central plant each earned LEED Gold certification.
In 2008, the DS offices worked hard to promote recycling at the CIA. Here are some of their accomplishments:
- 31, 000 pounds of batteries recycled
- 3, 500 wooden transportation pallets reused or converted to mulch
- More than 1 million pounds of electronic supplies (computers, laptops, monitors, etc.) recycled
- 1,380 tons of paper products recycled to produce fuel
- 7,000 pounds of aluminum, glass and plastic bottles collected for recycling
- 30,000 cardboard targets recycled or reused
The Agency's green initiatives will continue in 2009 at an equal if not greater pace than 2008. The CIA will work to reduce its environmental footprint by building greener buildings, reducing the amount of waste, and being more environmentally efficient.