CIA Highlights Sustainability and Conservation Initiatives on Earth Day
April 22, 2011
The Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of shredding and burning classified papers—often referred to in movies and books as “burn after reading”—is one of several ways the CIA conserves energy, reduces its impact on the environment, and lowers costs through its sustainability efforts. Exhaust from the Agency’s on-site incinerator generates steam to heat water at CIA Headquarters. In addition to saving fuel, that process reduces the amount of waste—which would otherwise be destined for landfills—by nearly 1,000 tons per year. The CIA increases its recycling efforts each year, annually collecting over three tons of plastic, glass, cardboard, aluminum, construction debris, and other waste.
“As our nation marks Earth Day, Americans must find even more ways to promote energy conservation and preserve the environment. This is a moral responsibility,” said CIA Director Leon E. Panetta. “The Agency’s sustainability efforts also save taxpayer dollars.”
The CIA is proud that our most recently built facilities have received a Gold LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council and consume over 20 percent less energy and approximately 40 percent less water than typical buildings of the same size and use.
Energy-efficient lighting in interior spaces and the parking lot at CIA Headquarters reduces consumption and heat output from traditional lighting fixtures. The Agency is placing meters in many of its buildings to identify where future sustainability projects might drive greater cost savings.
The CIA is dedicated to doing even more. “We are committed to environmentally-responsible practices across the Agency, and are developing innovative programs to demonstrate our commitment while carrying out the CIA’s vital intelligence mission,” said Director for Support John Pereira.
The CIA’s conservation and sustainability initiatives are led by the Directorate of Support through its Green Council, which was created in 2009 to consolidate Agency existing sustainability efforts, advance energy and environmental initiatives, and to meet federal government sustainability goals set by President Obama in Executive Order 13514.