Today marks the 50th anniversary of the country’s very first Earth Day. On this day in 1970, millions of Americans took to the streets to demand that measures be put in place to protect and care for our precious natural resources. Today and every day, CIA remains committed to doing its part to protect Mother Nature.
As responsible environmental stewards, we spend a great deal of time and effort on minimizing our impact, increasing energy independence, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, and regularly evaluating our processes and systems to identify opportunities for improvement. Officers in CIA’s Environmental Safety Division are constantly exploring new ways in which CIA can reduce its footprint. They work tirelessly to track progress and provide a strategic path forward to meeting environmental goals.
Ongoing projects include green and energy efficient purchasing, stormwater management, recycling programs, and pollution prevention, to name a few. In FY18, CIA diverted an average of 51.8% of waste from landfills and in 2019 CIA recycled more than 2200 tons of material. To accomplish this, CIA made tremendous efforts to educate its workforce on recycling initiatives.
CIA has made great strides in the way of workplace flexibility and balance as well. By encouraging the use of teleconferencing, flexible work schedules, desk-sharing, ride-sharing, car/vanpooling, and web-based training, CIA is implicitly discouraging unnecessary transportation, thus limiting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
Water consumption at CIA’s headquarters has also seen a significant reduction. In FY18, CIA implemented new water treatment procedures at its central plant, which significantly reduced overall water consumption at headquarters.
CIA has also made great efforts to enrich the natural beauty of its own campus in Langley, Virginia. Since April 2019, CIA has planted 180 new trees and has plans to add even more by June 2020. Those who follow CIA on social media may recall the 2019 holiday video, which features a timelapse of the holiday tree being planted at CIA headquarters. What you may not know is that, after the holiday season, that tree is transplanted to a nearby tree farm instead of making its way to a landfill. CIA recognizes that these seemingly small steps can have a tremendous, collective impact.
And to top it all off, CIA even found a way to reuse some of that energy created by the destruction of classified materials. Classified waste is collected into “burn bags,” which are incinerated after use. Instead of letting that energy escape into the atmosphere, CIA transforms that heat into clean energy which is then used to supplement the heating of its facilities.
Initiatives like these are at the forefront of our efforts to be responsible stewards of the environment. CIA is proud to play its role in preserving a safe, clean planet for future generations and looks forward to doing so for years to come.
If you are interested in helping move the needle on CIA’s environmental sustainability initiatives, consider exploring opportunities in our Environmental Safety Division.