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Partners in Sustainability

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson discusses her trip to Seattle, where she met with business leaders to talk about ways the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen our nations clean energy economy

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Seattle area businesses and discuss ways we can work together to strengthen our nations clean energy economy.  With the General Service Administration’s portfolio of nearly 10,000 federal buildings and influence over 400,000 federal vehicles we are uniquely positioned to move our government towards this goal.  But we can’t do this alone -- that’s why GSA is working to facilitate conversations with private sector leaders that foster an exchange of ideas.  

On my first stop in Seattle, I took part in a roundtable conversation with representatives from business, construction and design and academia to discuss the business case for green building. With GSA’s 370 million square feet of facility space it is imperative for us to invest in innovative clean energy technologies that make our buildings more cost and energy efficient for the American taxpayer.  Conversations like this roundtable allow GSA to work with the private sector and share best practices so we can make informed decisions on implementing innovative building technologies.

While in the Puget Sound area I also had the opportunity to speak to building managers, urban planners and local government officials at the Bellevue City Hall for a workshop on electric vehicle charging stations.  I spoke with attendees who are leading remarkable initiatives to create and support infrastructure for plug-in vehicles. As part of our efforts to make the federal fleet more efficient, GSA will be launching an EV pilot program to purchase 100 plug-in electric vehicles. To make electric vehicles an integral part of our federal fleet we must take steps to ensure the necessary infrastructure exists, including charging stations.  The workshop attendees I met with are ensuring we are on track to meet President Obama’s goal of having one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

I’d like to thank my hosts in and around Seattle, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with our partners in sustainability.