DC Embassies are in Search of Greener Pastures

The United Arab Emirates’ embassy in Washington, D.C has recently taken the plunge towards a greener tomorrow; an exhaustive process that entailed the retrofitting of the building itself, along with an overhauling of standards and practices geared towards increasing efficiency and sustainability.

Everything from energy consumption to waste management was addressed, leading to a greatly reduced carbon footprint. In celebration of this landmark achievement, the US Green Building Council has awarded the embassy with the prestigious status of Gold in its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating for Existing Buildings. Additionally, the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has bestowed its ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of the embassy’s exemplary energy efficiency; since the retrofit, the building totes a reduction in energy consumption by a staggering 40%.

UAE Ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba is proud to showcase the embassy’s lasting commitment to environmental sustainability.

The development of these procedures was facilitated by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar: a company invested in clean, sustainable technology and reduced carbon emissions. Masdar and the UAE’s dedication to going green not only results in a brighter future, but an increased profit margin for those who participate. The savings to be had from reduced energy usage alone are substantial, providing a much needed incentive to those companies and buildings that have yet to follow suit. Going green is its own reward, but saving money doesn’t hurt.

The UAE isn’t the only embassy looking towards a sustainable future; many other countries are also making an effort to reduce their environmental impact: The Dutch, Canadian, and Finnish Embassies among them. In January 2012, the Royal Netherlands Embassy hosted the Greening Embassies Forum—a part of Hillary Clinton’s Greening Diplomacy Initiative –at which 47 embassies pledged their efforts towards making Washington D.C a pillar of sustainability (http://nlintheusa.com/d-c-greening-embassies-forum/). The Dutch Embassy was awarded LEED Silver for its efforts, and the Finnish Embassy achieved Gold.

Through joint cooperation and education, the UAE and other embassies are aiming to make Washington D.C—and the world –more ecologically friendly.