Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) Awards
The Greening Council, led by Under Secretary Kennedy, is very pleased to announce and congratulate Mission Thailand as the recipient of the Greening Council’s 2014 GDI Award! The GDI Awards recognizes those posts or bureaus that display leadership, creativity, and innovation in reducing the Department’s environmental footprint.
Each year, Department employees are afforded the opportunity to vote for their favorite greening success stories for the People’s Choice Award. This year, the popular vote and the Greening Council’s votes were the same: Mission Thailand was also named the winner of the 2014 GDI People’s Choice Award. The close runners-up for the People’s Choice Award were Embassy Karachi along with Consulates Ciudad Juarez, Monterrey, and Hyderabad.
The Greening Council was impressed with Mission Thailand’s all-mission greening effort. The Mission displayed exceptional leadership and creativity in reducing energy and resource use, conducting green events and outreach, and working with the host government. Their energy conservation efforts led to an 11 percent reduction in energy use mission-wide, with significant cost savings. Their efforts extended to public diplomacy as well – to celebrate 120 years of US-Thai relations, Mission Thailand declared October 2013 a green month of cooperation with the Thai government. They gathered leaders in the environmental field from the government, industry, and academia at Embassy Bangkok to discuss the way forward. Ambassador Kenney led a bike ride with the Mayor of Bangkok to highlight Bangkok’s new bike share program, and to promote commuting by bike. Over 100 Mission employees and family members conducted a beach clean-up; they also invited a local artist to make a sculpture from the trash.
This year’s runner-up for the GDI Award is Embassy Stockholm. Over the past year, this post has expended great efforts in public education on climate change in the Arctic and beyond. Embassy Stockholm has also built an eco-diplomacy partnership with the Swedish government, through the Swedish American Green Alliance. The Greening Council would like to congratulate them on a year of great achievements.
Finally, advances in sustainability would not be possible without data. The Greening Council would also like to announce the awarding of an honorable mention for excellence in utility data management, selected by the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations. This year’s winner is Embassy Manila.
Congratulations to all winners! If you have any questions about the GDI Awards, or sustainability initiatives at the Department, please contact Sustainability@state.gov.