For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 18, 2010
ARLINGTON, Va. – Arlington County has been selected as one of four U.S. local governments to receive assistance to create a Green Office Challenge program. The Green Office Challenge is an innovative program that engages property managers and office tenants in a friendly competition to save money and reduce energy use in their buildings, as well as reduce waste, save water, and reach other environmental goals.
County staff will receive guidance and technical support from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, which developed the Green Office Challenge in collaboration with the City of Chicago in 2009. Due to the program’s success and popularity in Chicago, ICLEI is expanding it to four selected pilot communities: Arlington County; Charleston, SC; Nashville, TN; and San Diego, CA.
Arlington will launch the challenge in fall 2010, engaging businesses to sign up and receive support and training to monitor and reduce their energy and resource use. The participants who make the biggest strides in one year will be recognized for their achievements. The potential for energy and money savings is significant, since the office sector in Arlington County is nearly 44 million square feet—more private office space than downtown Los Angeles, Denver, or Dallas.
“The Green Office Challenge is an exciting way to encourage businesses and property managers to reduce energy use and save money,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette. “This program will help reduce harmful carbon emissions associated with climate change.”
Arlington is recognized as a leader in the region in efforts to reduce energy consumption in County government operations and engage the broader community in the climate change dialogue. In January, the County Board naming a green ribbon panel of community leaders to spearhead the development of a Community Energy Plan, to be completed by early 2011.
Amy Malick, program manager for ICLEI USA, said Arlington’s large commercial sector “makes the Green Office Challenge a highly relevant program model.” Arlington, she said, “is poised to make a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of this program.”
The Green Office Challenge will complement Arlington County’s existing programs to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, including the Fresh AIRE (Arlington Initiative to Reduce Emissions) Program.
The Challenge has already received support from Arlington businesses, and will be implemented with support from key community partners, including the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington(AOBA), Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Arlington Economic Development.
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is a membership association of more than 600 local governments in the United States and 1,100 worldwide, committed to advancing climate protection and sustainability. For more information, visit www.icleiusa.org.
To learn more about how the Green Office Challenge works, contact Don Knapp or visit the ICLEI USA website.
For more details about the Green Office Challenge in Arlington County, contact Sarah O'Connell.
Sarah O'Connell, Arlington County
Don Knapp, ICLEI USA
(510) 844-0699 Ext. 315
(510) 206-1011 (cell)
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.