Pennsylvania Commended for Green Efforts

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary David E. Hess and Department of General Services (DGS) Secretary Kelly Powell Logan, co-chairs of the Governor’s Green Government Council (GGGC), recently highlighted the Ridge and Schweiker administrations’ accomplishments in adopting environmentally friendly policies and practices.

Middletown, Pennsylvania – December 16, 2002 [] “Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to address environmental sustainability, which is the practice of balancing environmental protection and human development,” Hess said today during a meeting of the GGGC. “Sustainability requires us to change the way we do business. The GGGC has given state government a deeper understanding of the environmental impact of its actions.” Created in 1998, the GGGC consists of cabinet secretaries and representatives from 44 state agencies and commissions. Within each state agency, a “green team” develops and implements projects to improve environmental performance. The agencies focus on planning and operations, especially energy efficiency, in areas such as building design and management, procurement of environmentally friendly commodities and services, vehicle purchasing, and recycling. Hess highlighted some of the GGGC’s major accomplishments from the past four years: — The state has two of the five LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified “green” buildings in Pennsylvania; — The Commonwealth purchases 5 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources; — 31 colleges and universities purchase a portion of their energy needs from wind-generated sources; — 23 Pennsylvania hotels have been certified as “green” by Green Seal, an independent, nonprofit environmental standard-setting and certification organization. Judith Heerwagen, an environmental psychologist at the University of Washington, was the meeting’s featured speaker. Heerwagen is an internationally recognized environmental psychologist whose research focuses on workplace ecology and the social impacts of sustainability. “Our buildings provide shelter and safety, but we often fail when it comes to integrating the emotional, cognitive and social well being of people into building design,” Heerwagen said. “This is the basis for designing to enhance productivity and health.” “Four years ago, for most of us, green was simply a color,” Hess said. “Now it is an integral part of our jobs. The GGGC has laid a solid foundation for the future of sustainability in the Commonwealth, as we continue to head toward a goal of zero pollution.”
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