Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 10, 2010

Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy delivered the keynote address at yesterday’s inaugural D.C. Greening Embassies Forum at which over 50 foreign missions took part. The event was hosted by Finnish Ambassador Pekka Lintu at the Embassy of Finland, which was recently awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for its existing buildings in Washington, D.C., marking the first time a diplomatic mission in the U.S. has received this recognition.

In his remarks, Under Secretary Kennedy stated that addressing climate change and being a good environmental steward was an essential component in the Department’s operations. The Department of State and Earth Day Network look forward to working together on this initiative to engage the Washington, D.C. diplomatic community to take an active role in conserving the world’s biodiversity, developing sustainable practices, and combating climate change.

The D.C. Greening Embassies Forum will provide foreign embassies with the opportunity to share best practices, challenges and experiences on green facility renovations and sustainable business operations for their missions in D.C., as well as information on green initiatives in their home countries. The program also plans to engage non-governmental organizations and the private sector to help identify new innovations that might be applicable to Forum members. The Forum intends to convene on a quarterly basis.

PRN: 2010/773