Energy-saving program aims to share best practices, reduce ecological footprint
April 24, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Rising host nation energy prices and a steadily growing population have resulted in a more concentrated effort by U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden energy managers to find ways to better use available resources.
A new USAG Wiesbaden program is equipping units with the tools to decrease their energy use and ecological footprint, according to Maj. William McGlothlin, operations officer of USAG Wiesbaden's Directorate of Public Works. The focus of the new Green Boot program is changing the culture of units regarding energy consumption and resource management.
Besides helping meet the U.S. Army's Energy Policy Act of reducing consumption by 3 percent annually, USAG Wiesbaden's Green Boot Program is also aimed at ensuring Americans do their part to protect the environment, McGlothlin said. "We want to show our host nation neighbors that we are good stewards.
"Our goal is to increase awareness by building relationships between the tenant units and the garrison," McGlothlin said, explaining that by sharing "best practices," energy managers and users can both benefit and help reduce waste and energy costs. "If we see a good practice in one unit we can cross fertilize to promote community involvement and innovation."
Other elements include minimizing environmental impact through recycling, solid waste reduction, energy efficiency and water conservation.
The Green Boot certification process starts with a checklist including compliance requirements in various areas including awareness, energy conservation, transportation and office waste reduction. Members of a unit contact the DPW energy team to obtain the checklist and a "getting started brief."
"It's a voluntary program," said McGlothlin, explaining that members of the garrison's energy team work with the units to tailor the checklist to their individual requirements.
After members of a unit complete the checklist requirements, energy managers conduct a site visit to verify. If verification is successful, the organization is recognized with a Green Boot Program certificate by the garrison commander.
"We want to impress upon participants that the training they acquire through the Green Boot Program they can take back into combat," he said, explaining that making better use of energy resources is often a critical factor on the battlefield.
"It's about the units taking responsibility for themselves," said McGlothlin, by helping reduce the more than $19 million the garrison spent in energy costs in fiscal year 2012 and millions more for refuse disposal.
For more information about the Green Boot Program contact Maj. McGlothlin at mil 337-5840 or by email at William.firstname.lastname@example.org.