Oekoprofit: City recognizes garrison for conservation initiatives
September 11, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden was among more than 30 companies and organizations recognized by Wiesbaden Lord Mayor Sven Gerich and other city officials for their conservation efforts during a ceremony at Wiesbaden's City Hall Aug. 29.
Col. David Carstens, USAG Wiesbaden commander, and members of the garrison's Directorate of Public Works team were honored for the U.S. military community's ongoing participation in the city-wide Oekoprofit initiative which annually brings representatives together throughout the year to share ideas and success stories aimed at protecting the environment, making better use of resources and building sustainably.
"We're glad to take part in the Oekoprofit program," said Maj. William McGlothlin, USAG Wiesbaden DPW operations officer. "It helps show our host nation counterparts that we are green neighbors -- that we're environmentally conscious."
While past year garrison Oekoprofit projects have included everything from reducing energy consumption and waste in Wiesbaden hangars, motor pools, at the Rheinblick Golf Course and at the Strong Teams Cafe Dining Facility; this year's focused on measuring and streamlining efficiencies at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center.
"With all of the improvements that we've made in the past at the fitness center, we wanted to go back and look at those efforts to see if there were areas that could be further improved," said McGlothlin.
"DPW did some fantastic work to make the fitness center more energy efficient and less wasteful," said Kevin Ringgold, Wiesbaden's Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports and fitness director. This involved such simple things as ensuring doors were closed properly, lights turned off when not in use and heat and air conditioning properly maintained within the facility, through better regulation of the automated systems and direct employee oversight.
"We also educated our staff to be more aware about checking the building and being more energy conscious," Ringgold said, adding that proper handling, use and safeguarding of chemicals and cleaning agents used in the facility were also an important educational focus among the staff.
"It was good to see so many companies involved in helping protect the environment," said Ringgold, following the ceremony.
"Oekoprofit is about sharing ideas and building partnerships," said McGlothlin. "It's a forum for people to talk about how they dealt with and overcame challenges in their own organizations which could, in turn, be applied to other organizations."
With transformation continuing to put increased demands on energy and resource use in the community, McGlothlin said it's critical planners and engineers be proactive in consistently seeking ways to cut costs, reduce waste and better manage limited resources. "Because of an increase in high-energy-intensity facilities our carbon-producing footprint is increasing.
"This (Oekoprofit) is one way to address that, in addition to meeting the most stringent standards in new Army construction," he said, "and it saves money.
"This is a great initiative," said McGlothlin. "We intend to continue to participate."