Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence deputy to the commanding general, spoke on a panel at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2011 Summer Leaders' Conference held the first week of August.

"I was honored to be invited to speak at USACE's 2011 Summer Leaders' Conference," Johnson said. "As a panel member, I had the opportunity to highlight Fort Leonard Wood's significant progress in innovation and sustainability, which has been accomplished with outstanding support from our partners and the work force."

Johnson, who was on the Corporate Culture and Innovation in Sustainability panel, said the command's goal at MSCoE is to be "net zero" by 2030, which means the post will produce as much energy as it consumes. She also highlighted the post's innovative 25-year Installation Strategic Sustainability Plan developed by the post's Plans, Analysis, Integration Office with support from the Installation Management Command, USACE and other installations. The ISSP is a tool to ensure sustainability in infrastructure, ranges, and the work force to ensure the installation can meet current and future missions.

Complementing the ISSP, is the installation's participation in USACE's 2030 Integration Project and a design competition where two new barracks on post will be test cases to identify net-zero opportunities and assess them for use in new construction and modernization projects. Johnson said the USACE Kansas City District's support in these areas and in incorporating sustainable design at Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver levels in all new construction on post is important.

Nested with the ISSP is a water and energy master plan developed by the post's Directorate of Public Works. This plan contains key initiatives such as a metering master plan, which will help provide accurate energy usage data for each building on post in order to establish and improve upon a baseline. DPW is also working with the Army Engineering and Support Center at Huntsville, Ala., and the U.S. Department of Energy to utilize Energy Savings Performance Contracts. ESPCs secure third-party financing to conduct energy projects with a guarantee that a project's cost will be paid for by the energy savings it produces; the post has already saved around $36 million through ESPCs.

Fort Leonard Wood is also focused on meeting Army missions through sustainable practices at forward operating bases, Johnson said. To get a first-hand look at the field's emerging technologies, Johnson accompanied staff from DPW's planning and environmental divisions, PAIO, U.S. Army Engineer School's Director of Environmental Integration, and the Capabilities Development Integration Directorate to visit USACE's Engineer Research and Development Center-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory.

"The visit to USACE ERDC-CERL was really informative," Johnson said. "We were able to review research technologies for Net-Zero Energy, Water and Waste master planning and base camp sustainability." Working with CERL, Fort Leonard Wood is also participating in research for potential biofuel use, Johnson said.

The post's next steps, Johnson said, include a comprehensive waste strategy, further exploration of renewable energy sources, such as biomass, and additional power sources.

According to Johnson, extensive, collaborative efforts have been key to Fort Leonard Wood's progress.

"This is not a one-organization effort. We are partnered with multiple external organizations; and, internally, we have a cross-functional team integrating these practices in everything we do across our workforce, units, and families," Johnson said. "I'm really proud of what the team is doing to secure the future for this great installation."

For more information or to read more articles about Fort Leonard Wood's work in energy conservation and sustainability, check out the post's Energy Web site at http://www.wood.army.mil/wood_cms/3128.shtml.


(Editor's note: Story written by Kasie Lercher, Fort Leonard Wood's Commanding General's Initiatives Group chief.)