The Army is proud to join with the nation in celebrating the 37th anniversary of Earth Day this April 22nd. Our Earth Day theme, "Sustaining the Environment for a Secure Future," reflects the spirit of a Soldier's Call To Duty. Every day our Soldiers are called upon to defend the nation; that mission includes our ability to protect the country's precious natural resources. It is a mission our nation expects of us.
On Earth Day, we reaffirm our commitment to Army Sustainability.
What is it? Army Sustainability accelerates our movement from a traditional, compliance-based approach to environmental stewardship to an innovative, mission-oriented, systems-based approach. This approach leverages the interdependence among mission, environment, and community in all of our operations in order to ensure that the Army will have the capabilities it needs to transform to meet the challenges of the future. Sustainable practices will improve our ability to organize, equip, train, and deploy our Soldiers as part of the Joint Force.
What has the Army done? We are working to establish and sustain the land, water, air and energy resources required to support our transformation from the current to the future force. In doing so, we are applying the principles of our business transformation effort, now well under way. Sustainable practices directly support our business transformation, because they seek to eliminate waste, drive innovation, and promote collaboration across the Army enterprise.
A number of initiatives have already demonstrated our commitment to transform our processes to ensure sustainability, including:
- 13 Army installations currently have set 25-year sustainability goals with participation from their surrounding communities. Six more have begun the sustainability planning process.
- Integration of environmental considerations in the design and development of the Stryker Family of Vehicles, which has reduced hazardous materials, increased combat effectiveness and minimized cost across its life cycle.
- Issuance of a policy requiring 50% minimum diversion of construction and demolition waste by weight from landfill disposal.
- Issuance of a policy requiring all new military building construction to adhere to the standards for a "Silver" rating, as outlined by the U.S. Green Business Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, beginning in 2008.
- Protection of more than 50,000 acres of land through the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program. Through ACUBs, the Army works with partners to identify mutual objectives of land conservation and to prevent development of critical open areas. In turn, the military can conduct training and operations with little compromise while local communities' partnerships assume habitat, biodiversity, and wildlife management responsibilities.
Why is this important to the Army? It is our obligation to ensure that our Soldiers today - and the Soldiers of the future - have the land, water and air resources they need to train; a healthy environment in which to live; and the support of local communities, government officials and the American people. To sustain the future Army we must implement effective policies and practices that safeguard the environment and our quality of life in a manner that our nation expects of us. In light of the risks and costs that we already face as we reposition our global footprint and realign all of our bases, depots, and arsenals, we cannot afford to do otherwise.
For additional information:
-Army Earth Day
- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide enables unity of effort through consistent communication planning and provides source information on our strategic initiatives. (AKO login required)