Thursday, 19 July 2007

Help Federal Government Meetings Go Green

Expand Existing EPA Policy on Green Meetings to All Federal Agencies

July 13, 2007

Dear Colleague:

Conferences and meetings consume large quantities of environmental resources. For instance, a typical five-day conference for 2,500 attendees will use 90,000 cans or bottles, 75,000 cups and 87,500 napkins. By adopting environmentally-conscious policies hotels and conference facilities can significantly improve the environmental strain and reduce energy consumption of large meetings. If one hotel initiates a linen and towel reuse program it can conserve 200 barrels of oil - enough to run a family car 180,000 miles.

On May 1, 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency changed its acquisition rules for planning meetings and conferences to give preference for facilities that manage their resources in environmentally positive ways. When the EPA solicits services for conferences and meetings, it uses a 14-point checklist to locate facilities that use good conservation practices such as providing guests with a towel reuse option, having an energy efficiency program, or having easy access to public transit options.

The federal government spends billions each year on travel and meetings. These funds should be used wisely to encourage businesses to take responsible actions that reduce their energy consumption and environmental footprint. That's why I have introduced the Green Meetings Act (H.R. 3037), which would expand EPA's green meeting policy to all federal government agencies. If you would like additional information, or would like to co-sponsor my bill, please contact John Sherry of my staff 225-6111 or john.sherry@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,
/s
________________________
ALLYSON Y. SCHWARTZ
Member of Congress

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