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News Updates

During the months of November and December, six Europe EE Sweep events have taken place. Ambassador-hosted events took place in Madrid, Bratislava, Warsaw, Berne, Lisbon and Sofia. See Press Reports on these events.

The First Makeover

In March, 2011, Embassy Finland and the Alliance to Save Energy joined forces to help retrofit the 230 year old residence of U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman. As the Associated Press reported in April:

“Enormous 18th-century houses aren’t known as the most energy-efficient buildings in the world. But now the 230-year-old residence of the U.S. ambassador to Belgium has gone green, thanks in large measure to donations from private companies. . . The floor space of the Louis XVI-style house is in excess of 16,000 square feet (1,500 square meters) — larger than six average American houses put together — which must have made heating it quite a project, especially as the attic was completely uninsulated.”

(See also, U.S. Embassy in Brussels; and, Wall Street Journal Blog on Efficient Embassies Exceeding Expectations.)

League of Green Embassies enlarged the potential of the program that is spearheading our new relationship with energy in US embassies across Europe, and boosting U.S. exports. Ten separate Ambassador-hosted events will feature twelve Chief of Mission Residence makeovers, undergoing energy renovations, reducing carbon emissions and saving thousands of dollars similar to the one done in Brussels. Six events have already taken place:

  • Madrid, Spain November 28
  • Bratislava, Slovakia December 6
  • Warsaw, Poland December 6
  • Berne, Switzerland December 6
  • Lisbon, Portugal December 7
  • Sofia, Bulgaria December 13

In 2012, four more events will take place:

  • Rome, Italy, February 15 (Public Awareness Campaign)
  • Berlin, Germany, March 28, 2012
  • Paris, France Spring 2012 (ESCO Agreement)
  • 10 Vienna, Austria May 10, 2012

The League of Green Embassies is a joint U.S. Department of Commerce and Department of State effort to link the President’s mandate to green all USG properties and the National Export Initiative. The program offers an unprecedented opportunity for U.S. companies working in the clean energy and green building sectors to place their products and technologies in U.S. embassy properties worldwide. The program supports three national policy goals:

  • Advance President Obama’s mandate to retrofit all USG properties for energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reductions;
  • Demonstrate the capabilities of U.S. products and technologies to the world market;
  • Increase the exports of U.S. products and technologies in line with the National Export Initiative.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is committed to supporting the exports of US green building market leaders working in the areas of resource efficiency (energy, water, land, materials) and reducing waste and pollution around the world.