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Office on Environmental Policy

For Immediate Release March 11, 1994
                    `Greening' Initiative Will Make 
        White House Complex More Energy-Efficient, Reduce Waste

WASHINGTON -- Meeting a challenge issued by President Clinton on Earth Day, the Office on Environmental Policy today (3/11) announced an initiative that will increase energyefficiency, improve working and living conditions, and reduce waste. The plan, called the Greening of the White House, will highlight more than 50 actions the White House will take and that every homeowner, business person and worker can incorporate to protect the environment and save money.

"This plan identifies what it takes to make the White House a model for environmental efficiency and waste reduction. The actions outlined in the plan are steps that we will take to make the White House a showcase of environmental design. More importantly, they are steps every American can take to increase energy-efficiency, improving their surroundings, protect the environment and save money," the President said.

The Greening of the White House is a comprehensive energy and environmental upgrade that includes actions for landscaping, waste reduction, recycling, and water and energy efficiency. The project will showcase the best new American products and save taxpayers money through reduced material costs, reduced waste disposal costs and lower energy bills.

The plan is the result of President Clinton's challenge on Earth Day 1993 to make the White House a symbol of energyefficiency and waste reduction. It was developed by an interagency team led by DOE and EPA that conducted an audit of energy and water efficiency and waste prevention options at the White House complex. The American Institutes of Architects coordinated the efforts of 100 national experts in the fields of architecture, engineering, building operations and environmental concerns to help evaluate opportunities. Today's announcement brings the audit and study to a close so that implementation can begin.

"The actions outlined today will make the White House a Green House that serves as a model for the nation," said Kathleen McGinty, Director of the Office on Environmental Policy, which coordinated the project. "It reflects the insights of the nation's premier energy-efficiency and environmental designers, and it incorporates some changes that just plain make sense."

Specifically, the Greening of the White House initiative will:

          Install energy-efficient lighting to cut electricity 
          use up to 75 percent and improve lighting quality;

          Expand recycling efforts;

          Install water conservation devices throughout the 

          Improve landscaping practices to cut water and 
          pesticide use.

Today's announcement also includes the installation of the very first "Golden Carrot" super-efficient refrigerator for use by the First Family in the White House residence. This refrigerator exceeds the 1993 Department of Energy efficiency standard by 30 percent, contains no CFCs and was developed in response to a $30 million program coordinated by electric utilities, environmental groups and the Environmental Protection Agency. The "Golden Carrot" program is a model for similar public/private efforts in the President's Climate Change Action Plan announced last year.

The Greening of the White House builds on a long tradition of installing state-of-the-art technologies at the complex. From the central heating installed during President Van Buren's term, to the water closets, lighting, elevators and air conditioning added later, the White House has frequently been a showcase for innovations.

It also is another step in President Clinton's drive to make government work better and cost less by using the federal government's enormous purchasing power to expand markets for environmental products while saving the taxpayers money. Other related initiatives include executive orders for the federal government to purchase recycled paper, use alternative fuel vehicles for federal fleets, purchase energy-efficient computers, accelerate government phaseout of ozone-depleting chemicals, and reduce pollution by ordering federal facilities to cut toxic emissions 50 percent.