By Chris McEntee, AGU Executive Director and CEO
As the leader of an innovative, forward looking organization, I am proud to share that AGU received the very first Clean Energy DC Award to honor its commitment to sustainability through our newly renovated headquarters building, the first net-zero energy commercial renovation in Washington, D.C. This award was presented to AGU during the District Sustainability Awards ceremony on 17 April 2019.
Each year, the Washington, D.C., Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) presents District Sustainability Awards to nonprofits, educational organizations, and private-sector businesses that support sustainable District goals, including energy and water conservation, green building and construction, healthy food access, solar energy production, storm water management, and sustainable waste management. This year, AGU was included in this distinguished class of honorees.
Being the first recipient of the Clean Energy DC Award is not only an honor but also a signal that our building is already an important achievement in sustainability. This is just the beginning of our building’s legacy as AGU demonstrates that a building located on a tight urban footprint can operate on a net-zero energy basis, reduce its carbon footprint, and serve as a productive and healthy place to work and meet. Earlier this year, in recognition of this commitment to sustainability, Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 at AGU’s renovated building. This historic piece of legislation will require electricity in the city to come from 100% renewable sources by 2032, among other sustainable initiatives and incentives.
The AGU community is incredibly grateful to receive this recognition from the DOEE and its director, Tommy Wells. AGU has appreciated our partnership with the District and its agencies to explore strategies to realize our net-zero energy goals. We now aspire to lead and serve as an example to others in how to implement sustainable solutions and technologies in their own building or renovation projects, and this award demonstrates the impact our building has already had in the local area.
I would like to especially acknowledge the members of our AGU building staff team, including Janice Lachance, Mike Andrews, Matt Boyd, Emily Johnson, Cristine Gibney, Liz Landau, Beth Bagley, Ron Bennett, Sabina Sadirkhanova, Michelle Brown, and Beth Trimmer, for their incredible efforts that made our net-zero energy renovation a reality. The AGU community should be proud of the efforts that went into making our headquarters a model for other buildings to help our society work toward a more sustainable city, country, and world.