Virginia Governor Signs Order Promoting Energy Efficient Building and Transportation

June 11, 2009

Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine signed an executive order on June 10 that will reduce the energy and environmental impact of state agencies. The order promotes energy efficient buildings, the use of biodiesel, and telecommuting.

Executive Order 82 directs all new building and renovation projects for the executive branch agencies and institutions to meet criteria for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard or the Green Globes two-globe standards.

Furthermore, when executive branch agencies lease space or build a new building, they must try to do so within a quarter mile of a transit or commuter rail stop. Those agencies must also seek locations that can be accessed by pedestrians and bicycle commuters.

The order also directs the Department of General Services to procure diesel fuel containing at least 2 percent biodiesel (B2) for state vehicles, and ENERGY STAR® appliances and equipment for its buildings.

All agencies will now be required to implement transit and ridesharing incentive programs, such as providing free transit passes to employees and charging employees for parking.

The order encourages telecommuting "to the fullest extent" to ease traffic congestion and reduce vehicle emissions. Governor Kaine has declared Monday, August 3, 2009, a "Statewide Telework Day" and requested that the directors of state agencies and private sector employers allow citizens to telecommute on that day.

Kaine also issued the "Green Commonwealth Challenge" to engage the state workforce in environmentally friendly practices. Agencies that choose to participate will provide reports to the Secretary of Natural Resources that include data about travel miles avoided by using video conferencing, electricity bills, and materials included in recycling program. The secretary will review the data and announce the three highest-scoring agencies by the end of the year.

The governor invited state employees to submit suggestions to reduce the state government's environmental impact to the Department of Human Resource Management's Employee Suggestion Program. The employee who submits the best idea will receive one day of annual leave.

Executive Order 82 expands on Executive Order 48, issued in April 2007. The orders support the Renew Virginia initiative, which promotes renewable energy, job creation, and preservation of the environment.

For more information, see the governor's June 10 press release .

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Virginia, see: