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Cablegate: Argentina: Mission Campaign to Reduce Energy Use

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182051Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0560
INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000196

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ABLD AMGT ASUP ENRG SENV OPRC AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: MISSION CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE ENERGY USE

1. At a typical Argentine barbecue in January, Ambassador Martinez
challenged Mission Buenos Aires staff to turn out the lights.
Inspired by President Obama and Secretary Clinton's Green Embassies
initiative, Mission Buenos Aires is embarking on an internal energy
challenge: to reduce energy use in the Embassy and staff residences
by ten percent in 2010. This campaign, called "Ten in Ten," calls
on all embassy employees to make small, everyday efforts to reduce
energy consumption-such as turning off lights and moderating office
temperatures-for significant energy savings.

2. The campaign was kicked off with a lunchtime celebration
featuring local organic food and plant vendors, as well as
information on environment-friendly steps employees can take at the
home and the office. Ambassador Martinez and DCM Kelly personally
pledged to do their parts to reduce the daily energy use in the
Front Office and their own homes and encouraged all staff members
to do the same. An environmental journalist from a local
television channel covered the event to show Argentines that even
Americans overseas are making efforts to reduce their carbon
footprint, while online journals featured a press release about the
event.

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3. The "Ten in Ten" campaign was developed by the Embassy's Green
Team, a group of Argentine and U.S. staff volunteers.
Understanding that building use is responsible for the majority of
the Embassy's carbon footprint, the Green Team consulted with the
Embassy's Management Section and an Office of Overseas Building
Operations (OBO) Energy Audit Team in Buenos Aires. The Management
Section is working with OBO to replace the Embassy's chillers with
more energy efficient models, is considering installing a "white
roof" to reflect heat and lower air conditioning requirements, and
is exploring future options such as installing motion-sensor
lights. The campaign will complement such structural changes by
encouraging behavioral changes for immediate energy savings.

4. Every three months, the Green Team will benchmark progress by
publishing overall energy reduction as compared to the same period
the previous year, by recognizing "Green MVPs," and by posting the
top five best residences in terms of energy reduction. Green
Wardens from each section will be responsible for educating
colleagues and making the rounds of their area every day/week to
ensure lights and printers have been turned off. The Green Team
will also bring in local guest speakers, including a British
Embassy employee who ran a similar campaign, and a local Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Architecture
Professional. Through such efforts, the campaign aims to build the
Embassy community, reduce its energy footprint, and inspire lasting
green habits, making U.S. Mission Buenos Aires a model in the city
and the region.
MARTINEZ

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