U.S. Department of State OBO Guide to Green Embassies and Green Team Toolkit

The US Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) sought an update to The Guide to Green Embassies: Eco-Diplomacy in Operations, a 250+ page, eight-chapter handbook used to educate and empower ambassadors, management, green team leaders, and embassy staff located at 275 diplomatic posts to operate a global portfolio of 19,000 buildings in a sustainable manner. Paladino was engaged to revise and update existing content, write new content and graphically produce the new edition.

Strategy

The Paladino team worked with OBO to identify new sections, which included a chapter on sustainability for residential buildings, a “how to use this guide” section, a section on influencing occupant behavior and a strategy scoring system that enables post staff to understand level of effort, cost and benefits of individual strategies. The chapters help guide ambassadors to commit to meet Federal Performance Goals for carbon, energy, and water reductions; supports managers to create implementation plans based on their unique political, cultural, and physical environment; and educates embassy staff on changing behaviors to improve facility performance.

Following the Green Guide, Paladino was tasked to produce a Green Team Toolkit for embassy post green teams to serve as a workbook. The web-based Toolkit contains over two dozen templates to help teams make annual work plans, help gain authorization from leadership to implement a strategies, create advocacy signage, and many more tools that enable the Department achieve its performance goals.

Results

Ultimately, the Guide provided more than 40 independent, tangible, and attainable strategies to green mission facilities and operations. The Guide was published in November 2013 followed by the Toolkit in spring of 2014 and distributed to posts globally. Together, the Guide and Toolkit have helped further OBO’s mission of eco-diplomacy and promote the values of sustainability around the world.