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Headquarters Sustainable Operations

The goal of the Headquarters (HQs) is to provide continuous improvement in reducing environmental impacts at the HQs facilities.

USDA HQ in the District of Columbia (D.C.) consists of three structures - the South Building, the Sidney R. Yates Building, and the Jamie L. Whitten Building. The South Building contains more than two million gross square feet with more than seven miles of corridors; across the street facing the National Mall is the older, but smaller Whitten Building. The Yates Building is managed by GSA, but the Yates Recycling Program is part of USDA Headquarters facility-wide program. Considering the HQs facilities provide working offices for approximately 7,000 employees, and serve 2000 to 3000 meals per day (the cafeteria serves tourists, visitors, and employees), managing environmental impacts provide unique challenges and opportunities.

USDA HQ also manages the George Washington Carver Center (GWCC) located in Beltsville, Maryland. The Carver Center consists of four interconnected buildings, which occupy about 45 acres of Federal land. Since this facility is not adjacent to the other two HQ facilities the logistics of managing all four in a waste reduction program is somewhat hampered. However, many of the practices utilized at the D.C. HQ facilities are applied to the GWCC.

Energy & Water Conservation Recycling & Waste Minimization Green Purchasing Green Landscaping Green Commuting
Changing bulbs in light fixtures at headquarters Recycling truck at headquarters Biogreen truck at the People's Garden Green Landscaping USDA employees at Bike to Work Day in Washington DC

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