Announcing the Winners of the 2024 Greening Diplomacy Initiative Award and the GDI-OBO Resilience Innovation Fund – United States Department of State

Secretary Blinken congratulated the winners of the 2024 Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) Awards and the GDI-OBO Resilience Innovation Fund. This year’s winners have demonstrated innovative and impactful initiatives in support of White House, Congress, and Department mandates, including Executive Orders 14008 and 14057 and the federal sustainability plan.

For more than a decade, GDI has catalyzed climate solutions within the management and operations of the U.S. Department of State to help conserve natural and financial resources, build climate resilience, and showcase American innovation. Each year, GDI honors teams and initiatives that exemplify sustainable principles and practices in operations and public engagement.

Winners of the annual GDI Awards, including the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO)-sponsored Resilience Innovation Fund, were announced at the State Department’s Earth Day event. Acting Chief Sustainability Officer Caroline D’Angelo, OBO Director William Moser, and Director of the Office of Management Strategies and Solutions Danny Stoien attended the awards ceremony highlighting the State Department’s sustainability and climate action accomplishments.

The GDI Awards for Excellence in Team Sustainability Performance recognizes the achievements of groups or teams within positions, offices and bureaus. Winners are selected by an intra-agency committee composed of representatives from policy, functional and regional bureaus, as well as senior leadership and former GDI winners. The People’s Choice Award winner is selected by a vote of all State Department employees; Nominations include all submissions for the GDI Award for Excellence in Team Sustainability.

GDI Award Winners,

  • US Embassy Islamabad The team is the foreign winner of the 2024 GDI Award for Excellence in Sustainability Performance. In 2023, the U.S. Embassy Islamabad implemented an initiative to reduce energy use by 312,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), saving $400,000 and reducing the embassy’s annual carbon footprint by 250 tons. The team replaced more than 1,000 filters to increase HVAC system efficiency, increased wastewater recycling by 6.57 million gallons, reduced gas consumption by 4 percent, reduced fertilizer use by 200 kilograms per year, swapped plastics for recyclable aluminum. Replaced take-out containers. An average of 2,000 dishes per week, and planted a citrus grove to act as a carbon sink. Additionally, the US Embassy Islamabad partnered with several organizations such as the US National Park Service and Duke University to host events focusing on conservation, wildlife protection, air quality improvement, and other relevant climate topics. Last year, various sections of the U.S. Embassy Islamabad contributed more than $150 million in foreign assistance to help mitigate the effects of climate change. $72.8 million in grant financing was secured for USAID’s Recharge Pakistan Project to improve water systems and expand green infrastructure.
  • US Embassy Bogota The team is a runner-up for the 2024 GDI Award for Excellence in Sustainability Performance. The US Embassy Bogotá sponsored the Carrera Verde de Bogotá (Green Race of Bogotá) and led several collaborative initiatives to generate buzz for the race. This included a “launch event” where the DCM spoke in front of media outlets along with other race sponsors and a partnership between the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the National Police, showcasing how the US Embassy Bogotá Colombia Helps combat environmental crimes. Wildlife and timber smuggling. The race ultimately had more than 6,500 participants, raising money to plant 20,000 trees in a protected area near Bogotá. The US Embassy Bogotá also purchased six electric vehicles (EVs), which will join the fleet in late 2023.
  • US Embassy New Delhi The team is the winner of the 2024 People’s Choice Award for Sustainability Performance. With over 1,200 votes, US Embassy New Delhi emerged as the staff favourite. The Resource Conservation Unit (RCU) of the U.S. Embassy New Delhi supported the on-compound waste management program in 2020 and expanded it last year to include project work debris from residential make-ready and renovation. By selling recyclable materials, the US Embassy New Delhi reduced domestic labor costs and time required for storage and transportation. The program diverted waste from landfills and reduced U.S. Embassy New Delhi waste disposal costs by 70 percent, saving more than $40,000 each year. The effort generated more than $300,000 in revenue for the US Embassy New Delhi with the sale of more than 430 tons of material, which is 10 percent of the total city waste produced in a year. US Embassy New Delhi finds ways to save time, money and carbon emissions by upgrading primary crew transportation from pick-up trucks to EV motor bikes (scooters). By investing in more than a dozen EV scooters, FAC employees saved hours of commute time and labor because motor pool drivers were not needed. To reduce environmental impact, the FAC/RCU team installed a solar charging station for EV scooters and golf carts.

Now in its sixth year, the Resilience Innovation Fund sponsored by OBO provides up to $1 million for innovative projects in positions that advance resiliency and sustainability in State Department operations and facilities. This year, 16 U.S. embassies and consulates will receive funding for a wide range of projects, including residential insulation, EV charging stations, irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting systems, low-power consumption lighting upgrades, bicycle storage and installation of flood fortifications.

Winners of the GDI-OBO Resilience Innovation Fund:

  • US Embassy Lilongwe
  • US Embassy Bern
  • US Embassy Windhoek
  • US Embassy Beijing
  • US Embassy La Paz
  • US Embassy Dar es Salaam
  • US Embassy Sofia
  • US Embassy Islamabad
  • US Embassy Kigali
  • US Embassy Astana
  • US Embassy Rome
  • US Embassy Budapest
  • US embassy santo domingo
  • US Embassy Bridgetown
  • US Consulate Monterey
  • American Institute of Taiwan

The Greening Diplomacy Initiative is managed by the Office of Management Strategies and Solutions (M/SS). For more information about the State Department’s sustainability efforts, GDI, or M/SS, please contact [email protected] or go Stability at the US State Department,