Vol. 26 Iss. 24 - August 02, 2010



Conservation and Efficiency in the Operation of State Government

Importance of the Issue

Virginia is blessed with a unique and spectacular natural environment. Our natural resources are so central to our quality of life, that their conservation, preservation and protection are required by the Constitution of Virginia. That responsibility imposes on each of us, in state government, a personal responsibility to do our work always and to every extent possible in ways that minimize the impact on Virginia's natural resources and preserve them for future generations of Virginians.

Virginia's government must set the example in its use of all resources. We must be conservative and frugal whether we are using dollars provided by taxpayers, materials purchased with those dollars, or the exceptional natural resources entrusted to our care. To this end, conservation and efficiency must be a central consideration in how we conduct all of our business and operations.

It is, therefore, expected that state agencies and institutions, offices and organizations, will take the lead in adopting practices and policies that maximize efficiency and conservation, and minimize waste and the impact of operations on the environment.

The Commonwealth, in performing a multitude of critical functions and operations, like other large organizations and business enterprises, has a significant impact on the environment. It is imperative that in every aspect of state government activity, we act as conscientious stewards of our resources and operate in a manner that to every extent possible minimizes the impact of our operations on Virginia's environment, while being prudent with taxpayer dollars.

By the power vested in me by Article V of the Constitution of Virginia, and § 2.2-103 of the Code of Virginia, and subject always to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby direct the Governor's Secretaries and all executive branch agencies and institutions, to every extent practicable, to operate in accordance with the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Operation

Energy Use –

In general, all appropriate measures to reduce the consumption of energy should be utilized.

All interior and exterior lights, computers, and other electrical devices and appliances should, as much as possible without compromising safety concerns, be turned off or powered down to stand by status when not in use, and when offices are closed.

Heating and cooling systems, whether in leased space or in state owned buildings, should at all times be actively managed in a manner that minimizes energy consumption.

Video or tele-conferences should be preferred to in-person meetings where meeting in person would require out of town, or even cross town, travel.

If travel is required, car pooling should be employed if possible. Agencies may adopt policies that do not provide for reimbursement for single-passenger use of personal vehicles for business travel if such use is avoidable. Agency policies should encourage the use of public transportation and other alternatives to personal vehicle use. All such policies must be reviewed and approved by the relevant Cabinet Secretary.

Citizens and businesses should be able and encouraged to engage in electronic transactions with the Commonwealth rather than having to travel to state offices.

Air and Water Use –

When practicable, landscaping at state facilities should employ drought resistant grass, plants, shrubs and trees in order to minimize the use of water necessary for irrigation by amount and frequency.

Plumbing leaks should be addressed immediately and when plumbing fixtures are replaced or installed new they should be the lowest possible flow available to meet the needs of the facility and comply with VUSBC.

To the extent that state government activity requires air or water permits from the Department of Environmental Quality, agencies must fully comply with all conditions and strive to operate at well below limits permitted.

Waste Reduction –

Follow the waste management hierarchy to reduce, reuse, or recycle whenever possible.

Every effort should be made for publications of the executive branch agencies and institutions to be published in electronic form only, unless there is a statutory or regulatory requirement to the contrary, or a substantial portion of the intended recipients of the publication cannot be reached electronically.

As much as practicable, materials and supplies purchased by the state, including paper, should be made from recycled and or renewable materials, where available and appropriate to the task for which they will be used, and be provided with a minimum of packaging.

Durable products should be used rather than disposable whenever practical, including whenever meals are served; if disposable materials must be used they should be biodegradable or recyclable.

Contact the Department of General Services office of surplus property to receive guidance on proper disposal instructions for serviceable state-owned material and equipment, and to inquire about surplus material and equipment that may be available in the state and federal surplus program rather than incurring the expense of buying new.

Use of remanufactured components should be maximized.

To the extent disposable plastics must be used, they should, when practicable, be recyclable plastics only.

Paper and other office supplies should be reused and only when beyond viable reuse, recycled. White paper, colored paper, plastic, aluminum, batteries and printer cartridges should all be recycled.

Collection containers should be provided for all recyclable materials, and employees are expected to make use of them.

Landscape maintenance waste should be composted as practicable.

Oil and antifreeze from state vehicles should be recycled.

Reduce use of toxic substances where suitable alternatives exist.

Buildings and Construction –

When leasing space, agencies and institutions should consider access to public transportation, if available. Where practical, new offices and facilities should be located within a quarter mile of public transportation access and in locations that are pedestrian and bicycle accessible.

When leasing space, agencies should also actively seek buildings that meet energy Star, LEED, or Green Globe standards.

Conferences and meetings not held in state owned offices, buildings or facilities should be held at “Virginia Green” certified facilities if such use will meet the needs for the meeting, will not increase travel distances, and is not cost-prohibitive.

Specific Directives

In addition to operating in accordance with the above guidelines, every agency, institution, office and organization of state government shall:

Continue to comply with § 2.2-2817.1 of the Code of Virginia, requiring each state agency to pursue a goal of not less than 20 percent of its eligible workforce telecommuting by January 1, 2010, and that all executive branch agencies and institutions shall provide a report to the Secretary of Administration no later than December 1, 2010, regarding compliance with § 2.2-2817.1, as directed by statute.

Purchase or lease only Energy Star rated appliances and equipment for all classifications for which an Energy Star designation is available.

When entering the design phase for construction of a new building of more than 5,000 gross square feet, or renovating such a building where the cost of renovation exceeds 50 percent of the value of the building, shall meet Department of General Services (DGS), Division of Engineering and Buildings "Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards" for energy performance and water conservation.

All new or renovated buildings described above, should conform to LEED silver or Green Globes two-globe standards, unless special circumstances, including significant additional cost, support exemption from such standards and the Director of the DGS finds that construction to the standards would be impracticable.

The Department of General Services also shall include in its policies and procedures guidelines for the purchase of fuel-efficient, low-emission state-owned vehicles, when practicable. In addition, DGS shall include in its policies and procedures for leasing vehicles guidelines that encourage the use of compact, fuel-efficient, and low-emission vehicles.

Beginning on September 1, 2010, procure only diesel fuel, taking into consideration availability and variability in cost of biodiesel fuel with respect to unblended diesel fuel, containing, at a minimum, two percent, by volume, biodiesel fuel or green diesel fuel, as defined in § 45.1-394 of the Code of Virginia. This requirement shall only apply to procurements of diesel fuel for use in on-road internal combustion engines and #2 fuel burned in a boiler, furnace, or stove for heating, and shall not apply if supply is not readily available or the cost of such procurement exceeds the cost of unblended diesel fuel by 5 percent or more.

Develop and employ efficiency tools with the goal of reducing its annual energy use by at least 5 percent for fiscal year 2012 (compared to fiscal year 2010) and report their progress towards this energy-saving goal to the Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources and Senior Advisor on Energy. Such progress shall be reported to the public on the Secretary of Natural Resources' website. In order for large agencies to be better able to manage this process, it is recommended that agencies that have energy costs exceeding one million dollars annually have a certified energy manager.

State Agency Cooperation and Support

Finally, the following agencies shall assist all agencies, offices, institutions and organizations of state government in their efforts to operate in conformance with these guidelines and requirements:

The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy shall be responsible for providing technical assistance to state agencies and institutions for measuring, reporting and achieving energy savings, purchasing electricity, natural gas, and fuel oils, and in general provide information to assist agencies and institutions with implementation of this Executive Order; and

The Department of General Services shall consider these guidelines in its review and approval of leases, purchases and plans for new construction and incorporate them into its rules and practices for the procurement of goods and services. In addition, DGS shall establish specifications for use by state agencies and institutions subject to the Virginia Public Procurement Act in the procurement of commodities and services that make environmental and energy efficiency practices of vendors, where appropriate, relevant considerations in any solicitation.

Each agency, institution, operation, organization and office is expected to implement these guidelines and meet these requirements as part of Virginia's government's constitutional obligation to be conscientious stewards of the environment, and with the understanding that, as public officers and employees, each of us sets the example for our citizens.

A copy of the Executive Order shall be published electronically to each state employee. Each agency head shall communicate these guidelines and requirements throughout his or her agency as an operational priority, and report, as required by the appropriate Secretary, on all conservation and efficiency efforts undertaken. All Cabinet members responsible for oversight of agencies and institutions of state government shall require such reporting at least twice each year.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order supersedes and rescinds Executive Order Number Eighty-two (2009), Greening of State Government, issued by Governor Timothy M. Kaine on June 10, 2009.

This Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until July 1, 2014, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 1st day of July, 2010.

/s/ Robert F. McDonnell



The Governor's Advisory Board on Volunteerism and National Service

Community and national service are vital to the fabric of American democracy. Volunteerism and service are critical aspects of our civic life. It is appropriate that the state and federal governments work together to develop a focal point for these efforts.

Mindful of the importance of community and national service, and by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, including but not limited to Section 2.2-134 of the Code of Virginia, and subject always to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby establish the Governor's Advisory Board on National Service and Community Service.

The Board is classified as a gubernatorial advisory board in accordance with Section 2.2-2100 of the Code of Virginia.

The Board shall be established to comply with the provisions of the National and Community Services Trust Act of 1993 and to advise the Governor and Cabinet Secretaries on matters related to promotion and development of national service in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Board shall have the following specific duties:

1. To advise the Governor, the Secretaries of Health and Human Resources, Education, and Natural Resources, the Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness, the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, and other appropriate officials, on national and community service programs in Virginia and on fulfilling the responsibilities and duties prescribed by the federal Corporation for National Service.

2. To advise the Governor, the Secretaries of Health and Human Resources, Education, and Natural Resources, the Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness, the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, and other appropriate officials, on the development, implementation, and evaluation of Virginia's Unified State Plan that outlines strategies for supporting and expanding national and community service throughout the Commonwealth.

3. To promote the expansion of AmeriCorps programs to meet Virginia's most pressing human, educational, environmental, and public safety needs.

4. To collaborate with the Department of Social Services and other public and private entities to recognize and call attention to the significant community service contributions of Virginia citizens and organizations.

5. To develop a plan for sustaining and increasing the number of Virginia service programs supported by the Corporation for National Service.

6. To promote and coordinate State programs offering opportunities for community service within the Commonwealth.

7. To work with the Department of Social Services on promoting the involvement of faith based organizations in community and national service efforts.

The Board shall be comprised of no more than twenty voting members appointed by the Governor and serving at his pleasure. No more than 25 percent of voting members may be state employees.

The Governor may appoint additional persons at his discretion as ex-officio non-voting members. The voting members of the Board shall elect the Chairman. Board voting membership shall include representatives for the categories as outlined in federal regulations issued by the Corporation for National Service.

Such staff support as is necessary to support the Board's work during the term of its existence shall be furnished by the Department of Social Services, and any other executive branch agencies having definitely and closely related purposes, as the Governor may designate. An estimated 300 hours of staff time will be required to support the work of the Board.

Funding necessary to support the Board shall be provided from federal funds, private contributions, and state funds appropriated for the same purposes of the Board, authorized by Section 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia. Direct costs for this Board are estimated at no more than $15,000. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation and shall receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties.

The Board shall meet at least quarterly upon the call of the Chairperson. The Board shall make an annual report to the Governor and shall issue such other reports and recommendations as it deems necessary or as requested by the Governor.

This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and shall remain in force and effect until June 30, 2011, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 6th day of July 2010.

/s/ Robert F. McDonnell