Skip to content Skip to footer site map

Navigate Up
Sign In

Treasury Notes

 It's Easy Being Green – and It's Worth It!

By: Nani Coloretti

Treas.OneColor.349C smaller.jpg

Over the last several years, and as part of Administration-wide efforts, Treasury has worked to protect the environment by promoting efficiency, conserving energy and water, and reducing the amount of paper we print and mail. And our efforts have begun to pay dividends for the environment and taxpayers. Today's celebration of Earth Day provides a great opportunity to share some of the green initiatives that help make Treasury a leading example of environmental sustainability among federal departments, agencies, and beyond.


Going Paperless: Electronic payment provides federal beneficiaries and tax filers with a more safe, secure, and convenient method of receiving their benefits and refunds as compared to paper check payment. And more and more citizens and businesses are choosing the option.  As of March 2013, for example, 96 percent of all federal benefit payments were made electronically. To put this in perspective, in 2010, Treasury issued nearly 11 million paper benefit checks per month; by 2013 that number had decreased to fewer than 3 million paper benefit checks. Treasury’s paperless initiatives are estimated to save $500 million from FY 2011 to FY 2015.


Moving to Renewable Energy Sources: Last year Treasury purchased a department record of 18.9 percent of its total energy use from biomass, wind and solar power producers. The action garnered Treasury a place on the Green Power Partnership’s “Top 10 Federal Government” list for federal government agencies’ use of environmentally-friendly power sources.


Conserving water: By transitioning to a process known as wiping solution recycling in the production of currency, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will save about 12 million gallons of water by the end of the fiscal year.  


Opening up Workspaces and Reducing our Space Footprint: By integrating offices and workspaces Treasury is reducing its square footage footprint. Removing walls increases the use of natural daylight to reduce energy consumption. Moreover, space consolidation has the added benefit of creating a more collaborative work environment.  The IRS will generate savings of over $75 million in FY 2014 through consolidation and more efficient use of office space across the country.


LEED Gold Status: The Treasury Department's headquarters is believed to be the oldest building in the world to receive LEED Gold certification. It’s the third-oldest federal building in Washington, after the White House and the U.S. Capitol. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party rating system for the construction and operation of green buildings. Treasury's headquarters conserves water, has decreased electricity usage and decreased the use of steam to heat the building.  In pursuing this level of sustainability, the building's operations will save about three and a half million dollars annually.


We are proud of the improvements we have made around the Treasury Building to help reduce our environmental footprint and save taxpayer dollars. This is a responsibility we all have to lead by example, reduce our energy use, and operate our buildings efficiently.


Nani Coloretti is the Assistant Secretary for Management at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Posted in:  Management and Budget
Bookmark and Share

Contact Us

Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20220

General Information: (202) 622-2000
Fax: (202) 622-6415
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm

Untitled 1
Untitled 1

E-Mail Signup

Sign Up to Receive News src= Sign up to Receive News