January 15, 2015

Finnish Embassy in Washington wins platinum

The embassy is now using 50 per cent less electricity and 65 per cent less gas compared to the mid-2000s.
The embassy is now using 50 per cent less electricity and 65 per cent less gas compared to the mid-2000s.
Embassy of Finland

The Finnish Embassy in Washington D.C. has become the first embassy in the United States to be awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.

“Our embassy has gone from green to gold, and now platinum,” says ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde. “All this reflects Finland’s strong commitment to environmental sustainability.”

The Finnish Embassy was the first diplomatic mission in Washington D.C. to gain a LEED Gold certification in 2010.

When it was time to renew the Gold certificate, the embassy decided to strive for Platinum.

Measures include a rigorous green purchasing policy. Toilets and faucets are fitted with water-saving devices, recycling is a top priority and the staff is encouraged to walk, bike or drive hybrid cars to work.

The embassy has not bought any new office furniture in five years. Instead the old furniture has been fixed, and the embassy has purchased electronic table legs so that everybody can adjust their furnishing according to their own wishes.

The only new furniture that has been purchased is located in the sauna lounge, and it is 100 per cent biodegradable.

The embassy is now using 50 per cent less electricity and 65 per cent less gas compared to the mid-2000s.

The US embassy in Helsinki is the only other Platinum LEED Embassy in the world.

In Finland the government aims to develop the cleantech sector into a 50 billion euro industry by 2020, creating as many as 40 000 new jobs along the way.

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