AGU honored with Clean Energy DC Award for commitment to net zero energy

AGU first recipient of new award from the Washington, DC Department of Energy and Environment

18 April 2019

Washington—AGU announced today that it is the first-ever recipient of the new Clean Energy DC Award from the Washington, DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The award was presented at the District’s Sustainability Awards Ceremony on 17 April 2019 and honors AGU’s commitment to sustainability through its headquarters building renovation, the first net zero energy commercial renovation in Washington, DC.

“The AGU community is incredibly grateful to receive this recognition from the DC Department of Energy and Environment and its director, Tommy Wells,” said AGU Executive Director and CEO Chris McEntee. “AGU has appreciated our partnership with the District and its agencies to explore strategies to realize our net zero energy goals. AGU aspires to lead and serve as an example to others in how to implement sustainable solutions and technologies in their own building or renovation projects, and this award demonstrates the impact our building has already had in the community.”

The Clean Energy DC Award was the newest award presented at the District’s Sustainability Awards event. DOEE recognizes nonprofit and educational organizations, as well as private sector businesses, that support DC’s sustainability goals, including energy and water conservation, green building and construction, solar energy production, stormwater management, and sustainable waste management. Many of these goals are accomplished through AGU’s innovative use of technologies and their synergies to reduce the building’s carbon footprint and achieve net zero energy.

“I’m proud to honor these seven awardees, each of whom is playing an important role in the District’s ongoing efforts to address the impacts of climate change,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “Their commitments underscore that what’s good for the environment is good for the economy and the community, and they exemplify why DC continues to be positioned as a leader in clean energy and urban sustainability. On the heels of Mayor Bowser signing the Clean Energy DC Act, one of the nation’s most aggressive and comprehensive climate laws, we are delighted to recognize the American Geophysical Union as the inaugural winner of the Clean Energy DC award.”

A recent DOEE report concluded that buildings are responsible for 74 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the District. When AGU decided to renovate its headquarters building in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, it underwent a significant transformation in order to reduce its carbon footprint. By relying on solar panels to generate power on-site, a first-in-DC municipal sewer heat exchange to heat and cool the building, a green wall to improve indoor air quality, as well as other key strategies, AGU aims to demonstrate that a building located on a tight urban footprint can meet net zero energy goals.

Also in recognition of this commitment to sustainability, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 at AGU’s renovated building earlier this year. This historic piece of legislation will require electricity in the city to come from 100 percent renewable sources by 2032, among other sustainable initiatives and incentives.

More information about AGU’s net zero energy renovation project is available at


About AGU

Founded in 1919, AGU is a not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. We support 60,000 members, who reside in 135 countries, as well as our broader community, through high-quality scholarly publications, dynamic meetings, our dedication to science policy and science communications, and our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce, as well as many other innovative programs. AGU is home to the award-winning news publication Eos, the world’s largest annual meeting of Earth and space science, the Thriving Earth Exchange, where scientists and community leaders work together to tackle local issues, and a headquarters building that represents Washington, DC’s first net zero energy commercial renovation. We are celebrating our Centennial in 2019. #AGU100


AGU Contact:

Katherine Broendel
+1 202-777-7459
[email protected]