Make Executive Orders Sexy

not responsible for accidents.jpg

…oh, and do-able. Executive orders need to be practicable is what I meant, but I got your attentiondidn’t I?

Any literate human brain in college or beyond which cares for the natural environment should learn about Executive Order 13693 (signed by Obama himself on March 19, 2015).  I’ll get back to the sexy part quickly so stick with me.  


13693 maintains Federal leadership in sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reductions. The order expects government agencies to set a plan to reduce their direct greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent over the next decade. The order aims to improve building efficiency, performance, and management in order to hit reduction targets. The order is quite interesting so check out how sexy it is!

What’s happening now?

I spoke on the phone with a man, at the end of 2015, who has worked in a high-level agency position for over three decades. He told me all agencies must comply with 13693. However, the agencies are currently waiting for the new revised guiding principles from the Chief Office of Sustainability to know how to develop their plan. The due date for submitting their plan has passed, yet the Office has not provided the necessary guiding principles. What’s new, with timeliness of government actions, you say? Well I guess nothing. Except for the fact that this order could be a big hug deal… that is, it’s a big deal if the government can actually pull off doing as the order states:

(i) ensuring all new construction of Federal buildings greater than 5,000 sqft is designed to achieve net-zero energy and, where feasible, net-zero water/waste by 2030

(ii) making annual progress toward 100 percent conformance with the Guiding Principles for its existing building inventory above 5,000 sqft by 2025

Why Sexy Matters

Have you heard about the new company? The techies, the start-ups, the billionaires, the game changers. Super sexy right? And also super effective in engaging the people they need mostcreating shared atmospheres and thus organically shared economies. Not only are many sexy new companies effective with their new methods, they create shared value in the economy. I get that government is burdened and yadda yadda. There are no shortages of excuses. Let’s borrow some lessons from the sexy. To get 13693 going, it is creatively imaginable to do as these new companies are doing:

  • Exploit new technologies, don’t deny innovation
    • The tech for net-zero is right there! Take it already
  • State who is responsible for what, then hold accountable
    • A wise lady recently said, the government is never held accountable for upholding City Code when upholding it makes shit hit the fan
  • Go mainstream
    • Find a way to make the order needed by all the government workers in the building; build a desire to get it done
  • Disrupt the norm
    • Don’t fall back on habits, especially when they failed you before
  • Stay away from conflicting interests and/or use them as advantages
    • Map all possible conflict and strategize to destroy it with kindness

You probably still don’t believe the government will ever be sexy, but you also didn’t think there’d ever be a driverless car in your lifetime that you could afford, let alone how it’s gonna change everything.


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