ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/23/10)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) celebrated Earth Day by hailing the progress of the Agency’s “greeNCUA” initiative which has “helped reduce the environmental impact of everyday operations and has helped inspire employees to focus on improving environmental protection.” The greeNCUA initiative, which began in late 2009, resulted in new recycling programs, energy-efficiency improvements and increased communication about environmental concerns at the NCUA. These improvements “have helped the agency reduce its consumption of resources, limit its carbon footprint and restrain its operating costs,” according to the release. Specific steps that the NCUA has taken to reach its pro-environmental goals include conducting energy audits, using recycled office materials, turning off NCUA building systems after 6 p.m. on weekdays and throughout the weekend, and recycling much of its office waste, such as light bulbs, paper, glass, aluminum, and toner cartridges. The NCUA received input from both its own Green Committees, which are centered in the agency’s Alexandria-based headquarters and five regional offices, as well as suggestions from individual employees. "Earth Day reminds us of our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment and to use natural resources wisely," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said, adding that "the progress that NCUA has made in adopting environment-friendly policies reflects our employees' public-spirited support for conserving the nation's resources."