Where is the GHG Management Institute located?

February 17, 2010, by Michael Gillenwater

We get this question quite often. Where is our office? Our headquarters’ address is in the Washington, D.C. area. Specifically, we are incorporated in the State of Maryland as a nonprofit organization with an address just outside of Washington, D.C. proper (literally, just a few hundred meters from the District border). For those of you familiar with Washington, you will know that most of the D.C. area is actually in Maryland and Virginia.

We also get asked if we are a U.S.-focused organization? No is the easy answer. The Institute was established to serve a global community and have a global presence. Our faculty and staff are located in several countries, with the largest numbers actually residing in Canada and the Philippines, not in the United States.

So far, I don’t expect this story to be of much interest, but there is an element of our operations that I believe is noteworthy.

We put a lot of thought into the design of the GHG Management Institute as a 21st century organization. Indeed, we take the challenge for companies and other organizations to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations very seriously. So much so, in fact, that while setting up the Institute we decided to do what so many talk about, but so few organizations actually do. We created a virtual organization, thereby eliminating commuting emissions and inefficient use of building space. We focused on finding the best experts in the world, regardless of their location. We invested heavily in information technology infrastructure rather than bricks and mortar (and continue to do so). We minimize our travel, and therefore travel related emissions, to the greatest extent possible. You may wonder why you rarely see us at conferences or other events. This is not by accident. We are not against travel, but insist that it be necessary travel.

We hope to serve as a model for what an organization can be if it takes the need to reduce its emissions seriously and is willing to innovate and experiment.

And because we are heavily relying on information technology tools to build a new global professional community, we believe that the best way to explore what works is to first try it out on ourselves.

We are eager to hear your thoughts on how the organizations of the future should be structured to meet the challenge of climate change and what your organization is doing in this regard.


3 responses to “Where is the GHG Management Institute located?”

  1. Sunil Bhandari says:

    Michael,
    Thank you for your insight. This is very helpful. The only suggestion I would have is to factor in not only the cultural and language differences, but also ability and interest of the target audience to use the technology we are using to deliver our training modules. Infrastructure these days is improving a bit, but in many of the developing countries we still have power disruptions and other infrastructural challenges that further complicate training delivery challenging. To keep these challenges in mind, instead of being totally virtual, GHGMI should consider adopting to some kind of hybrid approach. One suggestion would be to develop local expertise in various countries (much broader range than just few countries) and make these people to be the face of the GHGMI. These on-site trainers should facilitate delivery of recorded training, gather feedback and work with the training development team to make these trainings more effective and hopefully bring these to a point where these can be delivered without any on-site facilitator. I am assuming that GHGMI might have to customize these trainings specific to countries or at least regions to make them more effective.

    Thank you
    Sunil Bhandari

  2. Sunil,

    Great comment. And very predictive. What you describe is exactly the strategy we are employing. We are already beginning to set up regional centers through partners in a few parts of the world as pilot projects and launching a training workshop program called ghgLIVE. The latter is starting in North America as we get it going, but the plan is to then go global. And as we launch our professional certification program, we will also begin enlisting those of you that go through it to be our local trainers. Its all part of the master plan. Its just being implemented step by step. Too slowly in my opinion, but resources are in short supply these days, so we are doing our best.

    Thanks for the suggestion. It is excellent!
    Michael

  3. Hello Michael:

    In my White Paper that is titled “Addressing the Millennium
    Development Goals and the Transportation Fuel Issue” I included a quote from the Secretary General of the United Nations. “……We cannot do business as usual.” I marvel
    at the Copenhagen CoP 15 with 30,000 people flying and training or motoring to discuss lowering the ppm of the greenhouse gas CO2. Is that some kind of Oxymoron or the old business as usual, or both? We can do face to face on Skype with Video and Voice. We would have issues with lower revenue at many business places so we need to have a transition training for Travel Agents and Bell Hops. They
    could be Personal Trainers or become a type of Meals on Wheels Entrepreneur for those Slaves of the monitor and the keyboard such as I.

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