AOAP Lab receives coveted Green Boot certification

by Staff Sgt. Warren W. Wright Jr.
21st Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz proudly recognized its first Green Boot program certification to the Army Oil Analysis Program Laboratory Europe during a ceremony at the Kaiserslautern Army Depot Nov. 17.

The Green Boot program is a certification given to organizations throughout the Army that meet program requirements of conserving energy and minimizing the impact on the environment.

“Green Boot is intended to have success in regards to ensuring natural resources are being used wisely, that we don’t waste energy and we are able to reduce our solid waste,” said Hans-Karl Betzhold, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Directorate of Public Works Environmental Management Division. “We are glad to have it here in our garrison. We are glad and proud to provide the certification to the AOAP Lab, and we are sure they will continue to work toward ensuring our natural resources are protected.”

The AOAP Lab is the first organization within USAG Rheinland-Pfalz to receive the certification, however garrison Commander Col. G. Shawn Wells Jr. said he hopes its influence will spread among the community and hopes other units will work toward becoming Green Boot certified as well.

“I hope that people see the benefit of the Green Boot program,” said Heidi Bodeit, director of the AOAP Lab Europe. “I hope they see the benefit of saving the environment and seeing the opportunity to save money.”

The AOAP Lab Europe, which has been conducting operations for European and African organizations since 1967, conducts oil analysis to test for impurities that could lead to a fault in equipment or even destruction of a vehicle.

Analysis saves engines and vehicles as well as prolongs the life of oils, Bodeit said.

“We avoid oil exchange by extending the intervals between oil exchanges,” she said.

By extending the time between oil exchanges, users won’t “have to purchase oil, dispose of oil or dispose of the plastic containers the oil comes in” as often, Bodeit said.

Though the AOAP Lab is an environment and resource saving organization, it did not start that way.

“AOAP was designed to be a preventative maintenance tool,” Bodeit said. “We are able to identify any upcoming failures as well as current failures.”

However, the nature of the AOAP Lab’s work has transformed it into an environmental- and resource-saving organization.
While the primary mission of the AOAP Lab is to provide oil analysis, being certified into the Green Boot program required a multitude of resource-saving methods from the office into the laboratory.

“The Green Boot program enhances the awareness of the use of resources of any kind on the operational level and brings it more into daily business,” said Konstantin Gross, environmental engineer with DPW’s Environmental Management Division.

Taking steps to reduce waste through recycling, using double-sided printing to reduce paper waste, encouraging car pooling, installing motion sensors or timed lighting, and adjusting the thermostat for times when buildings are unoccupied are just a few steps units can take toward becoming Green Boot certified.

“It should give people the motivation to think about what they are doing and how does it affect the resources we use,” Gross said. “It should also motivate people to think about what they can be doing better.”

Organizations looking for information on becoming Green Boot certified or ways to minimize its impact on the environment can contact the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz DPW at 493-4737.