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GSA Carbon Footprint Tool
May. 21, 2013

GSA's Carbon Footprint Tool – Assisting Agencies in Fulfilling GHG Inventory Reporting Requirements since 2010

GSA's Carbon Footprint Tool is a free and valuable resource for agencies looking to streamline their data collection process for both reporting and analysis. By directly linking to vital data sources and existing data management tools, including FAST, TravelTrax, and ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager, the time and money spent gathering and aggregating data from multiple sources is dramatically reduced. The Carbon Footprint Tool's new data management re-alignment, developed directly from existing user feedback, makes it easier than ever to input and analyze consumption information. Afterwards, directly export the data to the DOE FEMP Workbook format for quick and easy submittal to OMB and CEQ.

To find out more and get your agency involved, visit www.carbonfootprint.gsa.gov or send an email to carbonfootprint@gsa.gov.


The GSA Carbon Footprint Tool is a free, user friendly, online tool available for federal agencies to compile and report their annual comprehensive GHG inventory--as required by Executive Order 13514--and track progress towards achieving Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction goals.  Getting your data into the Tool is easy with both manual and batch data import capabilities--if your agency already uses ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, FAST, and GSA Travel MIS, you can populate the majority of your data automatically from these data systems.  Review your emissions via the enterprise dashboard, visualize your portfolio on the carbon profile map, and track progress against your agency SSPP goals.  When you are ready to report emissions to CEQ and OMB, let the Tool aggregate and download your data into the DOE FEMP Reporting Portal workbooks automatically.  Whether your agency's GHG inventory team is one person or one thousand, see how the GSA Carbon Footprint Tool can help.  To obtain a demo account or to request a free training, go to www.carbonfootprint.gsa.gov.


Flow and Functionality

The Carbon Footprint Tool follows an intuitive process flow to federal agency GHG emissions collection and reduction planning.  The process includes agency setup, entering GHG data, reviewing your data, exporting to reports, and then planning for reductions in emissions. 



Setup is typically reserved for organizational administrators.  This is where an agency fills out their agency profile defining their reporting boundary, sets up site information, and creates site groups.  This is also where LEED, ENERGY STAR, and Guiding Principles status is entered.


Enter GHG Data:

Multiple options are available for entering data into the Carbon Footprint Tool including manual entry, batch upload, automated import from external data sources, and the Scope 3 Commuter Survey.

Manual Entry

Agencies can manually enter data building-by-building, site-by-site.  Entering monthly consumption and cost data allows for granular data inputs with support for multiple meters from multiple data sources.

Batch Upload

Excel-based batch upload templates provide a simple mechanism for uploading large amounts of data at once.   Data can be uploaded for an entire fiscal year at once.

External Data Sources

Agencies can also import data from existing federal data systems, saving time and reducing duplication of effort. Import building and energy consumption data directly from ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Import data from GSA's REXUS and EUAS databases (for GSA leased space), from Federal Automotive Statistical Tool (FAST) (for fleet fuel usage data), and from GSA Travel MIS (for business travel data).






Scope 3 Commuter Survey

The Scope 3 Commuter Survey is a turn-key solution to help any federal agency capture its Scope 3 Employee Commute information and easily report its emissions to DOE FEMP. To date over 200,000 federal employees across 23 agencies used the Scope 3 Commuter Survey to calculate employee commuter emissions as part of their annual GHG inventories.  Of those surveyed, 99.1% rated their experience as "favorable" or "neutral".  

GSA and the Department of Transportation's Volpe Center collaboratively developed the Scope 3 Commuter Survey which is deployed through the GSA Carbon Footprint Tool. The survey questions and deployment method-sending customized email invitations to individual survey participants with a unique, anonymous link-have been approved by CEQ and DOE FEMP. GSA is offering this service free to all federal agencies. Agencies may deploy a commuter survey without committing to the use of any other portion of the Tool. Additional information may be obtained by going to the Scope 3 Commuter Survey page.



Review allows federal agencies to analyze existing GHG data for validation and comparison purposes.  

Quality Assurance (QA) Review

QA Review provides a formalized mechanism for second-party review and verification.  During QA review, organizational administrators can flag potentially invalid data and include comments for review.  Organizational administrators can either "approve" data or "reject" data (send back to users for further review).

Carbon Profile Map

The Carbon Profile Map displays the GHG emissions for the agency's multiple locations across the country, enabling an agency to strategically target the highest emitters. The map contains additional layers providing agencies with information about individual sites including: eGRID sub-regions, site emissions, LEED Certification, building type, power plants, and air quality.  Also, an agency can view sites that have been shared by other agencies to support inter-agency climate adaptation and local planning efforts.



Run reports at the Site, Site Group, or Enterprise lsaevels.   Reports provide detailed GHG emissions breakdown, transparently showing how consumption data inputs were converted to GHG emissions totals.   Ad-Hoc Reports provide the greatest flexibility to review data in virtually any configuration desired. This reporting feature also has several pre-built base reports that are available to all users such as All Site Emissions by Year, Highest Emitting Sites, Lowest Emitting Sites, Year-Over-Year Site Comparison, etc.




Survey Dashboard

The Scope 3 Commuter Survey Dashboard allows you to create customizable dashboards to visually report the results of a survey.  Include pie charts, bar charts, graphs, tables, and even your own text.



Export includes options for transferring data in bulk from the Carbon Footprint Tool to Excel.  The Tool can generate DOE FEMP Reporting workbooks automatically with a single click or batch download some or all of your data into Excel for review or archiving purposes.



Identify inefficient assets and model the potential GHG reductions that can be achieved.


The tool has a dashboard feature for agencies to easily identify "sustainable" products, as well as track how procurements can facilitate GHG emissions reductions over time, on either a monthly or yearly basis.  Select data for any site and adjust dashboard sliders to model the impact of making GHG reduction actions. Reduction results are displayed visually and in "plain English".


The benchmarking feature allows agencies to compare building energy and GHG emissions performance relative to one another and relative to CBECS (Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey) averages. Users can compare sites against each other, visualize site performance as bell or scatter chart, and apply filters to compare sites to peer groups. Users can filter by building type, LEED Certification, Site Group, state/country, year built, square footage, GHG Target/EISA Goal, Energy Star Certification, and Guiding Principles compliance.


Adherence to the Public Protocol and Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting Guidance

The GSA Carbon Footprint Tool already adheres to the Executive Order 13514 Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Guidance and Technical Support Document so your agency can be assured you are collecting and accounting for the required greenhouse gas emissions for federal reporting.  As changes are made to the Guidance or Technical Support Document each year, the GSA Carbon Footprint Tool is automatically updated to support these changes.

How Can I Access the GSA Carbon Footprint Tool?

The GSA Carbon Footprint Tool is limited to federal agency personnel, and contractors directly supporting an agency as part of its EO 13514 GHG reporting requirements. If you are a federal employee and you have a .gov, .us, or .mil email address, you may register for a preview account. Go to GSA's Carbon Footprint Tool page to gain access to preview the tool. Click "Sign Up Now", enter your information, and you will receive a welcome email confirming your registration and allowing you to access the "Demo Agency" to explore the Tool's features. 

If you require access to your agency's live data or you are a contractor supporting an agency with its GHG inventory, please email carbonfootprint@gsa.gov.


Learn more about site navigation and tool functionality.

User Guides: https://www.carbonfootprint.gsa.gov/?Page=help.userGuides

Video Tutorials: https://www.carbonfootprint.gsa.gov/?Page=tutorial


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Last Updated: June 20, 2007