FedCenter.gov

Sustainability


The Sustainability Program Area includes the latest guidance, examples, and information resources to aid Federal facilities in developing and maintaining sustainable facilities and helping to develop and promote sustainable practices within their environmental programs or activities.

E.O. 13834, Efficient Federal Operations, Section 4(a) continues the operation of The Federal Interagency Sustainability Steering Committee as chaired by the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer and composed of Agency Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs). The Steering Committee advises the Chairman of CEQ and Director of OMB on effectiveness of E.O. 13834 goals, provides input on implementation, and shares information regarding implementation practices and accomplishments with senior managers across the Federal community.

The requirement for Agency compliance or conformance with EO 13834 and it's implementing instructions depends on whether an Agency is a "Principle" or a "Contributing" Agency.

Principle agencies include agencies subject to the Chief Financial Officers Act (Pub. L. No. 101- 576) and the OMB scorecard process referenced in Section 5(b) of E.O. 13834. They include:

  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Social Security Administration
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service is subject to many of the statutory requirements covered by E.O. 13834. It receives an OMB scorecard, and functions like a principal agency.

All other executive agencies, including Federal Boards, Commissions, and Committees, are considered contributing agencies. These agencies generally have smaller operational footprints and may not manage facilities or vehicle fleets, and therefore have lesser reporting requirements than principal agencies.

The Implementing Instructions for EO 13834, issued April 2019 provides instructions to Federal agencies regarding the implementation of EO 13834 including agency planning, reporting requirements, and accountability. Note that in these implementing instructions, the terms "must" and "shall" convey statutory or regulatory requirements; "instruct" conveys directions to implement EO 13834; "should" or "may" convey recommended best practices for efficient and effective implementation (Section 1, para B.)

Principal agencies are instructed to develop and submit an annual Sustainability Plan that summarizes actions implemented to meet the goals of E.O. 13834, progress results, cost savings, and the agency's strategies for continued progress and performance improvements. Agencies will also identify yearly progress milestones in their Sustainability Plans, as indicated in the Implementing Instructions for EO 13834, as well as factors that have a material impact on agency implementation and progress, such as mission requirements or other organizational changes. The overarching progress milestones are also found in the Introductory portions of the following Program Areas

Contributing agencies are encouraged to develop and submit an annual Sustainability Plan, and may choose to submit an abbreviated plan, at their discretion, addressing those elements specific to agency operations.

CEQ will issue annual instructions and a template for the Sustainability Plan, which will be due to CEQ and OMB by June 30 of each year, unless otherwise specified. After CEQ review and OMB approval, CEQ will make plans publicly available through www.sustainability.gov.

Links to statutory requirements, reporting mechanisms, and additional CEQ guidance is provided below. Please use the links to quickly jump to the information area needed or scroll down to view all items.




Regulations, Guidance, and Policy
 
Federal Executive Orders and Legislation
Efficient Federal Operations
17 May 2018
It is the policy of the United States that agencies shall meet such statutory requirements in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment. In implementing this policy, each agency shall prioritize actions that reduce waste, cut costs, enhance the resilience of Federal infrastructure and operations, and enable more effective accomplishment of its mission. This EO rescinds EO 13693.
These instructions issued by the Chairman of the CEQ to Federal agencies for meeting energy and environmental performance requirements in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment, as required under E.O. 13834.
This CEQ website links to relevant U.S. codes, public laws, guidance, and resources to assist agencies in implementing E.O. 13834.
International Agreements
This core set of 58 indicators and methodology were derived from working list of 134 indicators and related methodology sheets that were developed, improved and tested as part of the implementation of the Work Programme on Indicators of Sustainable Development (ISDs) adopted by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its Third Session in April 1995 and presented to the CSD in 2001. These indicators are under review with an updated expected in 2006.
Federal Agreements and Guidance
While most of the ENERGY STAR program's business can continue as usual, there are some exceptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these cases, ENERGY STAR will strive to provide maximum flexibility while still maintaining the integrity of program and the health of all our team members and stakeholders. There will be impacts on applications for ENERGY STAR certification and ENERGY STAR scores and certification eligibility.
Dated February 2016, this document updates and replaces the December 2008 Guiding Principles to: 1) Reflect the evolution of sustainable building design, construction, and operating practices since 2008, 2) Increase the economic and environmental benefits of Federal investments in facilities, 3) Enhance occupant health, wellness, and productivity, 4) Include climate resilience in building design, construction, and operations, and protect Federal facilities investments from the potential impacts of climate change, and 5) Provide information on tracking agency green building performance. Guidance documents issued under prior Executive Orders are under review and may be revised. Federal agencies may continue to refer to this guidance, unless revised or revoked, particularly with regard to established procedures, reporting processes, definitions, and technical matters.
Description: This document is a companion to the revised "2016 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings" and metrics for agencies to use to evaluate compliance with the Guiding Principles.
This page provides links to CEQ guidance and Federal resources for sustainability, energy, and environmental performance. The guidance documents listed on this website provide technical information to support agencies in implementing sustainability policies and programs.
Sustainability Integration or "Crosswalks"
To assist agencies with the transition between the 2008 Guiding Principles and the updated 2016 Guiding Principles, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) developed a crosswalk guidance document to explain and highlight the differences between the 2016 and 2008 versions of the Guiding Principles for existing buildings. The crosswalk is based on the evaluation criteria included in the Guiding Principles compliance document and provide an overall comparison of the major scoring and applicability changes between the two versions. It walks through each of the 2016 Guiding Principles and highlight major changes or significant new requirements.
To assist agencies with the transition between the 2008 Guiding Principles and the updated 2016 Guiding Principles, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) developed a crosswalk guidance document to explain and highlight the differences between the 2016 and 2008 versions of the Guiding Principles for new construction and modernization. The crosswalk is based on the evaluation criteria included in the Guiding Principles compliance document and provide an overall comparison of the major scoring and applicability changes between the two versions. It walks through each of the 2016 Guiding Principles and highlight major changes or significant new requirements.
Supporting Information and Tools
 
Databases/Software Tools
BEES Online 2.0 is a free software for selecting cost-effective, environmentally-preferable building products. BEES Online is aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers, and includes actual environmental and economic performance data for 230 building products. BEES measures the environmental performance of building products by using the life-cycle assessment approach specified in the ISO 14040 series of standards.
ChemHAT, the Chemical Hazard and Alternatives Toolbox, is an internet database designed to offer up easy to use information that we can use to protect ourselves, our families and our co-workers against the harm that chemicals can cause. ChemHAT was created to answer two questions: "Can this chemical in my workplace affect my health?" and "Are there safer alternatives?" You can look up a chemical from a product or an SDS either by its chemical name or Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS) registration number.
Helps users to identify available recycling services in their state and city for items such as: plastics (i.e., packing peanuts, bags, containers); paper (i.e., books, newspaper, drink boxes, chipboard, cartons); paint products; organic material (i.e., brush, grass clippings, tree trimmings, weeds, soil); metal (i.e., aerosol cans, vehicles, appliances, cans, foil, hangers, propane tanks); glass; batteries (i.e., vehicle, NiCad, rechargeable); construction and demolition materials (i.e., asphalt, flooring, ceiling tiles, carpet padding, concrete, windows, stone, linoleum, porcelain products, brick); and miscellaneous items such as mattresses, furniture, cooking oils/grease, fluorescent bulbs, and medical equipment.
This Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) system tracks agency performance of energy and water evaluations, project implementation and follow-up measures, and annual building benchmarking requirements. This data is collected as part of FEMP's responsibility for tracking Federal agency progress toward meeting Section 432 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 for Federal facility energy and water management and benchmarking. Public reports and data are made available.
This is a web-based interactive tool that integrates over 300 separate data layers, helps decision makers understand the implications of planning and policy decisions on our fragile ecosystems and the communities who depend on goods and services from these ecosystems. EnviroAtlas is designed for people from all levels of government, professionals, researchers, educators, non-governmental organizations, and anyone interested in considering the benefits or impacts of a decision, such as siting a new road or city park. EnviroAtlas uses seven broad benefit categories to organize its information and data on ecosystem services: Clean Air, Clean and Plentiful Water, Natural Hazard Mitigation, Climate Stabilization, Recreation, Culture and Aesthetics, Food, Fuel and Materials, and Biodiversity Conservation.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)'s Technical Resilience Navigator (TRN) helps organizations manage the risk to critical missions from disruptions in energy and water services. It provides a systematic approach to identifying energy and water resiliency gaps and developing and prioritizing solutions that reduce risk. The TRN enables organizations to be proactive in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities to their critical energy and water systems to reduce outage impacts, and support continuous mission operations.
Take this quiz to find out your Ecological Footprint, discover your biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what you can do to tread more lightly on the earth.
Developed by NOAA, this online database of literature sources containing information on the effectiveness of green infrastructure to reduce the impacts of coastal hazards, such as inundation and erosion from tropical storms and cyclones, more frequent precipitation events, and sea level rise. The database contains records from a wide range of sources, such as peer-reviewed journals, online tools, and gray literature, and includes information on 32 different coastal green infrastructure types. The green infrastructure techniques referenced cover a full range of approaches to coastal management, including natural, nature-based (e.g., low-impact development), structural, and policies.
EPA's Green Infrastructure Wizard offers you access to a repository of EPA-sourced Green Infrastructure tools and resources designed to support and promote sustainable water management and community planning decisions. The tools and resources available through GIWiz will help you analyze problems, understand management options, calculate design parameters, analyze costs and benefits, evaluate tradeoffs, engage stakeholders, and/or develop education and outreach campaigns. GIWiz is made possible through a cross-agency collaboration involving EPA's Office of Research and Development, Office of Policy, Office of Water, and Regional staff.
The Sustainable Facilities Tool is a one-stop online resource to support decision-making regarding sustainable building principles, materials and systems. Targeted to help project personnel identify and prioritize cost-effective, sustainable strategies for small projects that do not normally engage workplace consultants or designers, the Sustainable Facilities Tool helps users understand and select environmentally preferable solutions for renovations, alterations and leases.
This tool combines federal contract data with data about federal suppliers' and contractors' corporate-level sustainability practices. Contracting, procurement, and sustainable acquisition professionals can research existing practices and performance when designing contracting mechanisms to encourage additional cost-effective energy and risk management. Federal suppliers and contractors can benchmark versus peers. Other sustainability professionals and organizational leaders can benchmark existing or planned sustainability programs. Plus, the public can learn how the federal government spends money, and how federal contractors are working to reduce costs, avoid risks, and protect the environment.
Sponsored by the Healthy Building Network (HBN), the goals of HomeFree are to raise awareness of toxic building materials and their associated health hazards, build the capacity of affordable housing practitioners to make informed decisions, and transform the current practice of affordable housing products specified to healthier options for everyone. This website offers guidance on choosing healthier building products.
How's My Waterway 2.0 is a tool that assembles publicly available water quality data into a user-friendly package of information on the quality of our nation's waters. The information the tool provides may help identify areas of need where green infrastructure can improve water quality, assist in the ecological restoration of water bodies, and have a positive impact on aquatic resources and recreational opportunities.
This Toolkit provides easy access to information on twelve different planning, zoning and subdivision techniques that will make smart growth a reality. The materials are designed to increase understanding of smart growth tools and how to customize the techniques to local circumstances. This is a very visual resource with extensive images, graphics, maps, and diagrams, as well as, case studies, slideshows suitable for both the general public and practitioners, and model bylaws.
MWiz offers users access to a repository of EPA-sourced materials management tools and resources designed to support and promote sustainable materials management and community planning decisions. The tools and resources available through MWiz will help users analyze problems, understand management options, calculate design parameters, analyze costs and benefits, evaluate tradeoffs, engage stakeholders, and/or develop education and outreach campaigns. MWiz is made possible through a cross-agency collaboration involving EPA's Office of Research and Development, Office of Policy, Office of Land and Emergency Management, and Regional staff.
The roster search and referral system is accessible to anyone contemplating the use of consensus building and dispute resolution services where environmental, natural resources, or public lands issues are involved.
This website provides ready access to federally maintained geospatial data, services and applications. The website makes it possible for users to create customized maps using federal geospatial data and common geographic maps. They also can integrate their own data into the maps, and share the maps through Web browsers and mobile applications. The platform was developed by the Federal Geographic Data, an interagency committee chaired by the Secretary of the Interior. The panel also includes members from the Office of Management and Budget, Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Examples include NexRad, Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite Radiometer Data, Sea Surface Temperatures Analysis, and others.
This is a free, web-based tool that allows users to visualize air quality data derived from any number of monitoring technologies. The user simply uploads their air quality data to the online tool system to visualize and interact with small to large data sets over space and time. Data collected while driving, riding a bicycle, or walking along a planned route can be explored on a map interface and also shown on several other graphs.
This web tool helps building owners evaluate the economics of grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery storage at commercial sites. It identifies the optimal PV system size and battery dispatch strategy to minimize the life cycle cost of energy at a specific site. The web tool also estimates the amount of time a PV and battery system can sustain the site's critical load during a grid outage. The REopt Lite web tool was developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energys (DOEs) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, and the nonprofit Clean Energy Groups Resilient Power Project, with support from The Kresge Foundation.
This EPA tool for wastewater and drinking water utilities uses brief videos to guide users through the process of building their own unique Roadmap to Resilience. The RtoR presents five stops along the "Route" (Assess, Plan, Train, Respond, and Recover) where utility personnel learn what it means for their utility to be resilient, and what tools and resources are available for their utility to become resilient.
The Smart Labs Toolkit describes a systematic process that helps laboratory owners and operators plan and cost-effectively achieve safe, efficient, and sustainable laboratories. This Toolkit was developed by several contributors and includes results of best practices and lessons learned from the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator.
This is a simple tool for exploring how workplace location affects worker commute travel. Indicators include worker commute greenhouse gas emissions, mode-share, vehicle miles traveled, and workplace accessibility via transit. The data and research behind this tool, as well as a user guide, are available in the Resources section at the bottom of the website page. The Calculator provides a Smart Location Index (SLI), which ranges in value from 0-100, where 0 indicates the least location efficient site in the region, and 100 indicates the most location efficient site. These scores are relative to the region, and should not be compared across regions. The tool was developed by the GSA Urban Development/Good Neighbor Program in partnership with the EPA Office of Sustainable Communities.
The SMM Prioritization Tools are life cycle-based tools that offer a starting place to establish priorities for environmental improvement, focus limited financial and human resources where action could offer greater holistic benefit, and consider key industries for collaboration.
Tethys is an international community unified with a common interest in the environmental effects of wind and marine renewable energy. The website is a conglomeration of useful features meant to support researchers, developers, regulators, and stakeholders. The website has five major topics Knowledge Base, Map Viewer, User Profiles, Connections, and Broadcasts.
Part of EPA's Sustainable Management of Food website, which provides resources to assist in reducing food waste. Includes toolkit for reducing wasted food and packaging, Food service establishments can use this tool to track the daily amount, type of, and reason for wasted food and packaging. Users enter information into the Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tool, which automatically creates graphs and data summaries to help identify patterns of waste generation.
EPA created the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, energy savings, and economic impacts from several different waste management practices. WARM calculates and totals these impacts from baseline and alternative waste management practices--source reduction, recycling, anaerobic digestion, combustion, composting and landfilling.
The Federal Energy Management Program's Water Project Screening Tool enables federal agencies to quickly screen sites for water efficiency opportunities. General information related to a site's water use is entered into the tool and recommendations on potential water efficiency projects are provided. The tool provides a qualitative score that indicates low to high water savings potential for nine end-uses.
WMOST is a decision support tool that facilitates integrated water management at the local or small watershed scale. Integrated water management involves coordination across multiple programs for land, water, and related resources (stormwater, wastewater, drinking water, land conservation) to find sustainable and cost-effective solutions. WMOSTv3 has an associated theoretical documentation report as well as a detailed user guide. While version 2 only included management options related to water quantity, version 3 of WMOST also includes water quality management. Users can identify least-cost solutions to meet water quality criteria for lakes or streams/rivers, pollutant loading targets, and/or minimization of combined sewer overflows. Version 3 also includes riparian buffer zone restoration or conservation, a few agricultural BMPs, and additional stormwater best management practices, both structural, such as rain gardens and nonstructural, such as street sweeping. The Hydroprocessor, a program which formats output from watershed models such as SWAT and HSPF for input to WMOST, is also included.
Directories/Catalogs/Newsletters
The DOE has released annual market reports documenting data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for three sectors: utility-scale land-based, distributed wind, and offshore wind.
A monthly newsletter from the US EPA with information about activities and events that everyone can use to make a difference in their homes, communities, and offices.
Libraries/Repositories
Data on this website are compiled from agencies' latest Annual Energy Data Reports and are included in the Annual Reports to Congress on Federal Government Energy Management. The website includes: data tables of federal agency energy and water consumption; interactive graphics associated with most data tables; energy costs by end-use sector and efficiency investment information; progress toward key goals outlined in the National Energy Conservation Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 8253-8258); Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15852); and historical data tables of agency energy use and costs by facility and mobility sectors by energy type beginning in fiscal year (FY) 1975.
Sample of a Green Meetings and Conferences Policy including sample checklists for hosting a green conference or meeting, statement of work language, after-event questionnaire, event signage, documentation requirements, solicitation provisions, and reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
Fostering Sustainable Behavior is a resource that includes case studies in the areas of conservation, energy efficiency, transportation, waste reduction, and water efficiency. The full text of Fostering Sustainable Behavior is also available on the sight. Author and site manager, Doug McKenzie-Mohr has presented on the same topic at GovEnergy. The site also includes discussion forums on how to encourage change toward more sustainable behaviors.
This is an online resource to help the commercial building sector implement "green leases"-rental agreements that encourage energy efficiency. The library include sample lease language, guidance, and best practices case studies.
Research/Technical Reports
Technical report released March, 2011, by the Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Installations, addressing direct measurement of sustainability through sustainability indicators. Presented by Dr. Chris Rewerts, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at the 2011 GreenGov Symposium.
Organizations
The Alliance is a stakeholder-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water. The Alliance creates and maintains a web-based water conservation clearinghouse that offers product information, best practices specifications, research reports, training materials, program descriptions, codes and standards, program evaluation tools, drought planning and response, and professional expertise.
The AIA COTE annually selects its "Top Ten" examples of architectural and "green" design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.
The BMRA is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to facilitate building deconstruction and the reuse/recycling of recovered building materials.
CSE is an international advisory, coaching, and training organization that provides sustainable development tools and strategies to public and private sector clients.
The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) is an informal, voluntary arrangement among 15 international organizations and secretariats with substantial programs on forests. These agencies share their experiences and build on them to produce new benefits for their respective constituencies. They collaborate to streamline and align their work and to find ways of improving forest management and conservation and the production and trade of forest products. The mission of the CPF is to help enhance the contribution of all types of forests and trees outside forests to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed development goals, promote the sustainable management of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to that end.
Through the CHP Partnership, EPA's CHP team works with CHP stakeholders to reduce air pollution and water usage associated with electric power generation by increasing the use of CHP. EPA's goal is to remove policy barriers and to facilitate the development of new projects in the United States and its territories by promoting the economic, environmental, and reliability benefits of CHP. We provide tools, policy information, and other resources to energy users; the CHP industry; clean air officials; and other clean energy stakeholders.
The Diesel Technology Forum is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Diesel Technology Forum members are global leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems.
The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) acts as the Secretariat for the SDGs. The Division's work provides analytical inputs for intergovernmental deliberations on sustainable development, including through its science-policy interface.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns. Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.
The Facilities Management Institute (FMI) exists to help facilities management professionals thrive in a rapidly changing environment. FMI provides easily accessible online tools and resources explicitly designed to advance your skills, knowledge and professional development.
Established in 2003, the network aims to accelerate the use of the Ecological Footprint Tool, a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what.Ecological Footprints can be calculated for individuals, groups of people (such as a nation), and activities (such as manufacturing a product). The Ecological Footprint is a data-driven metric that tells us how close we are to the goal of sustainable living. Footprint accounts work like bank statements, documenting whether we are living within our ecological budget or consuming nature's resources faster than the planet can renew them.
Global Green USA is the American affiliate of Green Cross International, founded by President Gorbachev to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. Global Green USA has been a national leader in advancing smart solutions to climate change that improve lives and protect our planet.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities' mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of green roof infrastructure across North America and rapidly advance the development of the market for green roof products and services.
HBN is a team of researchers, engineers, scientists, building experts, and educators. Whose mission is to pursue healthy building practices that increase transparency in the building products industry, reduce human exposures to hazardous chemicals, and create market incentives for healthier innovations in manufacturing.
ICLEI is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. ICLEI engages at the local to global levels, shaping policy and sparking action to transform urban environments worldwide.
The Montreal Process provides its 12 member countries with an internationally agreed, locally supported tool to integrate issues as they apply to forests. The 12 member countries are: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Russian Federation, United States of America, and Uruguay. One of the most notable and valuable achievements of the Montréal Process has been the establishment of mutual trust and confidence which has encouraged the member countries to develop a "network of knowledge".
The mission of the NRDC is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends. NRDC has 6 main priorities: curbing global warming; moving America beyond oil; saving wildlands across the Americas; reviving our oceans; stemming the tide of toxic chemicals; and speeding the greening of China.
This council is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and recognize purchasing leadership that accelerates the transition to a prosperous and sustainable future. The Council's programs and community of practice will help institutional purchasers to: prioritize opportunities to influence the social, environmental and economic life cycle impacts of purchased goods and services; identify existing leadership standards and approaches that address these priorities; benchmark progress toward goals; and receive recognition for advancement.
The intent of this initiative is to provide standards and guidelines for measuring the sustainability of designed landscapes, including commercial and public sites, residential landscapes, parks and recreation centers, campuses, roadsides, and utility corridors. Participating stakeholder organizations include: American Society of Landscape Architects; Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center; United States Botanic Garden; American Society of Civil Engineers - Environment and Water Resources Institute; Center for Sustainable Development, University of Texas at Austin; United States Green Building Council; National Association of County and CIty Health Officials; Environmental Protection Agency - GreenScapes Program; National Recreation and Parks Association; and The Nature Conservancy - Global Invasive Species.
ISWG was established in August 2001 and is coordinated by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Federal Energy Management Program and operates under the auspices of the Interagency Energy Management Task Force. The group includes over 200 members representing 20 major and a number of independent Federal agencies. Main ISWG functions include:
  • Serving as a forum for the exchange of information among Federal agencies' sustainable design activities.
  • Identifying and proposing solutions to barriers for adoption of sustainable design in the Federal sector.
The site posts bi-monthly meeting reports, presentations, a listing of pending Federal sustainable design projects (culled from the Commerce Business Daily), a listing of future events, and other informational resources.
IDRC is a Canadian public corporation created to help developing countries use science and technology to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems they face. Support is directed toward developing an indigenous research capacity to sustain policies and technologies that developing countries need to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.
The IISD contributes to sustainable development by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change, measurement and assessment, and natural resources management. The Institute is in the business of promoting change towards sustainable development. Through research and effective communication of IISD findings, the IISD engages decision-makers in government, business, NGOs and other sectors to develop and implement policies that are simultaneously beneficial to the global economy, the global environment and to social well-being.
This is a joint U.S. EPA - Arizona State University partnership formed to bring together researchers of various disciplines in developing the next generation of urban materials to reduce the dependence on non-renewable energy and adverse impacts to the urban climate. The center seeks to develop a new generation of sustainable materials and renewable technology innovations (SMART Innovations), with funding support from the EPA. The National Center of Excellence will be the leading national research and outreach laboratory in supporting regional governments and industry in meeting the needs of rapid urbanization and infrastructure.
Established in 2002 to provide a forum that would address all issues related to forests in a coherent and comprehensive manner and a forum that would facilitate the exchange of experiences in the implementation of sustainable forest management practices by Governments and stakeholders. UNFF meets annually for two weeks and all Member States of the United Nations and States members of specialized agencies participate in the annual sessions.
UNEP is the designated authority of the United Nations system in environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.
As global business faces new and complex challenges and opportunities, our science-based approach and targeted business solutions aim to scale up business impact. They target the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through six work programs, circular economy, cities and mobility, climate and energy, food and nature, people, and redefining value to achieve systems transformation.
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Lessons Learned
 
Award Winners
This national competition enables college students to research, develop and design scientific, technical and policy solutions to sustainability challenges. Their designs will help achieve the mutual goals of economic prosperity while providing a higher quality of life and protecting the planet.
FGC awards are given in two categories - data driven and narrative. Data driven awards are in the wares of Waste, Electronics, and Purchasing, Water, and Transportation. Narrative Awards are given in the categories of Innovation, Education and Outreach, and Leadership.
Through the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, EPA recognizes and supports communities that use innovative policies and strategies to strengthen their economies, provide housing and transportation choices, develop in ways that bring benefits to a wide range of residents, and protect the environment.
This award is given to recognize efforts to ensure mission accomplishment and protection of human health through implementation of environmental management systems, pollution prevention, and environmental compliance that promotes sustainability in the areas of environmental planning, waste management, and land, air and water resource protection. These are annual awards celebrating the previous years' accomplishments/innovations. Nominations are typically accepted until March and the awards given in June.
Case Studies
From 2017-2020, 17 organizations (federal agencies, universities, and National Laboratories), in partnership with DOE, have worked to improve the safety and energy efficiency of their laboratory buildings through the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator. The Accelerator provided a jump start for organizations to reduce energy usage in lab buildings by 20% in 10 years through technical assistance, data tracking, and peer exchange. The results of the Accelerator are in--across more than nine million square feet of laboratory buildings, partners have saved more than 103,000 million Btu, and are on track to surpass the Accelerator goal. On average, partners have realized a portfolio improvement of 11%.
This guide provides information about green infrastructure as an integral component of sustainable communities primarily because they can help communities protect the environment and human health while providing other social and economic benefits, allowing communities to achieve more for their money.
General
This Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) website was developed to help agencies close gaps between potential energy savings and actual performance. Specifically, it shows agencies how to use institutional change to meet their energy- and water-reduction goals. Institutional change integrates technology, policy, and behavior to make new sustainability practices and perspectives become "business as usual" at an agency.
Issued by the USDA, this report addresses the state of the forests in the United States and the indicators of national progress toward the goal of sustainable forest management.
Federal Facilities
This report discusses the impact of indoor environments on people and the impact of buildings on the environment.
A collection of projects and practices which Federal agencies have implemented to achieve green building goals. Information is categorized by the headings "Policies and Strategies," Tools and Training," and "Best Practices and Case Studies." Subjects covered within these categories include, but are not limited to: water conservation, energy efficiency, metering, NetZero, lighting, green leasing, sustainable acquisition, and design.
OBO's mission is to provide safe, secure, functional, and resilient facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support the Department's achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives abroad. These facilities represent American values and the best in American architecture, design, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.
Learn more about what EPA is doing and what you can do in the sustainability arena.
This FEMP website reflects Federal energy and water consumption data and includes links to GHG inventory data, energy use and cost, water use consumption data, and Agency progress on metering goals.
This is a set of voluntary best business practices that can be used to increase healthy and safe food options for employees. The standards in the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities are designed to achieve three primary goals: 1) Healthier foods and beverages are available and encouraged at federal facilities; 2) Environmentally responsible practices are conducted in federal food service venues; and 3) Food safety practices are followed to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. The Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities are intended to be used by federal facilities in their food service concession and vending operations.
At GSA, sustainability is helping other federal agencies meet their missions today. This includes green procurement, fleet management, sustainable building design, construction, retrofit, and operation.
This guidance was developed under the executive order issued by President Obama in May 2009, which declared the Chesapeake Bay a national treasure and ushered in a new era of shared federal leadership, action and accountability. It presents the most effective tools and practices to address nonpoint source pollution that is currently contributing nutrients and sediments from federal land management activity in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The categories of activity that are addressed in this guidance are agriculture, urban and suburban (including turf), forestry, riparian areas, decentralized wastewater treatment systems, and hydromodification. The same techniques can be utilized by states, local governments, conservation districts, watershed organizations, developers, farmers and citizens in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Issued by GSA on 30 September 2010, this is Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) 10-06. This bulletin provides guidance to federal employees of agencies subject to the FTR to enhance travel cost savings and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Guiding Principles of Sustainable Design published by the US Department of Interior and National Park Service.
The document begins with a review of LID, its purpose and methods. It also includes numerous examples of the application of LID at DOD training areas. It then devotes the majority of its pages to a set of fact sheets on such topics as "Secondary Roads", "Small Weapons Firing Ranges", "Maneuver Corridors", and "Bioretention Technology". It ends with good number of plans and drawings for the hard-corps planning/engineering staff.
Overview of the policy and program promoting sustainability at NASA.
This office coordinates policy to promote energy and environmental sustainability across Federal Government operations, which encompass more than 360,000 buildings, 660,000 vehicles, and $470 billion in purchased goods and services annually. Established in 1993, OFS is housed within the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and stewards the Interagency Steering Committee on Federal Sustainability. The Office works across Federal agencies, departments, and other White House components to ensure effective implementation and achievement of statutory requirements and Administration goals related to Federal energy and environmental performance. It also coordinates implementation of programs and initiatives to improve facility and vehicle fleet efficiency, promote adoption of efficient technologies, and modernize Federal facilities and operations.
As the largest employer in the United States, the Federal government has a unique opportunity to influence our country's ecological and financial future. OPM strives to lower our agency's impact on the environment by ensuring that we operate in an efficient manner and minimize agency greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water use, and waste.
Enduring, resilient facilities and operations are necessary to support CDC as it ensures the preparedness, safety, and security of staff, as well as the ability to fulfill the CDC mission. This website highlights CDCs actions and programs to support those goals.
The USDA Sustainable Operations Council leads the way in reducing the Department's environmental footprint by developing new policies and procedures that will insure that USDA conducts its activities in an environmentally, fiscally sound, and sustainable manner in accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13423. Sustainable Operations work groups include EMS, green purchasing, transportation, and facilities. This site links to USDA policies, award winners, and implementation examples.
Policies, principles and process used in moving toward the goal of sustainability at USDA.
This is UFC 3-210-10 which was updated 1 February 2016. This UFC provides technical criteria, technical requirements, and references for the planning and design of applicable DoD projects to comply with stormwater requirements under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) enacted in December 2007 (hereafter referred to as EISA Section 438) and the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense DoD policy on implementation of stormwater requirements under EISA section 438.
Infrastructure
This May 2012 paper provides a review of decision support systems and methods used over the last 15 years and summarizes the findings from visits with eight large utilities in the U.S. to discuss how each makes rehabilitation versus replacement decisions of their water infrastructure systems.
Issued by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), this report, dated 1 December 2008, highlights combined heat and power (CHP) as a realistic solution to enhance national energy efficiency, ensure environmental quality, promote economic growth, and foster a robust energy infrastructure.
The intent of this site is to better communicate the what, why, and how of green infrastructure to municipalities, developers, and the general public. Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils and natural processes to manage water and create healthier urban environments. The site offers publications and tools developed by EPA, state and local governments, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions. The site also provides access to the latest research developed by EPA's Office of Research and Development.
EPA has developed innovative models, tools, and technologies for communities to manage urban water runoff. The models and tools in this toolkit incorporate green infrastructure practices to help communities manage their water resources in a more sustainable way, increasing resilience to future changes, such as climate and extreme events.
Issued April 2014, this EPA document is intended to aid utility leaders in implementing proven and effective practices over time to improve their operations and move toward sustainability.
This EPA report presents the opportunities for combined heat and power (CHP) applications in the municipal wastewater treatment sector, and it documents the experiences of the wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) operators who have employed CHP.
The U.S. EPA has issued a compilation of case studies, Gaining Operational and Managerial Efficiencies Through Water System Partnerships, to highlight various approaches small drinking water systems have taken to improve their technical and financial capacity by partnering with other water systems. This report presents examples of different partnership options ranging from informal arrangements, such as sharing equipment, to transferring ownership of a system through consolidation.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy was developed with input from a variety of federal, state, and local officials with the goal of promoting sustainable infrastructure within the water sector. The policy focuses on promoting planning processes that support sustainability, promoting community sustainability, and promoting sustainable water and wastewater systems along with the targeting of Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund assistance.
EPA document number EPA 841-B-09-001, December 2009, was developed by the US EPA Office of Water. This stormwater guidance document implements Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The document was developed in conjunction with other federal agencies and provides a step-by-step framework that will help federal agencies maintain pre-development site hydrology by retaining rainfall on-site through infiltration, evaporation/transpiration, and re-use to the same extent as occurred prior to development.
This December 2015 document summarizes results from EPA's green infrastructure technical assistance program for communities looking for solutions to their unique challenges. This quick reference guide matches problems with real world, tested solutions and offers readers resources for further information. The report also includes a handy guide to technology and a table of benefits that you can share with potential collaborators and stakeholders.
This free publication (download pdf only) discusses alternative water sources such as graywater and stormwater that can serve a range of non-potable uses, including irrigation, toilet flushing, washing, and cooling, although treatment may be needed. Stormwater may also be used to recharge groundwater, which may ultimately be tapped for potable use. In addition to providing additional sources of local water supply, harvesting stormwater has many potential benefits, including energy savings, pollution prevention, and reducing the impacts of urban development on urban streams. Similarly, the reuse of graywater can enhance water supply reliability and extend the capacity of existing wastewater systems in growing cities.
This is a compilation of water-efficiency best management practices, to help commercial and institutional facilities understand and better manage their water use, help facilities establish an effective water management program and identify projects and practices that can reduce facility water use.
Municipalities
This EPA document, EPA-842-R-15-004, is a compendium of innovative aquatic trash management strategies. This October 2015 document is the result of a request by the stakeholders of the Mid-Atlantic Region request for EPA to create a great practices compendium to identify policies, programs, and initiatives that showed results with regard to reducing and/or preventing aquatic trash.
This EPA guide, toolkit, and technical assistance promote comprehensive, community-wide planning approaches to manage stormwater. In the future this guide will be supplemented with an integrated online tool to assist communities in implementing the planning process, piloted through community-based technical assistance efforts, and updated over time with feedback from users.
This is a checklist consisting of three sections, twenty-eight categories, one hundred and forty-two data points, all aimed at determining how your village, town or city is really doing in its efforts to be "green." It is addressing climate change, sustainability, and environmental health at the local level. The website provides ready-to-go policy solutions, program ideas and links to the most innovative, cost-effective and award-winning solutions from entities that have found their "piece of the puzzle."
Considered one of the top U.S. cities for sustainability, their website, programs, and policies.
EPA provides tools, training, and technical assistance to small and rural communities to establish and improve wastewater treatment services, lower the risk of harm to public health, and protect the environment.
This interagency guide highlights tools, techniques, and examples of smart growth in practice for planners, local decision-makers, developers, nonprofit groups, and others interested in waterfront development issues.
Developed by EPA's Development, Community, and Environment Division (DCED) , EPA Region 1's Smart Growth Program, Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO) , and the Land Revitalization Office addresses the steps, procedures, and possibilities for a successful base closure that does not devastate nearby communities.
Released by the National Research Council this 2011 report examines a wide range of reuse applications, including potable water, non-potable urban and industrial uses, irrigation, groundwater recharge, and ecological enhancement. With recent advances in technology and design, treating municipal wastewater and reusing it for drinking water, irrigation, industry, and other applications could significantly increase the nation's total available water resources, particularly in coastal areas facing water shortages, says a new report from the National Research Council. It adds that the reuse of treated wastewater, also known as reclaimed water, to augment drinking water supplies has significant potential for helping meet future needs. Moreover, new analyses suggest that the possible health risks of exposure to chemical contaminants and disease-causing microbes from wastewater reuse do not exceed, and in some cases may be significantly lower than, the risks of existing water supplies.
Property Disposal
This EPA tool, published September 2013, includes a menu of bid specification development tools, for use by cities, counties, land banks, and other entities engaged in residential demolition operations to yield an improved environment result. The bid specification development tools found in the appendices of this document have been designed to serve more than one purpose. They can serve as a tool to help the reader anticipate the environmental issues and concerns that may arise in connection with a demolition project so that those issues and concerns can be factored into the planning process. They can help the reader develop and organize information concerning a demolition project. They can also be used to modify existing bid specification language used by a community or to assist in creating language for new bid specifications. This specification language could then be utilized to develop procurement language, contract language, and associated documents, as appropriate, for use in a specific bid package that would instruct contractors on the contract and on the general and the technical requirements for the demolition project.
This report, released by the National Trust's Preservation Green Lab provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the potential environmental benefit of building reuse. The report uses a life cycle assessment approach to compare the environmental impacts from reuse of existing buildings with demolition and construction of new buildings.
Training, Presentations, and Briefings
This resource provides direction and guidance for land use collaboration by military installations and local governments in order to address issues of encroachment and sustainability that impact both the military and civilian communities. The 28-page primer presents information in an easy-to-understand format. It was developed by the International City/County Management Association and the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech in partnership with the Sustainable Ranges Initiative in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
This guide, officially titled Working to Preserve Farm, Forest and Ranch Lands: A Guide for Military Installations is a new resource for military installation leadership. It provides information about programs and potential partners for installations seeking to preserve farm, forest and ranch lands as compatible neighbors. The 20-page guide presents information in an easy-to-understand format and could be useful for other federal agencies that concentrate on preservation of working lands. It was developed by the American Farmland Trust in partnership with the Sustainable Ranges Initiative in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For additional information, see www.denix.osd.mil/SustainableRanges
Subtitled: “A Guide for Military Installations and State Legislators” this is a new primer designed to provide guidance to DoD officials and military base commanders on how state governments operate in making land use decisions that may affect the military testing and training mission. Policy options addressing encroachment concerns are included. The 24-page primer presents information in an easy-to-understand format. It was developed by the National Conference of State Legislatures in partnership with the Sustainable Ranges Initiative in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invite waste management industry members that handle lithium batteries (battery and electronics refurbishers and recyclers, household hazardous and solid waste programs) and other related businesses, such as certification program auditors, to participate in free three-hour workshops. Participants will learn how to prevent, reduce or eliminate risks of fire or explosions from the improper packaging, marking, labeling, or recycling of lithium batteries.
This webcast series is for public officials and practitioners beginning to implement green infrastructure, as well as for those looking to enhance established programs. Initiated in 2014, the Series has featured leading academics and professionals from around the country sharing their expertise on a range of topics related to green infrastructure.
This presentation available will outline why federal food purchasing matters, how to include food recovery into strategic planning and food service contracts and leases, and provide examples of how federal and concessioner partnerships successfully contribute to food recovery.
A library of past Federal Green Challenge Webinars.
Replacing lighting with efficient LEDs continues to result in substantial savings for commercial buildings. Join this webinar to hear from three ENERGY STAR partners who have installed LED lighting and realized savings.
Earlier this month, more than 2,000 people attended this year's Virtual Leadership Symposium. Leaders from across the U.S. shared their expertise, insight, and experience as they engaged with attendees on topics including workforce development, healthy buildings, project financing, resilience, and more. View your favorite sessions from the 2020 Summit – or check out one you may have missed. Each recording is accompanied by a downloadable slide deck and transcript.
This course provides Federal facility managers with practical information and action-based strategies to change individual and organizational behavior in support of energy efficiency and strategic sustainability goals. While advanced technologies are increasingly effective at reducing energy and resource intensity in buildings and facilities, optimal results cannot occur unless multiple strategies are employed to change individual and organizational behavior. This course emphasizes the link between individual behavior and institutional change. It introduces the framework of "rules, roles, and tools" to guide the systematic design, development, implementation, and evaluation of multiple strategies to achieve-and maintain over the long term-individual and institutional change.
In this training, FEMP Expert Sarah Jensen provides training to optimize building technologies, avoid the costs of waste and inefficiency, and create productive, comfortable, and healthy work environments. She addresses O&M practices; the application of tools to baseline, benchmark, and audit facilities to comply with the Guiding Principles for High Performance Sustainable Existing Buildings; how to implement sustainable strategies, and engaging an organizational team.
This guide is designed to: help DoD officials and military installation commanders gain a better understanding of how land trusts operate, and how they can work together to protect military operations; and facilitate communication and potential collaboration among stakeholders on encroachment issues.
A resource guide that presents helpful information for installation leaders who seek to work with local government officials to address encroachment, compatible land use and other sustainability issues that threaten the testing and training mission. It was developed by the International City/County Management Association and the National Association of Counties in partnership with the Sustainable Ranges Initiative in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
This resource contains a series of materials and instructions to help both rural and small water and wastewater systems and service providers market and conduct workshops based on the Rural and Small Systems Guidebook to Sustainable Utility Management.
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